The exhibit, located on the South side of the Menendez Settlement field, offers guests a glimpse into St. Augustine’s past through accurate historical interpretation. According to John W. Fraser, Managing Director of the Fountain of Youth, “we are excited to bring another interesting facet of St. Augustine’s past to the Park, one where our guests can actually witness history being made, right on the actual site where history WAS made in 1565.”
The open-floorplan exhibit is fascinating in its layout and construction. The bellows are an oversized, horizontal double lung design which feeds a custom-made forge. This forced-air setup can generate blacksmithing temperatures in excess of 2,500 degrees. All the major components were made in the U.S.A. The blacksmith shop will produce Spanish Colonial style iron goods present in the area during the First Spanish Period (1565-1763) of Florida’s history.
Greg Sikes, Park blacksmith, says, “St. Augustine’s colonial blacksmiths were primarily repairmen. New goods arrived primarily from Europe, and when the implements broke, the blacksmith stepped in!”.