LEWISBURG — The Lewisburg Historical Society previewed the opening of a new attraction on Sunday, Aug. 2, when they invited a small group of people to the Singer Blacksmith shop in the village.
A demonstration was held in the shop which dates back to the late 1800s and featured Phil Francis of Lewisburg and Joe Mitchel, of Brookville, who are members of the Southern Ohio Forgers and Anvils Association, forging various items.
The blacksmith shop at 115 East Dayton Street in Lewisburg still has walls covered in black soot, a reminder of the original coal burning methods once used in what Francis described as one of the most well-preserved blacksmith shops in all of Ohio.
During the demonstration, an “S” hook was created and presented to Everett Trittschuh, president of the Lewisburg Historical Society. Francis handed him the first piece forged in the shop since 1932.
Trittschuh described the shop as if the owner simply walked out, locked up and never returned.
“There may not be another place like this anywhere in the state of Ohio that has this much history, and the blacksmith is so original in terms of everything that is here — we didn’t do much other than clean up and move some things around,” Trittschuh told the small crowd.
The building sat untouched for some time, as evident by some of the items left behind; items including what is believed to be the original leather apron once worn by the blacksmith, a hand-forged iron chain, and a well preserved sign for the 1918 Preble County Fair.
The hook was made in the original forge in the blacksmith shop which reached temperatures upwards of 1500 degrees, according to Francis.
A propane method was used to heat the forges last weekend, since its original chimney is no longer there to allow for traditional coal burning methods.
Trittschuh said he hopes the opening will help raise interest in the Lewisburg Historical Society.
He said the society is currently in need of members to help catalogue items which have been donated over the years, and to help trace back their origins.
Trittschuh also said the society is attempting to raise funds for the purchase of a new storage building.
The shop will host a demonstration on Friday, Aug. 14 during Lewisburg’s upcoming Derby Days.
Reach Austin Schmidt at 937-683-4062