Blacksmith Shops

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At one time, Spartansburg hosted 4 blacksmith shops in the village.  Luther and George Day, Charles Thompson, John McDannel, Charles Kinney and OD Snapp were some of the early smiths who cared for the blacksmith needs from 1871-1910.  Their shops were located throughout the town.

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This photo is from an early blacksmith shop-possibly about 1870. The words above the door are advertisements for Ayer’s Sarsaparilla, Ayer’s Cherry Pectoral, Ayer’s Hair Vigor and Ayer’s Pills. Those were popular in the 1860s-1890s. The bearded man in the photo may be Chauncey Lyman Coates. (Thanks to the family of Mr. Coates for this identification)

Information about Ayer’s Products

By the early 1900’s the role of the blacksmith was changing due to the entrance of horseless carriages.  However, rural, farming areas still relied on wagons and horses to transport their families and crops.  One of the last known blacksmiths in Spartansburg was Frank Herbst.  He had a shop on Mechanic Street, 2 buildings up from the Methodist Church.

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Frank Herbst outside his blacksmith shop. The large horseshoe over the door bears his name. The building may have been a creamery before Mr. Herbst located here.
On the right is Frank Herbst.  The man behind the newspaper is Mr. Bennett.  The other is unknown
On the right is Frank Herbst. The man behind the newspaper is Mr. Bennett. The other is unknown

Herbst sold his business in 1926 to Orvie (OK) Rhodes.  This article discusses the differences that the modern world brought to the trade.

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