Richfield Historical Society

Richfield, WI

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New Blacksmith Shop

Horshoes were one of the many items made in blacksmiths shops that were located in almost every crossroads community in the days of horsepower. What a fitting tribute to this era to have your name inscribed on a horseshoe to be placed on a beam in the blacksmith shop being built at the Richfield Historical Park. Every donation is appreciated, but for a $100 donation or more, you can have such a horseshoe hanging from one of the massive support beams in the shop. Just click on this Blacksmith Donation Form, fill in the needed information, and send your check and form to the address listed on the form.

Progress continues on the new blacksmith shop that is being built by Richfield Historical Society volunteers in the Richfield Historical Park.

  • Grading for the site is completed -- right across from the Sugar Shack in the Timber Frame Area of the Park.
  • Main support poles donated by the electric company are in place.
  • Girts are being fastened to the support poles as a base for the siding.
  • Beams (8" square by 23' long) from an old barn are ready to be attached to poles that are already in place.
  • The 23' beams are all in place. Each of these beams have angle braces added between them and the poles on which they rest. The beams are anchored in place with wooden pegs just as was done many years ago.
  • Long beams from the dismantled Kohl barn are the base for the blacksmith roof. These have been put in place.
  • The roof boards are attached to the long beams.
  • Handcut cedar shingles are nailed to the roof boards.
  • Siding is put in place.
  • Shutters are built and painted.
  • Base for the forge is installed.
  • Floor leveled with the help of the Richfield Fire Department.
  • Draft hood for the forge is made by George Piontek.

 

The blacksmith shop will be a great enhancement to the Park. It will allow visitors to see demonstrations of the skills of blacksmithing -- forging (sometimes called "sculpting"), welding, heat-treating, and finishing. The village blacksmith was a craftsman who was essential to pioneer life. The blacksmith created and repaired farm equipment, made household utensils, tools, wagon wheels, parts of oxen yokes, and much more.

This project does not in any way take away from the Messer/Mayer Mill restoration and the goal to "Get the Mill Grinding." It is the hope that private donations to the blacksmith project will cover the majority of the cost. Already, the Society has quite a collection of blacksmithing equipment which will be placed in the shop.

If you are interested in donating to either the blacksmith shop project or the resoration of the Messer/Mayer Mill click on the following links:

Messer/Mayer Mill donation
Blacksmith Shop donation (this is an online donation with no way to indicate what would be inscribed on your horseshoe)

 

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