Name of Structure: The Blacksmith Shop

Original Location: Big Isaac Road – Doddridge County

Donated By: Fred Zinn, Chester Zinn, Howard Powell, and Furman O. Jarrett

Original Basic Equipment Donated By: The Fitzwater Family of Beverly

Original Sponsor: The Berman Family of Clarksburg

Restoration Sponsors: Alpha Lambda Delta, AmeriCorps – Energy Express, Central Supply Co., Dominion Foundation, Hartland, Miracle Meadows, State of West Virginia, Upward Bound

The property this building came from dates in the deed book to Truman Mason in 1925, who purchased it from Martin and Ellen Meek, but no date was available on record for the Meeks. The Blacksmith Shop was rehabilitated in 2006, and it was renovated and redecorated in 2009.

Today when people think of a blacksmith they think of a person who shoes horses. The blacksmith during this time period was far more important to the community than just making shoes for horses. He made a variety of implements for the fireplace, such as cranes, hooks, pokers and did repair work on the iron kettles that were used for cooking. Hinges and door hasps were also part of his wares.

Blacksmithing was not an easy job. It required a great deal of strength and endurance. Most smithies had an apprentice who would pump the large bellows to keep the fire at the required temperature. The pieces of iron were placed within the fire and heated to the desired temperature to work the metal. The blacksmith could tell by the glow of the metal as to the correct temperature for working. Generally a red heat was the ideal temperature. If it became white hot it would flake off too much. Once the piece of iron was heated properly, the blacksmith took it to the anvil where he quickly started his work. It usually had to be returned to the forge many times to be reheated until the piece was finished. When the piece was completed, it was frequently immersed in water to cool the iron and strengthen the molecules within.

The content of this page was developed by information provided to and written by David Huffman, 2023 Intern Fairmont State University.