Days of Yore
.
as recounted by

Bill Day

 



Blacksmiths in Our Past
Most early villagers in Haddonfield had a business or a trade.

There were several blacksmiths in town in those days. They did much more than shoe horses. They were manufacturers of hardware such as nails, hinges, bolts, frying pans, kettles, farming tools, cowbells and traps.

In 1968, John Haddon entered into an agreement with John Breach, a London blacksmith, to come to America to care for his property and establish a blacksmith shop. This was the first of its kind in the area and its probable location was Tanner Street and Euclid Avenue. Later, Thomas Perry Webb in 1733 had a blacksmith shop in conjunction with his Inn at the corner of Ellis Street and Main Street.

At the rear of the tavern of Edward Gibbs at Mechanic Street and Main Street was a smithy who shod horses for guests staying overnight at the Inn in 1777.

In 1835, Samuel Thackara had a shop on the corner of Grove Street and Main Street which later was owned by Joseph Bates in 1846, who eventually sold the location to the Methodists for a new church building when their church in the graveyard burned down.

Mr. Bates had a successful carriage building business in 1859 at the point of Haddon Avenue and Mechanic Street, employing 14 men.

The last owner was George Tule who took over the shop in 1880.

At the time there was a smithy at the point of Ellis Street and Potter Street and the last owner there was Samuel K. Matlack.

The last blacksmith shop in town was called Elmer¹s which was on the lane directly opposite the Borough Hall on Kings Highway. This little dead end lane is still there and is known as Colonial Lane.

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