The smelting of iron ore and the craft of blacksmithing have been enormously important to human cultures worldwide for more than 3,000 years. Blacksmiths were so essential to ancient peoples that blacksmith gods appear in Greek, Roman, and numerous other mythologies from Africa to Ireland. For thousands of years until the Industrial Revolution, blacksmiths made the tools people farmed with, the implements people cooked with, the nails people built with, and the weapons that provided meat. Until the 19th century, most towns in Europe and America had a blacksmith.
On Sunday, March 18 at 2 p.m. at Boothbay Railway Village, Jim Kearney will explore the history and the lore of this ancient craft in his talk called “The Art and Mystery of Blacksmithing.” Kearney is Boothbay Railway Village’s resident blacksmith, and he delights visitors with his wonderful stories and an extensive knowledge gained in more than 30 years of blacksmithing. Kearney has worked and studied blacksmithing in Ireland, focusing on general, rural blacksmithing, and in Germany, where blacksmithing is regarded as high art.
The event is free, but a $5 donation is appreciated. The talk will take place inside the Spruce Point Chapel at Boothbay Railway Village, 586 Wiscasset Road, Boothbay. For more information, go to railwayvillage.org.