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Early Antelope Valley Blacksmiths

A blacksmith is a metalsmith who creates objects by forging metal using tools to hammer, bend, and cut the material into form. Common jobs for blacksmiths in the 19th and 20th centuries included shoeing horses and manufacturing and fixing household and agricultural tools.

Due to the nature of daily existence, a blacksmith was a necessary part of any developing pioneer town. Lancaster was no exception to this, hosting several blacksmiths throughout the years.

Frank Dowler came to the Antelope Valley in 1890, working first as the local blacksmith, with a second job as a deputy sheriff. In 1892, he was awarded the position of constable and left his job of blacksmithing.

Lancaster's most well-known blacksmith was George Black, often called "Black the Blacksmith" by local residents, operating his shop in the early-mid 20th century. His smith shop was a large barn-like structure, located on Beech Avenue and Eleventh Street (present-day Milling Street).

"Gurba, Norma H. Lancaster. Arcadia, 2005.

Photo courtesy of MOAH Collections"


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