Building a smelter for casting iron might be a good idea.
A good reference book if you can find one would a geologic map or description of your area if such a thing even exists. Our Town history published in 1976 when Town histories were all the rage includes a small segment on the geology of the Town and makes note here and there about different deposits that have been mined or otherwise used over the past centuries. Mostly we have marble and limestone but there have been small iron ore deposits, clay beds etc.found and used. Most States have geologic maps too which might come in handy as well.