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.

Kendall Taylor Home opening downtown location

  1. 252-7576. Anvil Gallery: “Your Turn, Dear,” works by Jacinta Bunnell and Cindy Hoose, 45 N. Front St., Kingston. Hours: 9:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Mon.-Fri.; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat. 443-4866. Catskill Fly Fishing Center
  2. Apicella, who lives in Fairplay, has owned a small business that recreates furniture items since 2007. The business, now called Kendall Taylor Home, has been operating out of a location on Northern Avenue where Repurposed and Refined vintage home 
  3. Clock and watch auctions differ from most other antiques auctions in that the material passes, for the most part, from one collection to another. The offerings were vast . As the hammer rises it appears to strike the anvil, marking the hour. A piece

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