National Iron & Steel Heritage Museum in Coatesville offers a peek into the local manufacturing history and the legacy of nation’s first female industrialist, Rebecca Lukens, writes Stone Lieberman for Chester County Press.
Lukens, who was an educated Quaker, went from being a pregnant widow in the 1800s running a small steel mill, to a savvy businesswoman who ran a number of enterprises. However, it was the steel mill in Coatesville that welded the Lukens name into the area’s very core.
The museum, which is a venture of the Graystone Museum and Historical Society of Coatesville, is now headed by Scott Huston, Lukens’ great-great-great grandson.
National Iron & Steel Heritage Museum also includes homes which were residences of Lukens family members. Among the family homes open for tours are Terracina, home of Lukens’ daughter Isabella, and Graystone Mansion, the majestic home of A.F. Huston, Isabella’s son.
The museum will also soon welcome Brandywine Mansion, the home of Rebecca Lukens, when renovations are complete.
“She occupied it from 1816 until her passing in 1854,” said James Ziegler, executive director of the museum.
Read more about the museum at Chester County Press here.