News: Spencer History – Blacksmith Shops


Surnames: Wendell, Welsch, Lamp, Ayer, Facklam

Source: Spencer Centennial Book (1874 – 1974)

"Under the spreading chestnut tree the village smithy stands, the smith, a mighty man is he with large and sinewy hands; and the muscles of his brawny arms are strong as iron bands." So go the words from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's "The Village Blacksmith" and so it was with early blacksmiths in Spencer. Horseshoeing was a very important business in the early days and the shops were kept busy during the logging times as horses' hooves were tender and shoes made it easier traveling over the rough terrain.

One early blacksmith in Spencer was Adolph (Ed) Wendell who advertised horseshoeing and repair, "All kinds of forging on short notice - Horse and Oxen shoeing and Mill repairing." Following him was G. W. Wendell.

Newton Welsch owned a shop which burned in the big fire of 1886. John Lamp and Jonas Ayer were also blacksmiths.

An early family name still existing in the village was the "Facklam Blacksmith Shop" bought by Herman Facklam in 1906-07, a two story frame building with living quarters above it where Herman brought his bride to live in 1909. It was located on the corner of Clark and Pearl Street, very near the street. Herman died in November 1937 and the shop was closed. His son, Walter, resigned his job in Detroit, and in March 1938 returned to Spencer to reopen the blacksmith business left by his father. Later, in 1944, he built a new shop new shop at the rear of the old one, which was then torn down. Walter's specialty was welding and his business was called a welding shop. However, we think, in the case of life or death, Walter could still shoe a horse.



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