Blacksmith Shed Dedicated at Salomon Farm Park.

Press release from Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation:

Blacksmith Shed Dedicated at Salomon Farm Park

(September 22, 2010) – Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation Director Al Moll, former businessman and philanthropist Don Wolf and members of the Maumee Valley Blacksmiths dedicated a new blacksmith shed at Salomon Farm Park today.

The Blacksmith Shed is a 20′ X 20′ timber-frame wood barn on a concrete slab, painted red with white trim, and designed specifically to match the construction of the other two timber-frame storage barns in the park. The construction style involves large wood support posts with a wood slat exterior siding and has a custom built brick forge structure that will be used for metal forging. The forge is based on a design common in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s and uses mechanical bellows for air induction. The barn is divided into a demonstration area and a viewing area to allow blacksmiths to perform demonstrations while patrons keep a safe distance behind a fence to view the activities.

The first blacksmith class in October at Salomon Farm called “Irons in the Fire” is already filled, with a waiting list. For most of the 20th century, blacksmith ing was in danger of becoming a lost art. The craft has since been revived and is in full swing, advanced by a market for decorative ironwork and by masters who have worked to keep the art alive. The Maumee Valley Black smiths will provide instruction in blacksmithing in an effort to keep the art alive in Fort Wayne. Participants will learn about fire safety, blacksmithing tools, chemistry of a coal fire and several sim ple blacksmithing skills. They may try their hand at bending, drawing out, twisting and cutting iron. Each participant will forge at least three items to take home: (1) an “s” hook, (2) a square nail and (3) a coat hook.

“This is a nice new facility that compliments the historical nature of the farm and fulfills the needs of the Maumee Valley Blacksmiths,” said John Schamber, member of the Maumee Valley Blacksmiths. “We appreciate the Parks & Recreation Department’s request for our input on the design. We had a great working relationship with all who were involved. Now we’re pleased to be able to reciprocate by offering blacksmith demonstrations, as well as different events and activities.”

The Maumee Valley Blacksmiths will be holding demonstrations at the Salomon Farm Fall Harvest Festival. The family-friendly festival runs Friday and Saturday from 10 am – 5 pm and will feature hay wagon rides, oat and wheat threshing, antique farm equipment, corn husking and shredding, a Chuck Wagon and food concessions.

“We have a lot of great ideas for the future of Salomon Farm,” said Director Moll. “We’re in the process of developing the Heritage Barn to display antique farm equipment and appliances, we’re planning a wood working shop where we’ll offer woodworking classes, and kids who attend Salomon Farm Camp may be raising and marketing their own brand of popcorn soon.”

For more information about the Maumee Valley Blacksmiths, visit www.maumeevalleyblacksmiths.org. For more information about the Salomon Farm Fall Harvest Festival, visit www.fortwayneparks.org.

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