Marcella Neely | Sep 15, 2016

Have You Ever …

Cut up a log into firewood with a hand saw?

Then split it up with an axe?

Harvested a field of grain with a scythe and pitchfork

Carried it wrapped in jute bags sewn to create a large blanket?

Chopped fodder for cattle with a hand-held curved blade

Fed and watered livestock from hand-carved wooden troughs?

Scrubbed clothes on a metal or glass washboard

Pressed them with irons heated on a wood stove top?

This was the life of early settlers. It's hard to imagine that a house could be built of logs, roofed with hand made wooden shingles, boards hand cut and hand planed. Furniture and most necessities started with a tree and were created with function foremost. The Pioneer Museum has an extensive display of various tools and equipment to help visitors relive the early days. Many of them are made of wood. One display item that constantly amazes everyone is a homemade, portable forge that was donated by the family of Cecil and Helen Snider in memory of Cecil's father, Zara James Snider. In the early 1900s Zara Snider was a blacksmith in the Glenfield-Vennachar area. When the road to Denbigh was being built in the 1930s he diligently built a forge to fit into his wagon, hitched up a team of horses and followed the road building crew. He moved with them, repairing and making metal tools, blades and brackets for their equipment as items wore out and broke down. This might possibly be the first mobile forge.

Support local
independant journalism by becoming a patron of the Frontenac News.