Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Herbert Hoover History
On the way back from my visit to Iowa, I stopped by West Branch to visit the Herbert Hoover National Historic Site. I toured Hoover's birthplace and a reconstruction of his father's blacksmith shop.
Hoover was born in a small cottage roughly the size of a one-car garage with a small shed and a little porch attached in back. The "shed" portion housed some pantry shelves and a small cook-stove. The cottage proper was divided into a parlor and a bedroom.
The parlor was cozy but primitive -- no flat screen television or recliner.
I walked down the street to where "Bert" Hoover's father Jesse had his blacksmith shop.
A historical-recreation actor (who is also a competent general blacksmith trained at the Amana Colonies school) answered my questions about smithing in the late 1800s. He is shown pulling on a lever to work the six-foot-long bellows. His forge burns coal.
I highly recommend visiting the site.