Showing posts with label Pinkston's Forge. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pinkston's Forge. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Hauling Pinkston's Forge: Heritage Building On the Move in Brigus

I've written before about the Pinkston's Forge in Brigus, Conception Bay. The Brigus Historical Society has been working to document it's oral history and stories. The photo above, from July 28th, 2014, shows Muriel Pinkston Wells, John Pinkston, and interviewer Dale Russell Fitzpatrick --  you can read and listen to their interview on Memorial University's Digital Archives Initiative (DAI).

It has been important to the Brigus Historical Society to document what they can about the forge, because the building had to be removed from its original location. Yesterday, December 15th, was moving day. The building had been covered in plywood to keep it together during the move, and hoisted up onto a sledge made of long wooden poles. A local company was hired to facilitate the move, and a crowd gathered to watch the old blacksmith shop be hauled to its new home near the Brigus Stone Barn museum. The old forge squeaked over the little bridge near Hawthorne Cottage, with only inches to spare on either side, and was then dragged to the new concrete pad that had been erected to receive the forge.

CBC has story on the move, and you can check out some photos on YouTube.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Cut Bellows - a story from Pinkston's Forge, Brigus

I mentioned in an earlier post that the ICH Office helped record an oral history of Pinkston's Forge in Brigus. In this section of the interview, John Pinkston talked about a cut made in the bellows, and if you look closely at the picture above, you can see the repair work he mentions.

John Charles Pinkston: There's one other instance. Back, I guess, in the 20s and 30s, well there was at one time, there was something like six forges in Brigus, right?

Dale Russell FitzPatrick: Yes.
John Charles Pinkston: And then there was three, but anyway at this particular time, I think there was two blacksmiths in Brigus, so there was Harris and Jackson's. And previous to that I think there was another one, James. Anyway, at this particular time there was two operating: there was grandfather's and Jackson's down in Jackson's Quay. One Saturday morning dad and grandfather came down, of course eight or ten horses lined up, and the window was broken in the forge. So they thought no more about that, so they opened up and got the horse in and grandfather start pumping the bellows. The bellows wasn't working. 
He looked in, there was a cut in the bellows about ten inches long. So grandfather told all the men, b’y, he said I can't do nothing for you because somebody cut the bellows. So they said all right Mr. Pinkston, we're not going down to Jackson's. We're going to wait for you to fix the-- So grandfather went over to-- who's the person that fixes shoes? Cobbler or leatherer. He went over and this fellow, I don't know what his name is-- Keene? Anyway, he came over and he sewed up the bellows. 
So two hours later, had the bellows going, all the men waited for him, and they didn't go down to Jackson. So rumour was that Jackson broke the window and cut the bellows. 
Dale Russell FitzPatrick: And of course people today can still see those stitches. 
John Charles Pinkston: You can still see them. 
Dale Russell FitzPatrick: And they've worked ever since, haven't they?
Muriel Pinkston Wells: Yes.
Dale Russell FitzPatrick: That's a wonderful story.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Documenting Pinkston's Forge in Brigus

On Monday of this week, I travelled to Brigus to help the Brigus Historical Society with their work of documenting the history of Pinkston's Forge.

Pinkston's Forge has been a fixture of the community for a long time, and up to now has been in the hands of the Pinkston family. But maintaining a heritage building like the forge has been a challenge for the family, and the forge itself sits on a lovely piece of corner property. Recently, the family has decided they want to develop the property, but were concerned about the potential loss of the forge. So, the family has decided to turn the building over to the town, on the condition that it be moved.

Moving a heritage building from its original location is rarely the first choice for heritage conservationists, and moving an old forge will pose challenges for the historical society, but it will ensure that the building sees a new life, and hopefully, more educational opportunities.

Local heritage volunteers will be working on the documentation of the building and artefacts, and the ICH office has offered to help with collecting the associated oral histories of the building. On Monday, we helped with the first interview. The photo above shows (l-r) Muriel Pinkston-Wells and John Charles Pinkston, whose father and grandfather started the blacksmithing business, along with  local heritage consultant Dale Russell-Fitzpatrick, who conducted the oral history interview.

We’ll be posting more on the project as it unfolds.

If you have a memory of Pinkston's Forge, email me at or comment below.

- Dale Jarvis