Jesse Hoover owned and operated a blacksmith shop from 1871 to 1878. Although there were other smithies in town, Jesse earned a reputation as a good-natured, fair, and industrious businessman. Skilled and ambitious, he advertised to farmers, "Horse shoeing and plow work a specialty. Also dealer in all kinds of pumps. Prices to suit the times."
Built in 1957, this building represents the kind of blacksmith and wagon shops that were common in the 1870s. It is based on the sketches of Herbert's older brother Theodore, from his recollections of what their father's shop looked like. The re-built blacksmith shop sits west of the original shop's location just a stone's throw from the Birthplace Cottage.
Horseshoes And Wagon Wheels
Large double doors made it easy to maneuver horses around for shoeing or to bring in large wagon wheels or plows for repair. Inside the main building you'll find a working forge, along with an anvil, and a rack filled with period tools of the trade.
A Career Cut Short
Success allowed Jesse to buy a larger farm implement store on Main Street in 1878. Here he sold pumps, wagons, barbed wire, and sewing machines. He operated that shop until his death in December 1880. Though he died at age 34, in his short life he had provided an excellent example of what hard work and integrity could achieve.
Watch a blacksmith demonstrate the skill and hard work needed to turn ordinary iron into useful things. Items made during these demonstrations are for sale at the bookstore in the Visitor Center.