Restored Wagon Shop Scorched pre-Civil War Blacksmith Shop moves to the Village
Rose Weiss has over 20 blacksmithing students
Friday, February 6, 2015
A Special Treasure from Gow’s Little Acre
On a bitterly cold night in February 1972 volunteer firefighters from Station 2 responded to a blaze at Gow’s Little Acre, a well-known antiques store and gift shop on the northwest corner of Square Lake Road and Livernois. The old farm house was fully engulfed in flames– a total loss. The barns were also scorched. Mr. Gow was not interested in rebuilding his 25-year old business; he knew developers would like to buy his desirable corner property.
However, members of the Troy Historical Society and the Historical Commission were interested in the rather inconspicuous little barn that Gow had used for storage. Research indicated that this was a pre-Civil War blacksmith shop. In 1977 Alex Gow retired, sold the property to a developer, and donated the dilapidated board and baton building to the Troy Historical Society. They raised the money to move it to the Village and restore it. Volunteers built a brick forge and installed a set of bellows that date to the 1700s.
Today the Wagon Shop is busier than ever. Volunteer blacksmiths and woodworkers restore antique farm equipment and demonstrate basic techniques for the public. Artistic blacksmith Rose Weiss teaches blacksmithing through the Village’s Artisan Arts program. So, if you’ve always wondered what it feels like to shape metal, check out the class schedule on the Village website.
To commemorate the City of Troy’s 60th Anniversary in 2015, we will publish a different story each day that highlights a person, discovery, or event that occurred locally, regionally, nationally, or even globally between 1955 and 2015 and that helped shape our lives and our community. We will try to post stories on important anniversary dates, but we also realize that dates are less critical than content and context. We will include the facts related to controversial stories, allowing our readers to form their own opinions. We invite you to read and comment on the stories. Your suggestions for topics are also welcome and can be posted on our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/TroyHistoricVillage. You can also email stories or ideas to the 365 Story Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org