Peace and Ruins at Hematite Lake: Land Between the Lakes part4

While hiking with my son last spring, down in Kentucky, we had a chance to take a visit to peaceful Hematite Lake and check out the ruins from an early 19th century iron ore mill.  If you missed part3 of our trip to LBL, we visited a revived 1800s era homestead and unintendedly crashed a wedding.

Hematite Lake is within The Land Between the Lakes, which is uninhabited by people.  To say this area is peaceful in an understatement.  It was so amazingly quiet and lovely.  Quite honestly not what I’m used to living in the suburbs of Chicago.

Hematite-lakeEven the inhabitants were taking it easy this particular evening near dusk…except for the bugs, as you might be able to make out the can of bug spray in my son’s left hand.

 walking-path over-hematite-lake

To access some of the trails, you have to cross this looks-like-it’s-floating stone path.  The water’s not very deep at this spot, but it was still mind over matter when attempting to go across.

Watch your step.  Whoa!!

watson-empire-iron-worksBefore we actually took the hike, we stopped off at the old Empire Iron Works sight.  In 1843, Dr Thomas Tennessee Watson started up the  Empire Iron Works, took up residence here, only to die in this location three years later.

More information on Dr Watson, here.


old-mill mock-up-empire-iron-worksDuring the early 1800s, this location looked something like this model which is on display at the LBL visitors center.


walking-path over-hematite-lakeNow all that is left is what is called the “Center Furnace”.

This large structure at the sight of the ruins, was at one time part of the basement in the original building (shown in the model above).  I’m not sure where the other parts of the building ended up.

The Center Furnace was used to burn coal for the mining of iron ore, a popular pre-Civil War industry in this part of the U.S.A.

You can read more about the Center Furnace here.

empire-iron works-furnace-ruinsWhat I found myself contemplating amid this blissfully peaceful setting was how, when left to the elements, a man-made structure will slowly but surely finds its way back into the earth.

hematite-lake-duskAfter our short step back in time we were off on our hike with no time to waste, as dusk was beginning to fall upon this beautiful, tranquil retreat at Land Between the Lakes.

  Have an awesome weekend ~ Amy


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8 Responses to Peace and Ruins at Hematite Lake: Land Between the Lakes part4

  1. Mel June 12, 2014 at 6:33 am #

    Oh I LOVE places like that, we call them ghost towns here. My folks took my boys when they were little, they were so mad they didnt get to see any ghosts LOL

    • Amy June 12, 2014 at 8:25 pm #

      Places of ruin are so intriguing. One time we visited an old coal mining village way, high up in the mountains of West Virginia. It was really eerie to see all the remnants of days gone by. But we didn’t see any ghosties, either. ;p

  2. Anne June 12, 2014 at 7:34 am #

    What a great place to hike in! Thanks for sharing it!!!

  3. Feral Turtle June 13, 2014 at 5:42 am #

    Very interesting and most beautiful. I love visiting old heritage sites and this one looks fascinating! Hope you didn’t fall off the path across the water??? Thanks for the great tour….it was almost like I was there.

    • Amy June 15, 2014 at 2:07 pm #

      It was so peaceful, not what I’m used to in the burbs of Chicago. I do love these historical sites, as well. Thanks, Karen, so glad you enjoyed the tour.

  4. Doreen@househoneys June 15, 2014 at 11:54 pm #

    This looks so peaceful and interesting Amy. I really enjoy spaces like this, which is probably why I love old cemeteries 🙂


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