Showing posts with label blacksmithing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label blacksmithing. Show all posts

Friday, November 5, 2021

Penton Forge, Joe Batt's Arm

Penton Forge, October 2021.

During the first week of October, Andrea and I were on the road. We visited Change Islands to do a People, Places and Culture workshop and Fogo Island to do some fieldwork. During our visit we stopped in to the Penton Forge in Joe Batt's Arm.

Penton Forge, circa 1970s.

This forge was built in the 1930s, and used until the 1970s. We met with Madonna Penton who had reached out about the forge. Her late husband Leo, and his younger brother Tim worked on getting the forge back up and running.

Leo with some of his grandchildren digging up horseshoes from the ash bed.

Tim is continuing the work on the forge including installing clapboard on the outside. Leo and Tim's grandfather Peter Penton who was trained by another local blacksmith, Jimmy Besso.

Peter Pentons certificate dated in 1940.

This short video shows some older photos of Penton Forge, and shares some of the memories of the blacksmith shop.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

The Death of Mrs. Leah Rendell, Heart's Content, 1913

Yesterday, we posted a story by Ted Rowe about the Rendell Forge and a picture as it was in 2003. Above is a photo I took of the same building.  You can see the roofline has changed, and the siding was replaced with cedar shakes (shingles). The trees have grown up dramatically behind the building.

The other photo that Ted shared was of the Rendell boys at the time of their mother's funeral in 1913. Below is a copy of the article that ran in the Evening Telegram, 1913-09-30:

We will have more on the Rendell Forge in the future! 

Friday, May 22, 2020

Ian Gillies, Newfoundland Blacksmith - An interview with folklorist Dale Jarvis

Ian Gillies, Newfoundland Blacksmith, chats with folklorist Dale Jarvis about his forge in Brigus South, how he got started with blacksmithing, materials and techniques, colour, coal, and creativity!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Old gates in historic Harbour Grace, Newfoundland

I spent a couple hours this morning, walking around the heritage district and surrounding neighbourhood of Harbour Grace, Conception Bay. I'm giving a presentation to the town tomorrow on cultural mapping and inventorying of heritage resources, so I just wanted to see what I could see.

One of the things that jumped out at me was how many properties still maintain their old gates, some of which are of a very similar style. Some of these were possibly constructed by Art Tapp, a blacksmith who "fashioned many of the iron gates and fences in the district" (Harbour Grace Heritage District Report, HFNL, 1992).

A very preliminary walk-around revealed a large number of wrought iron gates and fences standing, some possibly Tapp's work, others of later periods. To give you a sense of numbers and variety of styles, a selection of photographs follows, taken today, 6 May 2015.

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.

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