Friends, family and former co-workers of the late Robert McCarthy gathered on Saturday afternoon at the site of his Blacksmith shop on Janes Avenue to remember the beloved farrier and to view the unveiling of the anvil monument dedicated to his memory.
McCarthy’s son, John, spoke from the heart.
“My dad would have been very humbled by today,” he said when he looked out at a crowd of over 50 people in attendance in honor of his father.
John McCarthy was very appreciative to all the people involved in making this monument and making this day happen. He thanked and recognized Myron McLane for having a vision, and seeing it through, as McLane was in possession of the anvil and wanted to find a way to remember his good friend and mentor, Robert McCarthy.
The monument, which was unveiled by Bob Kennedy and Jimmy Callahan of the highway department, were thanked for being “true craftsmen.”
Kennedy and Callahan played key roles in getting the memorial constructed. Kennedy coordinated the physical efforts and Callahan was credited for his work with the granite and the cobblestone. Only a few feet next to the monument is a sign detailing the blacksmith shop’s timeline and ownership of the property on the site.
Frank Iafolla designed and constructed the sign. John McCarthy was thrilled with the final product.
“Frank, this sign is beautiful and to all the craftsmen, a very special thanks,” he said.
When Iafolla was asked why he chose the color of the sign and the color of the lettering, he recalled hanging out at the shop when he was just a little boy. He remembered the wall where the horseshoes were hung and said “black with silver just seemed right.”
John McCarthy recalled his own memories of his father's shop.
“The men who labored and learned from my father came to learn about the trade, but learned about life,” he said.
John McCarthy reflected and said that his father was a “quiet man with a giving heart.”
McLane, a well respected farrier in his own right, was the man with the idea of honoring Robert McCarthy. He met McCarthy in April of 1967 when he was hired to work for him. He said he was honored to have had the opportunity to apprentice for Bob and learn the farrier trade from him.
“Bob taught me a lot more about life than he did about shoeing horses,” McLane said.
Robert McCarthy passed away last February and on the day of his funeral, McLane had the idea that he wanted to do something to show his appreciation and respect. McCarthy's anvil was in his possession and he wanted to find a way to do something with it.
He thanked the Medfield selectmen, the Historical Society and all the people and public offices in Medfield that helped make his idea become a reality.
“The town has such nice people," McLane said. "They pointed me in the right direction. Mike Sullivan, the selectmen and the Historical Society were all cordial. It was not a hassle at all.”
After the monument was unveiled and the speeches were done, McLane asked those who had worked with Robert McCarthy to use the farrier's hammer and tap the anvil one time. Each man tapped the anvil and the anvil didn’t have a ring.
“Bob would be pleased by that," McLane said. "He hated the ring of the anvil.”
Bill Kelly, owner of Lord’s Department Store, attended the ceremony and reminisced when he was about 13 years old, his grandfather owned the shop and he used to let him bang on the anvil to try and make a horseshoe. Kelly’s grandfather sold the shop to Jack
McCarthy, Robert’s father in 1920.
John McCarthy spoke with sincerity to all who gathered at Saturday's ceremony.
“It will always be a special place for us,” he said.