405 E. 6th St., PO Box 142
Blue Earth, MN 56013
Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays from
10 to 12 and 1 to 3 or by special appointment.

Blacksmith Shop

PHOTO Blacksmith   On a warm July evening at the Faribault County Fair one might find a "smithy" heating and bending iron to form a horseshoe, a tool or simply a piece of artwork.  One sees the glow of the forge, hears the roar of the bellows as air is pumped to the flame and watches spellbound as the piece of iron slowly takes on a new shape that only the blacksmith can predict.  The art of blacksmithing dates back to biblical times with those skills being of great importance as tools, weapons and agricultural equipment came into use.
   Local historians tell us that what is now the Blacksmith Shop on History Lane was originally a home, with evidence of beadboard siding inside. It belonged to a man named Geiselhardt.  
   The building is described as one large room with two wooden doors that meet in the middle for a car size door and also a regular door.  There are two windows, a large one near the front and a small one in the rear.  It was used as a City Garage before the Faribault County Historical Society turned it into a blacksmith shop during the summer of 1995, making use of volunteer help. 
   Articles displayed inside include: forge, bellows, floor vise, bench vise, wood workbench with steel top, iron bender, wood lathe, saw sharpening equipment and many hand tools.
   This 1839 ballad written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow brings to life a blacksmith shop he had visited and appreciated in his early days.

Under a spreading chestnut-tree
The village smithy stands;
The smith, a mighty man is he,
With large and sinewy hands; 
And the muscles of his brawny arms
Are strong as iron bands. 

His hair is crisp, and black, and long,
His face is like the tan;
His brow is wet with honest sweat,
He earns whate’er he can, 
And looks the whole world in the face
For he owes not any man. 

Week in, week out, from morn to night,
You can hear his bellows blow;

You can hear him swing his heavy sledge,
With measured beat and slow, 

Like a sexton ringing the village bell,
When the evening sun is low. 

And children coming home from school
Look in at the open door;

They love to see the flaming forge
And hear the bellows roar, 

And catch the burning sparks that fly
Like chaff from a threshing floor. 

He goes on Sunday to the church,
And sits among his boys;

He hears the parson pray and preach,
He hears his daughter’s voice, 

Singing in the village choir,
And it makes his heart rejoice.

It sounds to him like her mother’s voice,
Singing in paradise!

He needs must think of her once more,
How in the grave she lies; 

And with his hard, rough hand he wipes
A tear out of his eyes. 

Onward through life he goes;

Each morning sees some task begin,
Each evening sees it close; 

Something attempted, something done,
Has earned a night’s repose. 

Thanks, thanks to thee my worthy friend,
For the lesson thou hast taught! 
Thus at the flaming forge of life
Our fortunes must be wrought; 

Thus on its sounding anvil shaped
Each burning deed and thought.