Blacksmith demonstration at Chapman-Hall House

Sun, 06/09/2019 - 7:15am

Jeffrey Miller, a master blacksmith and historian from Waldoboro, will demonstrate his trade at Lincoln County Historical Association’s Chapman-Hall House in Damariscotta on Sunday, June 16 from noon to 4 p.m. Miller will work at his 18th Century temporary forge, which is based on original forges of this type.  In celebration of Father’s Day, fathers touring the house museum are admitted free. There is no charge to visit the blacksmithing demonstration.

During his 40-plus years at the trade, Miller has worked as the head blacksmith at Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, Massachusetts and Fort at No. 4 in Charlestown, New Hampshire. He established his current blacksmith shop in Waldoboro in 2009. His work has been commissioned by individuals and museums across the United States and Canada.

During his demonstration, Miller will forge a number of small items and share insights into the daily work of blacksmiths as recorded in their account books and day books. According to Miller, the blacksmith’s work pattern changed according to the season, and he will show samples of items that the smith might make for his customers.

Blacksmiths were sought after by residents of a new settlement. Some blacksmiths specialized as white-smiths, wheel-wrights, armorers, and farriers.  A blacksmith who could make plows and axes, as well as oven peels and andirons, cooking forks and knives, and repair firearms was an important tradesman in any Colonial community. Tilden Hall, who purchased the Chapman house in 1835, was a blacksmith.

Nathaniel Chapman and his family came to Damariscotta from Ipswich, Massachusetts to practice his trade of house-wright in the growing Midcoast settlements. His home, dated to 1754, is the oldest house still standing in Damariscotta.  

During the week of June 24-28, Lincoln Country Historical Association’s children’s program Summer with the Past — Discovering 18th and 19th Century Art, Crafts, & History, will be held at the house.  A second session will be held at the 1811 Old Jail in Wiscasset, Aug. 5-9. Details and registration forms can be found at www.lincolncountyhistory.org.

Chapman-Hall House is at the head of Main Street, 270 Main St., Damariscotta.  

The house is open to visitors every Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. and will close for the season after Pumpkinfest. Admission is $5 per person; free for children under age 16.

For more information about LCHA, visit www.lincolncountyhistory.org