Secrets of the Blue Ridge: When Shoes and Tires Were Made from Iron

By Phil James

For earlier generations, everyday life depended mightily on the talents of those who plied the blacksmith trade. In the age which preceded and overlapped with the advent of the gasoline engine, it was the blacksmith and wheelwright who forged, tempered and sharpened the everyday hand tools, shod the hooves of the working beasts, and built the wagons and conveyances that served the populations.

Antique maps and local road signage give a nod to some of those early tradesmen: Bishop’s Shop, Bowen’s Shop, Critzer’s Shop, Davis Shop, Link Evans Lane, Nicksville, Rogers Shop.

Some blacksmiths were born into the business and learned their way around the shop at a very young age. In western Albemarle County, the 1880 census enumerated William Day, age 48, as a blacksmith, and his 12-year-old son William as a “striker” in the shop. Twenty-three year old William Woodson was already sharing full responsibilities with his father Benjamin in the elder’s establishment.

Meeting House helps Red Bank connect

  1. Anvil (Restaurant/Cafe/Canteen) - The Anvil, 106 Stannington Road, Sheffield, S6 5FN. Rated 4 on 19-Feb-2014. Arbourthorne As Thyme Goes By (Restaurant/Cafe/Canteen) - Antique Emporium, Clyde Road, Sheffield, S8 0YD. Rated 4 on 16-Sep-2014.
  2. The Meeting House space had once been a drugstore/hardware store and later an athletic store and storage for an antique shop. It's a key location, Roberts said, in the middle of Red Bank's newly created "central business district," which is still
  3. His showroom resembles a walk-in toy box, densely packed with bric-a-brac he's acquired through the years for its aesthetic value, including derby cars, lamps, pots and pans, a ventriloquist dummy on a scooter, lighters, antique first-aid kits and exit

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