Quick Facts

Condition: Reconstruction

Where is it Located

About the Blacksmith Shop

The Blacksmith Shop was essential to the running of the plantation and vital to Washington’s business endeavors. Records indicate that as early as 1755 a blacksmith shop was located along the north lane, about 200 feet from the Mansion. Most of the smiths who worked for Washington were enslaved, except for a Dutch (or German) immigrant named Dominicus Gubner.

Many of the tasks performed here were relatively mundane: making nails and hooks, mending well-worn pots and pans, and crafting various farm tools. Washington also challenged blacksmiths to create a plow he had designed and to make intricate parts for pistols and rifles. In his rare spare time, the blacksmith did small jobs for Washington’s neighbors in order to increase the estate’s income. 

This reconstruction of the Blacksmith Shop, completed in 2009, is on the site of the original building. An excavation by Mount Vernon’s archaeologists, along with period paintings and other primary sources, provided valuable clues about the structure’s design. Letters, account ledgers, and other written sources detail the tools Washington purchased to outfit the shop and the types of repair work done there.

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