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Hammond Museum to restore blacksmith’s shop

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HAMMOND — The Hammond Museum received a new addition last week.

A 19th-century blacksmith’s shop, donated to the museum and the R.T. Elethorp Historical Society by Richard K. Champney from his home at 606 County Route 6, was moved Nov. 6 to the museum’s grounds.

Highway Department crews and more than 20 volunteers took 13 hours to dismantle the building’s roof and chimney before it made the 3-mile trip by tractor and wagon to the Hammond Museum, 1A North Main St.

“We had help from a couple different farmers,” said Highway Superintendent Donald H. Greene. “We wanted to be extra careful with the structure. We are reassembling the building, so that it looks like the original building.”

Local-history enthusiast and museum member John R. Scarlett believes the structure was built in the 1800s.

“With its timber frame and post-beam construction, we know it’s typical of the buildings built in 1900 or earlier,” Mr. Scarlett said.

This is not the first time the shop was moved. It was carted to Everett Burns’s farm on Calabogie Road by horse and wagon around 1947.

“The blacksmith shop in Hammond was about five miles away,” Mr. Scarlett said. “It was cheaper and faster to do whatever he could himself.”

While Mr. Scarlett said the building has been used for a number of things over the years, the museum hopes to restore it into a functioning blacksmith’s shop. Mr. Scarlett, a blacksmith himself, said he would provide onlookers with demonstrations.

“We hope a blacksmith’s display with live demonstrations will be a big draw for people,” he said.

The museum volunteers hope to begin restoration in the spring. “This is only chapter one,” Mr. Scarlett said. “Getting it here was the easy part. We still have a lot more to do.”

The Hammond Museum is open Wednesdays from 2 to 4 p.m. or by appointment. To make an appointment, call Ed Hadlock at 324-5517 or Donna Demick at 324-5731.

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