Special Event: “Forged in Iron and Bone: Unveiling Faces of the Enslaved”

Wed, 05/06.
6:00pm — 9:00PM

The Catoctin Furnace Historical Society invites you to the unveiling of our facial reconstruction project. The guests of honor at this event have been dead for 200 years. For the first time, see forensic facial reconstructions of two enslaved African Americans from Catoctin Furnace. The unveiling will take place at 6:30 and will include a short presentation about the 200-year-old mystery brought to life. The evening will include plentiful hors d’oeuvres, wine/beer bar, and music. The Catoctin Furnace Historical Society is a 501©3 nonprofit. All proceeds from the event will go directly to the completion of the Museum of the Ironworker so we can bring these individuals home.

Rescheduled from March: We are hoping you will be able to join us Wednesday, May 6, 2020 from 6-9 pm at The Delaplaine Arts Center for the rescheduled program. Your admission fee will be applied to the new event.  Dr. Douglas Owsley, Cheyeny McKnight, Elayne Bond Hyman, Elizabeth Comer, Christopher Gardiner, and David Key have all confirmed their attendance on May 6.  If you cannot join us on Wednesday, May 6, you may donate your admission to someone of your choice. Just let us know the new name. Or, you can allow us to provide the ticket to someone who could not afford a ticket. Your ticket price will then be considered a donation to the historical society and you will receive a receipt for the cost.

All proceeds from the unveiling will be used to fund the completion of the Museum of the Ironworker and provide display space for these world-class exhibits.  In 1979, the construction of a new highway uncovered the graves of 35 individuals interred in the Catoctin Furnace African American Cemetery during the late 1700s and early 1800s. Forensic facial reconstruction was used to bring two of these individuals back to life: one an African American woman aged 30 to 35 years and the other a male of 15 or 16 years. DNA tests and reconstruction reveal not only how they appeared in life but tell the story of the harsh existence and physical challenges they endured. We believe that every life mattered, and every past matters now; by studying and disseminating the results of this research, we hope that people everywhere will get to meet these early workers and understand the critical roles they played in the development of Maryland and the nation.

Preservation Maryland is a proud sponsor of this event.


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