Forging Louisa’s past

Keith Hicks, a member of the Central Virginia Blacksmith Guild, forges a hinge that will be used for doors and windows in the Michie House.

Keith Hicks, a member of the Central Virginia Blacksmith Guild, forges a hinge that will be used for doors and windows in the Michie House.

Iron was heated and latches were forged in a productive and instructive demonstration given by the Central Virginia Blacksmith Guild at the Michie House on Saturday, Aug. 10.

Members of the guild came in support of the restoration process that the home is currently undergoing. The Michie House is an 18th century home that was salvaged from the property of Virginia Vermiculite on Louisa Road. The building was disassembled, transported to land behind the Sergeant Museum, and is now in the process of being rebuilt.

More than 50 people attended the event that featured various members of the guild using techniques correlating to the era of the Michie House’s construction. Visitors got an up-close look at how the tools to create hinges, latches and other iron materials would have been created in the mid-to-late-1700’s.

“This is absolutely marvelous,” Jim Marstall, a member of the Louisa Historical Society, said about the day’s events.  “The turnout has been to everybody’s benefit.”

Marstall said that he was especially pleased with the amount of learning being done at the event.  Mentors were on hand to provide tips and information for anyone interested in the skills being displayed.

Members of the guild and historical society formed the concept of a day of demonstration in June. Both Jerry Veneziano, president of the guild, and Elaine Taylor, director of the Sergeant Museum, said they were pleased with the mixture of community involvement and education that the event gave visitors.

“What really hits me more than anything else is that this is a community event, it’s a community project,” Veneziano said. “Everybody coming out to help with this, that’s very cool.”

“I think it went spectacular. I was thrilled,” Taylor said.  “We were thinking maybe 20 to 25 people would show up. I think it’s the day, the topic, and the new place that drew people. I’m pleased a lot of people have come by to see it.”

To read the entire story, see the Aug. 22 edition of The Central Virginian.

By tcvnews
Posted on Friday, August 23, 2013 at 10:36 am