Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Ann's Villa Blacksmith Museum

The blacksmith workshop at Ann's Villa played a very important part on the main route into the interior back in the day and dates back to the opening of Ann's Villa in 1864.  Our guide, Talent, was telling us that when a wagon arrived after crossing the Zuurberg Pass and they needed a wheel replaced that could take 4 days for the blacksmith to make a new one and the occupants had to either stay over in the villa or camp out in the outspan.
 I was very impressed with the amount of old tools and equipment contained in the Blacksmith Museum that is now housed in the old workshop and were used by the resident blacksmiths.
In those early days the law was that every head of cattle in the area had to be marked so that you always knew which cattle belong to whom.  Each farmer had a different logo or initials that were burned into the hide of the cattle.  The blacksmith made these branding irons and the branding was also done at Ann's Villa.  A farmer who didn't have a branding iron would come to the blacksmith and instruct them what he wanted and on his next visit it would be ready.  The back door in the workshop is where all the brands were burned into for the blacksmith's reference and to show new farmers what was already in use. 


  1. Love this bit of history. I've seen a blacksmith in action and it's quite impressive.

  2. This is a great bit of journalistic story telling....love the wall of bits, horseshoes and brands. What a fantastic piece of history!