11. Ray Palmer Blacksmith Shop


This structure is unique as it was constructed from extra logs on site. The Blacksmith Shop was the center of the working community. The blacksmith repaired and made most of the items used in farming: horse shoes, plow shares, picks, chisels, log chains, and knives. The main tools of the blacksmith were his forge, bellow and anvil.

The blacksmith made his own tools. Displayed on the north wall of the shop are some of the tools that were made by Ray Palmer. The blacksmith made plow shares, oxen shoes, wagon and sled axles, and horse shoes which he also put on the animals.

Wagon making is also another lost art. On display are some of the parts used to make a wagon wheel. They include the skein (the cast iron bearing sleeve), the wood hub with iron backs on it to hold it tightly together. Spokes are mortised in the hub and other end is mortised into felly (the curved wooden part of the rim). The blacksmith used the measuring wheel on display to get the correct circumference (the distance around the wheel) of the wheel. He then measured the iron and allowed for the lap which would be used in making a blacksmith weld. The iron would be expanded by heating, pounded on the felly and then cooled rapidly shrinking to make a tight fit on the wheel.