RICE LANDING – For 26 years, the Pittsburgh Area Artist Blacksmith Association and the Appalachian Blacksmiths Association of West Virginia have up fired up the forges of the historic W.A. Young & Sons Machine Shop and Foundry on Water Street in Rices Landing for a day of blacksmithing. Like the first daffodils of April, the sound of hammers on hot steel is proof spring has finally come to Greene County.
If you love old machinery, the smell of smoke and the thrill of seeing metal transformed into objects of form and function, Saturday’s Hammer In is the place to be.
The event opens at 9 a.m., while lunch will be served at noon. At 1 p.m., there is an auction of donated work made by the membership, along with tools, books and clothing of the blacksmith trade.
The Hammer In has a loyal following who enjoy this yearly trek to the old machine shop and foundry that opened its doors in 1900. PAABA and ABA members spent several years readying the foundry for tours before holding the first Hammer In in 1988. The event was a hit and a generation of kids who came with their parents to watch blacksmiths at work are now back with their own kids.
The items the Young brothers left behind when they closed up shop in 1965 created a time capsule waiting to be rediscovered. On Saturday, visitors will walk among the machines and watch as history buff Bly Blystone fires up the old engine and dozens of belts dangling in air begin to move. This is what once turned the shafts of every lathe, grinder and cutter on the floor. All that is missing is the workers who would have been busy at every station when this was the busiest machine shop in town.
There will be demonstrations by blacksmiths Wayne Kelley, Terry Viviani, Dick Fisher, Ed Appleby and Tim Schiffbauer and tours of the foundry throughout the day. Proceeds from the auction benefit the foundry and lunch is provided by Rices Landing Volunteeer Fire Department. For more information, call Blystone at 724-710-4898 or visit the W.A. Young and Sons Foundry and Machine Shop on Facebook.