Thaddeus Stevens was born in Caledonia County, Vermont in 1792. Stevens graduated from Dartmouth College in 1814 and moved to York, Pennsylvania in 1915 to further his law studies. He soon opened his law practice in Gettysburg. Stevens, an abolitionist, served Pennsylvania as a congressman during the Civil War.
As a businessman, Stevens began operating Caledonia Furnace on the site of the current park, in 1837. Confederate General Jubal Early occupied York and Gettysburg in the weeks leading up to the Battle of Gettysburg and burned Caledonia to the ground. After the war it was rebuilt and operated until 1902. The state of Pennsylvania purchased the property and Caledonia State Park was opened in 1903.
There is a rebuilt Caledonia Furnace along Route 30 as well as several buildings, including the Thaddeus Stevens blacksmith shop. Our site was in the Hosack Run campground and from there we hiked throughout the park weaving through the remains of the infrastructure of the iron works. Although we didn’t hike on it, the Appalachian Trail also runs through the park.
Our campground loop was quite shady, a plus on a muggy day in the 90s. We took a short drive up Cashtown Road to restock our pantry wth stops at the Round Barn Farm Market, Hollabaugh Brothers and Hauser Estate Winery.