Iron Foundry Ledger, 1797-1798

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Descriptive Summary


Repository: Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University

Title: Iron Foundry Ledger, 1797-1798

Collection No.: SC 0165
Creator: Unknown

Extent: 1 box; .2 cubic feet

Language: English

Abstract: The Iron Foundry Ledger, 1797 - 1798, consists of one photocopied ledger from an iron foundry or related iron business, possibly Pine Forge, in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, with lists of items sold such as bar iron, provisions, sundries, and horse provender.


Administrative Information

Access Restrictions: Collection is open for research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the James Madison University Special Collections Library to use this collection.

Use Restrictions: The copyright interests in this collection have been transferred to the James Madison University Special Collection Library. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library Reference Desk (

Preferred Citation: [identification of item], [box #, folder #], Iron Foundry Ledger, 1797-1798, SC 0165, Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Va.

Acquisition Information: The photocopied ledger was donated by Clarence Geier who had acquired the copy of the ledger from Dale McAllister of Singers Glen, Virginia in 2001. It was previously obtained from members of the Garber family of Shenandoah County, Virginia.
Processing Information: In order to streamline the process of applying collection numbers, Special Collections staff completed a large-scale renumbering campaign in 2017-2018. This collection was previously cataloged as SC 4036.

Bio/Historical Note:

According to notes from the donor the ledger was given to Benjamin Garber in 1870 and the original leather bound ledger had the name and date of Benjamin Garber, 1870 inscribed on the front cover along with the letters "LD." The back of the ledger contained the letters "IXO" along with the date 1848. Notes from the donor also suggest that the ledger may originated from the Pine Forge iron foundry once located along Smith Creek near New Market, Virginia and operated by the Pennybacker family. The ledger contains accounts for D. Pennybacker and also Pine Forge, and the handwriting within the ledger is identical to that of an earlier Pine Forge Ledger, contained in the Don C. Miller Collection. According to donor notes, the ledger was given to Benjamin Garber in 1870.

The account for D. Pennybacker is most likely Dirck Pennyback, 1737 - 1799, who came to the Shenandoah Valley in 1781 and built Redwell Furnace along Hawksbill Creek near Luray, Virginia. Around 1785 he also established an iron-working business called Pine Forge along Smith Creek near New Market, Virginia. Dirck Pennybacker operated Pine Forge with his son Benjamin--also represented in the ledger--until Dirck died in 1799, at which point Benjamin continued operations until the early 19th century when ownership changed. Pine Forge was an extensive and successful operation and was well known throughout the county.

Scope and Content:

The Iron Foundry Ledger consists of one photocopied ledger dated from 1797 – 1798. Names of customers, including Dirck Pennybacker, Benjamin Pennybacker, and Pine Forge, along with the abbreviation "Dr." used to indicated debtor, and "Contra" to indicate payment or credit received, are listed throughout the ledger along with amounts due or paid. Items listed include bar iron, general charge, provision, sundries, horse provender, cash, and bonds & notes. Other content within the ledgers includes writing of popular quotes, letters of the alphabet, small drawings, and the signature of Benjamin Garber written in the margins and around the ledger text.


The ledger is arranged in five folders.


Wayland, John W. A History of Shenandoah County, Virginia. 2nd ed. Baltimore: Regional Publishing Company, 1980, pg. 553.

Location of Originals:

Original ledger retained by the donor.


Folder Title
Box : Folder
Iron Foundry Ledger, 1797-1798

Compiled by: Chris Bolgiano, April 2002; Kate Morris, August 2013