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"The Old Mill & Blacksmith Shop in Bakersville, CT" ...

"The Old Mill & Blacksmith Shop in Bakersville, CT"

Join historian, preservationist and photographer William Hosley on an adventure of discovery as we revisit the Old Mill and Blacksmith Shop in Bakersville, two of Connecticut's most renowned historic landmarks. The story of the site begins in 1812 with Scott Baker’s first tannery building. Powered by water from a man-made reservoir on the hillside above, the tannery evolved into an agrarian age industrial complex that met many of the manufacturing and mechanical needs of the community. The buildings served many purposes over many years and became famous after World War II as George Warren Jones continued to operate the historic blacksmith shop – one of the last of its kind in operation in New England . In 1859, Scott Baker’s tannery was replaced by a large three-story mill building erected by his son John Scott Baker. Most memorably, George Jones developed the upper floor of the Old Mill into a Dance Hall – which for a generation was the social center of the town – featuring plays, visiting itinerant entertainers, political rallies, Christmas parties and more. This documentary includes interviews and recollections by family members, including Allyn Sedgwick who worked along side his grandfather in the blacksmith shop during the late 1930s and early 40s.

This is a short version trailer for a feature length program that includes oral history video clips.


For bookings or additional information contact William Hosley -

wnhosley@snet.net or the New Hartford Historical Society

Hosley and his consulting firm Terra Firma Northeast produces economical multi-media programs and marketing campaigns for historic preservation and to promote and educate about historic resources

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Bakersville Old Mill & Blacksmith Shop - trailer Bakersville Old Mill & Blacksmith Shop - trailer Presentation Transcript

  • The Old Mill & Blacksmith Shop in Baker(s)ville, Connecticut By William Hosley, Terra Firma Northeast
  • A Place in time: Baker(s)ville, Connecticut
  • This 3-story steam-powered mill was built by John Scott Baker in 1859. It replaced a water-powered tannery on the same spot built by his grandfather Scott Baker about 1812. Soft drinks, condensed milk, a tailor shop, lumber mill, wheelwright, shingle factory & cobbler’s shop and a renowned dance hall operated here over the years.
  • Used only for storage since its glory days before 1930
  • Through the glass A world we have lost
  • Let’s look inside. First floor
  •  
  • The way up 2 nd floor
  • Second floor – cobwebs, vines & wheelwright parts
  • Machines and hand tools
  • Agrarian business and democracy
  • Ephemera in a drawer – A place in time
  • Jones’ Dance Hall: A flourishing social institutions ca 1885-1925
  • Men’s cloak room, stair hall, lady’s cloak room – grained & symmetrical
  • Graffiti: Allyn Sedgwick & Jane Smith, 1942
  •  
  • George Warren Jones’ Blacksmith shop. The best-documented, most intact blacksmith’s shop in America!
  • George Warren Jones became renowned, but the story neither begins or ends there
  • Documentation is abundant. Goods & services were provided to more than 100 local families. Names include Birge, Bissell, Enright, Johnson, Merrill & Marsh
  •  
  • Born in 1861, George Jones continued in his father Warren Jones’ trade until 1955. He preserved the traditions of a vanishing world.
  • This is the ox sling in 1940. It gave Jones an edge for County Fairs
  • Attached to the shop is a 19 th century outhouse.
  • The shop was part of a vigorous local and regional culture & economy.
  • Before Coca Cola and Payless Shoes there was JE Larkin’s Shoes & Hats in Winsted and Canton Springs Soda. George Jones was part of a complex local economy and society.
  • This was the shop about 1946
  • The back sills need work / Weeds & brush need cutting; some windows re-glazing – but the roof is good!
  • Tourists and children marveling at the experience of Jones’s shop about 1948. What inspired then can inspire again!
  • Save the Bakersville Blacksmith Shop Created by William Hosley for the New Hartford Historical Society wnhosley@snet.net April 2006 / June 2011 Special Thanks to Scott Goff, Allyn & Tom Sedgwick, Gordon Ross