Last Blacksmith Standing
No puzzles or math skills required for this cache! The Old Galena Blacksmith Shop is your destination.
Constructed in 1897, the Blacksmith Shop is a must see as the only remaining shop of its type in operation in Galena. When horse and buggy was the primary mode of transportation, there were 20 to 40 individuals claiming their occupation as “blacksmith” in Galena. For instance, in the 1858-59 city directory, at the time when Galena had a population of around 14,000, there are approximately 35 blacksmiths listed.
The City of Galena purchased the shop in 2002 when it became necessary to realign the street. The shop was moved only 100 feet to its current location. The Galena/Jo Daviess County Historical Society was then awarded a Public Museum Capital Grant through the Illinois State Museum for the restoration of the structure. The forges had to be rebuilt, but the entire shop area was kept exactly as it was after 80 years of use. The shop’s last owner, Willard Richardson, was a blacksmith, farrier and wheelwright. He bought the shop in 1929 and continued to work as a blacksmith until his death in 1979, a span of almost 50 years. All of his original tools are still on display in the shop. While the shop is a museum, the forges are totally operable and blacksmiths are periodically on duty. You may contact the Galena History Museum at 815-777-9129 or visit its website at www.galenahistorymuseum.org for more information about the shop.
Oh yes, I almost forgot the cache. The cache is a small homemade container containing a log. As always, please return the cache to its exact location after discovery. Take your time to place it correctly so the next cacher can enjoy the hunt. Also, please do not give clues in your log. The Blacksmith Shop volunteers know of the cache's existence. Enjoy!