More changes have come to the museum this Summer. With the building of the “new” blacksmith shop, we have decided to turn the old blacksmithy into a wood working shop.
We built a dividing wall in the 30×20 (former) Hotz building, creating a larger front room for the 19th century tools, and a smaller back room for the more modern equipment that is used when more speed and ease is needed in construction
We will name the new shop “E. Palmer. Woodworking. Casket Making.”
Ebenezer Palmer was a close friend of the Great Abolitionist, John Brown, when Brown lived in Richfield. They used to spend late nights talking about the Underground Railroad, The Bible, and the doings of the Church they attended together. When Brown’s four children died of Diphtheria within days of one another, Palmer built the four caskets in which they were buried. Palmer spent nearly his whole life in Richfield and built many of the older houses that still stand in Richfield and surrounding communities.
The woodworking shop contains many of the same tools Ebenezer would have carried in his tool box, as he walked in the early morning hours to the next house he was building. Also on display are two very rare pit saw blades that were used to saw lumber before a saw mill came to Richfield. It was amazingly tough work hand sawing or hand hewing all the lumber needed for barns, sheds and homes before steam or water powered mills were built. Ebenezer Palmer and the other men of those days, shortly after the founding of Ohio, were far tougher than the men of these more modern times.