The shop is not done but the weather got ahead of us. We are done for the winter. The remaining tasks include replacing any of the failing trim-work on the building, replacing the windows as the frames and such are shot, and then painting the shop and the roof in the original, traditional, coal-black and white colors, with the silver metallic roof. As soon as the original date of construction is confirmed, I will add a “year sign” on the corner of the building. We would like to add a nice traditional sign that says something like, “Blacksmithing – John L. Getchell, prop.” The grounds around it will be cleaned up a bit and if I can find a horse trough or something appropriate, I will consider adding that, as well.
As far as the interior goes, sadly, many of the original tools were stolen over the years as grandmother and mother were far more trusting than they should have been. I have been collecting a few tools, as I find them, to eventually put back inside the shop. Thankfully, grandfather’s original anvil still exists. During the reconstruction, we had to remove the chimney and the forge as these were in very rough shape. I doubt I will go to the expense of installing a new brick chimney but I did discover from old blacksmithing manuals and books that large stove piping was used, as well. While this would not be original to the shop, it would be in keeping with the period and the style. There are no particular plans to start a blacksmithing business although I certainly would entertain the idea of a young person wanting to do that kind of work and using/renting the shop for that purpose (that may be a can of worms I do not wish to open).
Another interesting find – before the tons of new foundation rock was put down and while the shop was moved back on rails, Janet and her daughter examined the grounds and came up with a couple of large buckets of odd pieces of old metal and tools that had been discarded. There is some very interesting stuff in those buckets.
Finally, I believe we will attempt to remove the 1970’s style overhead roll-up garage door and replace it with the original sliding “barn-door” style. We actually still have the original door. There also has been some consideration for adding a second floor in the shop. It was originally designed to have a second-floor so really it only needs the floorboards added. That is down the road.
I would like to give a great deal of credit to Tony Brillard and his crew who did all the restoration work. He is very familiar with these old buildings, how they were constructed, and what is needed to restore them. He did a great job and we are very pleased with the results.