Historic highlight: Visit a blacksmith shop in Haverhill

Matthew Edel built a blacksmith shop in Haverhill in the 1880s. Photo: State Historical Society of Iowa

If you enjoy Living History Farms, consider adding the Matthew Edel Blacksmith Shop to your list of Iowa road-trip destinations. The shop in Haverhill, southwest of Marshalltown, is like a time capsule, virtually untouched since its unusually innovative namesake died in 1940.

Edel, a German native, immigrated to the United States in the 1880s and eventually settled in Marshall County. He established a successful business as a blacksmith and filed numerous patents for various tools and farm equipment. Later, with his son Louis, he adapted the business as a garage, to repair the tractors and cars that gradually replaced the old horse-drawn plows and buggies in early 20th century.

Due to its remarkably preserved condition, the shop was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983 and became a state-owned historic site in 1986 when Edel’s descendants donated the site to the State Historical Society of Iowa. Admission is free, and group tours are available through the Historical Society of Marshall County. The regular visiting season ends on Labor Day.

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