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Appalachian Blacksmiths Association

 

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Fort New Salem 8/10/2007

 

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Organized in 1978, the Appalachian Blacksmiths Association is an affiliate of ABANA. We represent blacksmiths, bladesmiths, and farriers in West Virginia and its surrounding states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, Virginia, and Kentucky. 

We publish a quarterly newsletter which keeps our membership up to date on events. The newsletter also features many metalworking tips.  

To join the ABA, click on 
Membership Form

Appalachian Blacksmiths Association

2007

Nothing herein may be reproduced unless permission of the submitter and/or the Appalachian Blacksmiths Association is given.

 

Download files are in PDF format
 

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ABOUT ARTHURDALE:
Arthurdale, WV is a small community 15 miles east of Morgantown via routes 7 &  92.  During the Great Depression, Eleanor Roosevelt proposed construction of the town as an innovative solution to house poverty-stricken families who had lost their jobs.  While very controversial at the time, Arthurdale is considered a success because many of the families who lived there were able to purchase their homes after the economic recovery took hold.  Arthurdale is now in the process of restoring some of the community buildings. Arthurdale is a unique story in American social history.

the aurthurdale forge

ABA HAMMER IN, 9/15/01 AT ARTHURDALE FORGE

 

ABOUT CEDAR LAKES:
Cedar Lakes Park is operated by the State of WV (Education Department). The park is near Ripley, WV and can be accessed from I-77 at Exit 138 or Exit 132 (Fairplain). Look for signs to Cedar Lakes Road. When you enter the park, the registration building is on the right, opposite the old covered bridge. You may call 304.372.7865 or E-mail info@cedarlakes.com  for lodging (both dorm. and private rooms available) and other information. Cedar Lakes hosts the Mountain State Arts and Crafts Festival during the July 4th week each year. The blacksmith shop is a first-class teaching facility. It has eight forging stations, power hammer, demonstrator station and classroom. Cedar Lakes offers blacksmith and bladesmith classes throughout the year.

covered bridge at cedar lakes park

The ABA hosted the 1982 ABANA Conference at Cedar Lakes Park.

 

ABOUT FORT NEW SALEM AND PRICKETT'S FORT:
These Forts, located in north-central WV, are restorations of early colonial settlements. Fort New Salem is operated by Fort New Salem Foundation, Inc. (Salem, WV), and Prickett's Fort is operated as a WV State Park. (Fairmont, WV)

Both facilities utilize log structures from the original western Allegheny settlements that bore their names. The ABA has held hammer-ins at each of the Forts to refurbish the hardware, cooking equipment, and cutlery/utensils that are in day-to-day use. Public tours are available and each facility hosts a number of planned events through the year.  Interpreters are onsite to relate the lifestyles of frontier people during the post-Revolutionary War era.

fort new salem

Prickett's Fortprickett's fort

 

ABOUT JACKSON'S MILL:
Jackson's Mill State 4-H Conference Center is operated by West Virginia University's Extension Service.  The restored gristmill and historical district represent a view of life when Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson lived here as a boy. The park is easily accessed from I-79 at Weston (Exit 99) or Jane Lew (Exit 106). Follow signs to US 19 and follow the park signs from there. The ABA holds it's annual business meeting here as well as hammer-in's.  For information, call 1-800-287-8206.  The Stonewall Jackson Arts & Craft Jubilee is held here during Labor Day weekend.

gristmill

Blaker gristmill at Jackson's Mill park

 

ABOUT POINT PLEASANT:
Today, historic Fort Randolph commemorates one of the early battles of the American Revolution.  Located at the junction of the Kanawha and Ohio Rivers, Fort Randolph was on the Appalachian frontier when it was built in 1776.  The Shawnee Chief, Cornstalk, and Col. Andrew Lewis of the Virginia Militia, each commanding a force of over 1,000 men, fought a bloody battle on this site in October, 1774.  Though not generally well known, the battle played a very important role in the outcome between the French and English for control of the central part of the country.  

blacksmith at fort randolph

 

ABOUT RICE'S LANDING:
W. A. Young and Sons Foundry & Machine Shop began business here in 1900 to service steamboats plying the Monongahela River. Many of the shop's original mould patterns are on display and nearly all the original machine tools are intact. Even the Ford Model T engine that runs the belt drive system is in perfect shape. The foundry is being preserved and has been catalogued by the Smithsonian. Each year, the ABA and Pittsburgh Area A-B chapter join together for a fundraising hammer-in and auction. Rice's Landing is a short drive from Waynesburg, PA via Route 188 through the town of Dry Tavern.

bob elliott

 

Camforge, Inc. Plant Tour:
The ABA was fortunate to be able to tour the Camforge plant at Cameron, WV in March 2004.  The company forges crane hooks and heat-treats steel products.  Click here to see photos of our tour.

 

 

ABOUT TAMARACK:
Tamarack is a new arts and craft center located at Beckley, WV at the junction of I-64 and I-77. Several ABA members are juried in at Tamarack and also perform public demonstrations. You'll want to stop, visit, and shop for some of the finest handmade goods available anywhere. Click here to see Tamarack

blacksmith in tamarack's metal studio

 

ABOUT WHEELING AND WEIRTON:
Wheeling, WV, located on I-70 is home to country music and the Capitol City Music Hall.  The Wheeling Suspension Bridge is here, one of the very first cable suspension bridges and a forerunner of the Brooklyn Bridge. But if you're a blacksmith, contact  Warwood Tool Company and LaBelle Nail Works about group tours.

Weirton, just north of Wheeling, is home to Weirton Steel. The ABA did their first group tour of the plant's blacksmith shop in 1992 and, since then, other blacksmith groups have toured the plant and shop. Watch a 300# power hammer in action or feel the heat of the blast furnace.

(The mentioned plant tours are not open to the public. All plant tours by special arrangement of the companies only.)

wheeling suspension bridge

Wheeling Suspension Bridge  Photo by Alan Behr for National Park Service

 

You might also enjoy browsing here: WV Online.

For Tourism information, Fair & Festival information, and all sorts of travel information, dial this one handy toll-free number:  1-800-CALLWVA      www.callwva.com

West Virginia Maps at Tourism office

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