The 22nd annual event exploring the blacksmithing history of Henry Jackson and his family was held Saturday, June 10, 2017, at Jackson Blacksmith Shop in Goochland, Va.
Henry Jackson, a former slave, apprenticed for a blacksmith for 10 years after the Civil War in 1865. By 1880, he had purchased 35 acres of land and built a home for his family — as well as his own blacksmithing shop.
The event took place at the location of the third and final Jackson family blacksmithing shop, built in 1932. The Jackson family still owns the now 70-acre property, which also features an exhibition hall containing equipment and tools from the 1800s and onward. The tools include a 130-year-old anvil and a hammer invented by Jackson.
“We have three generations of farriers and blacksmiths in our family,” Brenda Jackson Franisco told the Richmond Free Press. Franisco works to maintain the historical and cultural significance of the property and her family’s history.
Ken Wright, president of the Buffalo Riders of Hampton Roads, an African-American equestrian team established in 1997, was the main speaker at the celebration. Additionally, the Buffalo Riders offered horseback rides to attendees.
During the event, visitors watched blacksmithing demonstrations and toured the shop. There was also food and other activities for children and their families.