There were forty-eight blacksmiths in Nauvoo. This shop was reconstructed on its original foundation.
Oh look, Elder Knudsen is going to work.
Outside there is a wagon like the ones they constructed.
Up close you can read the sign:
First, you go into the wainwright shop. They show you a loaded wagon.
Then they show you how they built the wheels.
When they got it all together, the blacksmith put an iron rim on to hold it all together and then they soaked it in linseed oil and turpentine, turning slowly for two hours. That was usually the young boys' job.
They also make a tiny little baby horseshoe while they're talking.
First they get a piece of iron rod really really hot - RED hot. ( I might add here that the day we took these pictures it was 101 - 102 degrees outside with a heat index of 117. He just happens to be standing by an 800 degree forge. As you can see from his shirt, he was working very hard. )
When he's all finished, he gives the horseshoe to someone in the tour.
The quarter helps you see how tiny it is. Isn't it cute?
He also tells a story of a young man who wanted to marry his sweetheart but her father didn't think he had enough money to take care of her so he told the boy he couldn't marry her until he could give her a diamond ring. The boy was quite creative and took a horseshoe nail to the blacksmith and had him bend it into a ring. The horseshoe was made by the Diamond Horseshoe Company. He got the girl and everyone who comes to the blacksmith shop gets a Prairie Diamond Ring.
From the blacksmith's window, the wagons could be seen lined up for two miles on Parley Street, waiting for their turn to cross the Mississippi River that cold February 1846. What amazing people.