Fort New Salem 8/10/2007
Places We Go
Citizens Bank of Weston
Covered Bridge at Philippi, WV
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
Appalachian Blacksmiths Association
Nothing herein may be reproduced unless permission of the submitter and/or the Appalachian Blacksmiths Association is given.
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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
HAMMER IN, 9/15/01 AT ARTHURDALE FORGE
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
email@example.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.
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
New Salem Foundation, Inc. (Salem, WV), and Prickett's Fort is operated as a WV State Park.
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.
ABOUT 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
For information, call 1-800-287-8206. The Stonewall Jackson Arts &
Craft Jubilee is held here during Labor Day weekend.
Blaker gristmill at Jackson's Mill park
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.
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.
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.
here to see photos of our tour.
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
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
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
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
Virginia Maps at Tourism office