My love of history began as a child growing up on the family farm. Our family roots run deep. My father’s family has lived in York County Maine for at least six generations. My mother’s family tree traces straight back to England and they lived on the same farm in western York County Maine for eight generations. I now live on the farm that my father and grandfather owned before me.
Growing up we had large vegetable gardens, grew our own meat and cut firewood down back on the woodlot. It seems as though my brother and I grew up with hammers in our hands. From building forts in the top of the old barn, to building fence, to helping Dad nail a new roof on the house, we had our share of smashed thumbs and broken handles. We hung our own handles sitting on a shave horse using an old draw shave and my grandfather’s combo spoke shave.
In 1979 I found the book “Edge of the Anvil” by Jack Andrews in a local bookstore. The book is an introduction to blacksmithing and the binding has long since broken down from being read over and over. From that point on I gained a greater appreciation of the tools we used every day on the farm. My tool and book collection began to grow but in the days before Google I was unable to locate a blacksmith to train with.
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