The Blacksmith Shop, although not an original building, is an accurate replica of a 1900s smithy. Visitors to Cracker Country can see a real blacksmith practicing his trade, just as it was done in the days of Florida’s pioneers.
A blacksmith is a metalworker who creates objects out of iron using tools like hammers, chisels, and anvils. A small community in rural Florida would have been home to one blacksmith, who would have been in charge of the production and repair of all metal objects for the entire community.
Iron must be heated to nearly 2000°F before it becomes malleable enough to shape. A blacksmith uses a forge to create these high temperatures. A forge is a hearth or fireplace designed to control a fire through the use of air flow. To make the fire hotter, air is pumped into the fire by a bellows or a blower, creating incredibly high temperatures. Through the process of heating and hammering, stretching, and twisting iron, blacksmiths created many objects necessary for survival in rural Florida. The blacksmith created tools for agricultural work such as nails, shovels, plow heads, and horse shoes, stirrups, and bits, as well as household items such as hinges, pokers, pot hooks, and knives – forks and spoons at this time were usually made from wood. The Smith House was built from nails, hinges, and latches produced by a blacksmith.
Above is an image of Cracker Country's Blacksmith shop. This shop resembles a working Blacksmith Shop from 1890s rural Florida.