Green Family Forge

 

The Green 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.




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

Daniel Johnson, Blacksmith Apprentice (Summer 2003)

   In 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.

For more information on the Green Family Forge please visit the following Communities Memories exhibit or the Heritage foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador.

The forge is open from mid-May to mid-October from 9:30 am - 5:00 pm daily. The price of admission, $20.00 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 historic sites.