Museum to Host Third-Annual Blacksmith Festival
DUNVEGAN, 30 May 2018 — The Glengarry Pioneer Museum will ring with the sound of hammers hitting anvils during its third-annual Smith-In Blacksmith Festival on Saturday and Sunday, 9-10 June 2018 from 10am-4pm.
More than eighteen blacksmiths from across Ontario, Quebec, and the USA will come together to share their skills and products with patrons of the museum and fellow smiths. In the timber-framed Williams Pavilion, Megan Carter and Mike Armstrong of Armstrong & Carter Ironworks will be leading a workshop for visiting smiths on forging a Lancashire pattern hacksaw. Smiths from across Ontario and Quebec will be demonstrating nearby using a variety of portable forges. In the blacksmith shop, visiting smiths Lloyd Johnston, Mike Kennedy, and Stephen Midkiff and others will be demonstrating gunsmithing. They will be forging reproduction gun barrels modelled closely on a musket discovered in nearby Apple Hill. The Big Beaver School House will feature a video explaining the seven basic blacksmithing techniques and how they can be combined to create a variety of iron and steel objects.
This event will be the first for the Museum’s newly-acquired reproduction forge and tools. The bellows-blown portable forge is modelled on forges from the American Revolutionary War, and features leather bellows and wooden carriage wheels. Local smith Pat Taylor, of Upper Canada Village, will be operating the forge. The forge will complement the Museum’s Oliver Hamelin blacksmith shop, which had its brick forge reconstructed several years ago, and was outfitted last year with a working set of tools.
Blacksmiths and their shops were at the centre of village life in the 19th century. The blacksmith shoed horses, made and repaired all the tools needed for agriculture, transportation, forestry, and other industries, and also fashioned decorative objects. The blacksmith shop, or “smithy,” was a key social hub, and smiths often performed important ceremonial roles in their communities. This year, you will be able to see the museum’s smithy come to life.
Many of the smiths will have items on display and for sale. This year’s event also features a variety of local craftspeople, artisans, and vendors to complement the visiting smiths.
Chili-dogs, hot dogs, snacks, and refreshments will be available for sale in the museum’s cheese factory.
There will be games and activities for children, including a horseshoe tournament near the school house.
Come smell the coal smoke and see the sparks fly when hammers meet hot steel!