Blacksmith Shop renamed and repurposed

Photo of the new 'Workshops' building at The Old Fort.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) The Old Fort’s Blacksmith Shop is up and running. While the shop is being used during demonstrations and events at The Old Fort, head blacksmith at The Old Fort, Norman Gable said they still have a ways to go.

A burned building still stands at the Old Fort after a fire Tuesday morning.
A burned building still stands at the Old Fort after a fire one May morning.

After a fire burnt down the building in May, Gable said they received money from insurance and the community. However, they still have about $8,000 to go until the new shop is complete.

One change The Old Fort is making to the Blacksmith Shop is that the new building will no longer be called the ‘Blacksmith Shop’, but ‘The Workshops’. This is because the new shop will bring in various artisans to demonstrate their craft such as tin and copper smiths as well as carvers and potters.

“This building is designed around the Blacksmith Shop as the center, but we have more ways to bring in artisans,” Gable said. “You don’t go to Walmart in 1750, it doesn’t work. You go to the blacksmith, you go to the woodworker, you go to seamstress, you go to the weaver.”

The new shop will not only be larger, but it also has a new security system. The shop still needs a floor that will cost about $5,000. The new shop will cost about $65,000 when finished. “It (the blacksmith shop) was the center to how we portray life in every part of the country,” Gable said.

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