Green Family Forge
Family practiced as blacksmiths in Trinity since before
1750. The death of John Green is recorded in the Church
records for 1764.
The present smithy was built between 1895 and 1900 and was
last in use in 1955. This building is unusual for that era
as it is 30 feet wide, 50 feet deep and 25 feet high with a
second storey only along the front of the structure.
A shallow well at the back wall supplied the water needed
for cooling forged items made of iron. The supply was always
clear and cool and was a favourite place for people who came
to Trinity by boat or by horse and sleigh to be sure of
getting a cool drink or to get water to boil their kettle.
(Left to Right)
Blacksmith Apprentice Daniel Johnson & Blacksmith Wade Ivany
Work was performed by hand by up to four blacksmiths working
at the same time using the two forges. The forges were coal
fired. The bellows were pumped by hand. The tools were hand
driven. Many of them were hand made for specific purposes or
jobs. Electricity did not come until 1955, so all work was
done with the light of the fire and one kerosene lamp.
The forge was a wonderful social centre. People seemed drawn
to the fire the way others were by hot stoves and just about
anything was discussed.
Many people think of the blacksmith as being most useful in
an agricultural society, both as a farrier and as a repairer
of agricultural equipment, but the chief work here was with
the boats and schooners. The arrival of the schooners
getting ready for the Labrador fishery was a time of great
interest and importance.
50,000 Visitor to Green Family Forge
Johnson, Blacksmith Apprentice (Summer 2003)
1991 the forge was restored and opened as a museum and has
received three awards for its restoration work. On June 3,
1991, the Forge was registered as a Heritage Structure by
the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador and in
1998 the Society was awarded the Southcott Award for the
restoration of the Forge by the Newfoundland Historic Trust.
In 2004 the Society received the prestigious Manning Award
from the Historic Sites Association of Newfoundland and
Labrador for its restoration of the forge.
1999 marked the year that the forge became fully operational
again, this was the first time in over forty years that a
fire had been lit in the forge. A blacksmith was hired and
demonstrations in the manufacturing of items were conducted.
The forge has become one of the must see historic sites in
the town and has begun production of a variety of items for
sale such as fireplace pokers, letter openers,
roasting forks, candle holders, coat hooks, sign brackets,
hinges and planters. To view some of the items that are
handcrafted at the forge by the blacksmith and the
apprentice please click on the
shop online link.
information on the Green Family Forge please visit the
Communities Memories exhibit.
The forge is open
from mid-May to mid-October from
9:30 am - 5:00 pm daily. The
price of admission, $15.00
per person, children 6 years and
younger are admitted free of charge, includes entry to seven
historic sites in the town -Visitors Centre, Lester-Garland
House, Lester-Garland Premises (Ryan’s Shop), Cooperage,
Green Family Forge, Hiscock House and the Trinity Museum -
and may be purchased at the Visitor Centre. Visitors to
Trinity are encouraged to purchase their admission pass at
the Visitor Centre but may purchase it at any of the seven