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See California Blacksmiths

Published on: April 13, 2019

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Though blacksmithing may seem a lost art, it’s probably not that hard to see blacksmiths and blacksmith shops in California. When Kenn Kimberling (pictured) of Kenn and the Kimberland Traveling Forge caught the eye of SeeCalifornia contributer Chris MacDonald in Sunset Beach, the writer said he came to a screeching halt.

“While traveling down South Pacific Avenue–I couldn’t believe my eyes. There was a blacksmith with his 19th Century Traveling Forge in front of a house. He was attracting a crowd. Bicyclists stopped in awe; walkers came over to ask questions; everyone going by had big smiles on their faces. It was something out of the Old West movies that you don’t see unless you visit Knott’s Berry Farm.” Read about MacDonald’s unique encounter with a California blacksmith at a sandy beach.

California Blacksmith Shops

When Mexico was under Spanish rule, iron was manufactured in Spain and sent to Mexico where it was worked into tools and implements for California and the rest of New Spain. Tools were shipped to California for use in the Missions and Presidios. A blacksmith in California was most often involved in the maintenance and repair of tools rather than forging entirely new objects.

  • BIG BEAR CITY: Big Bear Valley Historical Society
  • BIG SUR: Point Sur State Historic Park
  • BUENA PARK: Knott’s Berry Farm Ghost Town
  • CHICO: Patrick Ranch Blacksmith Shop
  • COLOMA: Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park
  • COLUMBIA: Columbia State Historic Park
  • EUREKA: Blue Ox Mill Works Historic Park
  • FORT ROSS: Fort Ross State Historic Park
  • GRASS VALLEY: Empire Mine SHP
  • LOMPOC: La Purísima Mission
  • PLACERVILLE: Gold Bug Park
  • SAN DIEGO: Old Town San Diego State Historic Park
  • SANTA BARBARA: Casa del Herrero
  • SANTA CRUZ: Wilder Ranch State Park
  • SHASTA: Shasta State Historic Park

…see more blacksmith shops>

 

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