This reconstruction of a blacksmith shop was done by Forrest Read. It has an anvil that was found in a nearby creek, and a functioning forge and bellows. The blacksmith was an essential member of every frontier town.
This shop houses many of the tools used in a blacksmith’s shop in the 1860’s. Though the building itself is not historic, it is representative of what one would have looked like during the time period. While many of us may associate a blacksmith with images of sword making, blacksmiths were vital elements to the city. While it is likely most of the metal goods were imported from large ironworks, the local smith would be relied upon for repairs and custom applications. Prior to the industrial revolution, a blacksmith would often specialize in a type of work. In the 1860’s the blacksmith would have not been specialized, instead usually working on repairing tools, fixtures, and wagon parts. By 1900, Idaho City had three blacksmiths, as well as two tin-smith shops. Tin smiths worked with the lighter metals and would not have a large anvil and forge, instead they made and repaired things such as pails, pitchers, and cooking equipment.