A web search on the name "Gamber" took Deena to the web page for historical sites in Mineral County, WV. "The Old Iron Furnace, built by John Gamber in the early 1800's, was used to produce a low grade iron ore obtained from various pits and trenches along the eastern base of Knobley Mountain." (Produce ore? That's what it says.) Dan put it on the list of things to do the next time he drove west, which turned out to be late February 2002.

Sure enough, about 5 miles south of Cumberland, MD is Old Furnace. There is no information at the site, on Old Furnace Road about 200 yards east of State Road 28.

A query at the nearby Old Furnace Cafe led to the library in Fort Ashby, and Mineral County, West Virginia: Family Traits, Tracks and Trails by the Mineral County Heritage Society, 1980. The only mention of Old Furnace and John Gamber is a comment by the man who subdivided the area after WW2 - that the old furnace was run by a John Gamber until it closed in the 1860's. I could find no other mentions of the old furnace at the library.

But who was this John Gamber? A most illusive character, for no trace of Gamber or anything similar in Mineral County (or the appropriate part of Hampshire County) is to be found in:

So who was this John Gamber? Anyone with an idea, please let us know.

The records could of course be all sorts of places, as Mineral county was formed out of Hampshire in 1866, only a few years after West Virginia split from Virginia.

last update 4 March 2002

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