VILLAGE & COUNTRY BLACKSMITHS
by Martin Aarbo
Blacksmiths and homesteaders went hand in hand in the early settlement of our district.
Good blacksmithing was an art that made it possible to temper plow shares to the right hardness so when the plow hit a rock, it would not bend or break.
After pounding out and pointing the shares to the right shape, they would heat the plow shares in the forge to a rosy red and quickly dip them in a tub of water to get the right hardness.
The ring of the village blacksmith's hammer on the anvil attracted many young children to watch him shape iron, sharpen plow shares, shoe horses and shrink iron wagon rims on wheels which would get loose in the dry weather.
Some of the homesteaders that settled in our district were by trade blacksmiths, who brought their tools with them and rendered a valuable' service to the one's who were not.
They did work from a shop on their homestead. A few were C. Amsden N.E.-32-56-6, Jess Lambright, S.E.-36-56-7, and Pete Morin, N.W.-34-56-8.
When the village of Elk Point was formed, the first blacksmith was Joe Blame, followed by Bob Wardrobe who carried on business for a number of years.
In the late twenties, William Soldan had a shop where the United Church now stands. Nick Sakowski worked for Mr. Soldan until the railroad came to Elk Point and the new townsite was surveyed; then Mr. Soldan started a garage on the corner where the Co-op Store is now situated, and Mr. Sakowski took over the blacksmith shop.
Some of the later blacksmiths were George Winters Davis and son George, Paul Petroski, John Carson and Harry Prusak, still our town blacksmith.
John Borutski and Pete Boyda also had up to date black-smith shops on their farms in the King George area.
A good blacksmith was a genius in his own right. He would be called upon to fix all kinds of things; even if it was impossible, he would always give it a try.
Soldan's Garage and Blacksmzth Shop later destroyed
by fire about 1931. On left, MacDonald's Drugstore