William A. Young opened his machine shop in 1900 in Rices Landing, Pennsylvania. It originally opened as a machine shop, but in 1908 a foundry was added to the shop. The next big change came in 1928 when the building was electrified. The equipment dates back from 1870 to 1920. The 25 machines are powered by a system of belts and pulleys. The motor was originally a 12-horsepower steam engine, then it changed to a 20-horsepower electric engine, and finally a 20-horsepower gasoline engine.
The shop produced many different parts for steamboats, coal mines, World War I and II and for the locals. Young crafted many of the patterns that were used by the foundry. A special type of wood was used because it didn’t warp in the humidity. Young would use customers sketches and his own to produce the different parts that were needed.
The shop was mainly manned by Young and his two sons until World War II when the workforce grew to 30 employees and included women. When the shop had an apprentice working for them, the apprentice had to build their own toolbox and tools to pass the apprenticeship.
The shop closed after 65 years of business in 1965. After 20 years of neglect, the shop was purchased by the Greene County Historical Society and underwent renovations to be open again. The shop opened the following year to spectators. In 2009, the Greene County Historical Society sold the property to the Steel Industry Heritage Corporation.
In 1998, the shop was placed on the National Historic Places list. W.A. Young and Sons Foundry and Machine Shop was placed on the National Historical list in 2017. For Sunday tours of the shop call George Blystone at (724) 710-4898.
Take PA-188 E/Jefferson Rd to Goslin Rd/T599A in Jefferson Township travel 8.7 miles, continue onto Millsboro Rd. for 0.9 miles, turn left onto Rices Landing Rd. for 151 ft, Rices Landing Rd turns right and becomes Main St., turn left onto Water St., Destination will be on the right.