Fundraiser for Edel Blacksmith Shop scheduled for this Saturday

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO A fundraiser held in honor of the historic Matthew Edel Blacksmith Shop will take place Saturday, Dec. 17 at the Haverhill Social Club. Cost of attendance is $15, and will include a trivia night and one free drink — the signature cocktail “The Anvil.”

HAVERHILL — The historic Matthew Edel Blacksmith Shop, located at 214 1st Street in Haverhill, operated from 1883 until Edel’s death in 1940. Today it operates as a museum through the State Historical Society of Iowa, overseen by the Historical Society of Marshall County. A fundraiser will be held to help safeguard its artifacts, on Saturday, Dec. 17, at the Haverhill Social Club, located at 202 First Street, beginning at 6:30 p.m.

“We wanted to do something locally to bring people out to Haverhill to get a sense for the community,” said Jennifer Bancescu, state historic sites manager.

Attendees will compete in a trivia contest, testing out their knowledge of Iowa, Marshalltown, Edel family and blacksmithing history, to win a behind-the-scenes tour of the State Historical Museum of Iowa. In addition, participants can also play “guess the artifact” to learn more about items found in the blacksmith shop.

“The Haverhill Social Club is a cute local bar that was willing to partner with us. The trivia will be done in four rounds, and is multiple choice, and just meant as a fun way of learning about history,” Bancescu said.

Tickets cost $15 per person, and will include playing trivia, plus one free signature cocktail called “The Anvil,” created in honor of the event.

The Edel family donated the blacksmith shop to the State Historical Society of Iowa in 1986. However, it has come to the historical society’s attention that there is still work to be done documenting the shop’s 4,486 artifacts. Also, updates need to be made to the structure to help ward off the harmful effects of sunlight and hot and cold temperatures.

A “Friends of the Edel Blacksmith” group formed to help garner public support of the fundraising efforts.

“Last year, Edel’s great-grandson Steve Schrader donated $10,000, and this year, the family will match funds up to $10,000, raised before Dec. 20, to upgrade the conservation of artifacts to modern-day standards,” Bancescu said.

Donations can be made online at iowaculture.gov/support or by mailing a check made out to the Iowa Historical Foundation, 600 E. Locust Street, Des Moines, Iowa, specifying the funds be used for the blacksmith shop.

“So far, we’ve raised about $3,000 towards our goal, and we are getting a lot more interest in the blacksmith shop, even beyond the fundraising, which has been really good,” Bancescu said.

The Matthew Edel Blacksmith Shop is open Memorial Day through Labor Day, 12-4 p.m., with free admission. Group tours are welcome by contacting the Historical Society of Marshall County at 641-752-6664.

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Contact Sara Jordan-Heintz at        641-753-6611 or sjordan@timesrepublican.com