Smith Bros., General Blacksmithing

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Title

Smith Bros., General Blacksmithing

Description

Point number 25 on the Burleigh map, the blacksmith shop run by Robert and Duncan Smith first was occupied in 1881, although the family trade dated back decades earlier to their father Duncan (1812-1882)--an immigrant from Inverness, Scotland. Their uncle James Smith (1814-1896) was a blacksmith, as well. During the time of horse-powered transportation their work was crucial to Caledonia; in 1881 the Smith brothers and their cousin James Smith, Jr. received a shipment of forty kegs of horseshoes for their respective shops, about two tons. "It requires a good deal of iron to keep the horses of this cobble stone town in foot wear," wrote the Caledonia "Advertiser" (9 Dec. 1881).

A notice of James Sr.'s passing suggests the strenuous nature of the family trade: "For many years he conducted the blacksmithing business here and was widely known for his honesty, industry and great endurance. Few men have worked more hours of a lifetime, or harder, than he" (Caledonia Advertiser 22 Oct. 1896).