|The Blacksmith's Shop|
|Blacksmith's Wood Stove|
|The Blacksmith And His Apprentice|
|The Smithy's Fire|
|Still Life In The Blacksmith's Shop|
|Hot As Blazes|
One of the most important men to arrive in a pioneer community was the blacksmith. The
term 'blacksmith' is derived from the words 'black', meaning black metal and
'smite', meaning to strike hard. The blacksmith performed a number of
services vital to the community, the primary one being to keep horses' hooves
in good condition.
Horses were essential for both work and transportation. They needed to be shod on a
regular basis. A horse with sore feet could not work. Good horseshoes, when properly fitted,
contributed to the working life of the horse.
The blacksmith had a forge where, with the aid of a bellows, he kept his fire hot. He also
had an anvil, which was a solid iron bar on which he could hammer horsehshoes fresh from
the fire. Once the shoe was the right shape for the horse's hoof, it was put into a
bucket of cold water to temper the metal and cool it off. The shoe was then
nailed to the horse's hoof.
The blacksmith manufactured all kinds of metal items for use in settlers' homes,
everything from nails, to hinges, to axe heads.
Information from: The Township Heritage website
The Wayside Blacksmith
The wayside blacksmith was a useful personage in the olden time, his services frequently being called into requisition, for besides having to shoe the horses and to make the iron part of the rude farm implements, he made nails for the carpenter's use, made and repaired the logging chains, made the garden and other tools, such as hoes, rakes, spades, axes, hammers, etc., and did sundry other odd jobs for the farmers.
Travellers frequently sought him out to have a lost shoe replaced on their horses or to have breakages to their vehicles mended. His shop was located at some prominent point, usually the county crossroads. Here would collect on rainy days the farmers to get their odd jobs done. Meeting so many people from near and far, he was usually well posted on the news of the surrounding country and district, and the farmers knew if they wanted to find out what was going on in the country roundabout they were pretty likely to find it out in the shop of this son of Vulcan. On the soot-begrimed walls of his place of business were posted bills announcing an auction sale, a bailiff's sale, or a notice of some breechy steer that was lost, strayed or stolen.