Matthew Edel Blacksmith Shop in need of tour guide

T-R FILE PHOTO The Matthew Edel Blacksmith Shop, 214 1st. St., Haverhill is in need of a docent. It is owned by the State Historical Society of Iowa and is moderated by the Historical Society of Marshall County.

HAVERHILL — The Historical Society of Marshall County moderates six historic properties and manages one more — the Matthew Edel Blacksmith Shop, which is owned by the State Historical Society of Iowa.

Summer 2018 threw some challenges at the HSMC.

“All six of our properties were affected by the tornado in some way, so we had to give our attention to them,” HSMC Administrator Michelle Roseburrough said. “Then around that time our docent (tour guide) at the blacksmith shop, Keith Harrod, passed away unexpectedly, and we had to close the shop until further notice.”

The HSMC is in need of a guide because the shop will open for the season on Memorial Day, and is also open by appointment. Roseburrough and volunteers have been conducting the tours in the interim.

“(The site) is literally like taking a step back in time,” Roseburrough said. “Unlike other historic sites that are restored to the way they were, this site is just as Edel left it when he died in 1940.”

Matthew Edel established his shop in 1883 after coming to Iowa from Stuttgart, Germany. The Edel family donated the shop to the State Historical Society of Iowa in 1986.

Historic Sites Manager Michael Plummer said cataloging and preserving the 4,486 artifacts housed inside the blacksmith shop was completed by Erin Richardson in September 2018. She cleaned, re-labeled and thoroughly documented each artifact in the collection. Edel’s descendants, the Schrader family, have been active in fundraising efforts.

Plummer assumed duties as the Historic Sites Manager with the State Historical Society in April and is new to the care of the blacksmith shop.

The guide position is a paid, part-time (noon to 4 p.m.) position and is seasonal, through Labor Day. Applicants should have an appreciation for history. Training will be provided. Duties include: giving guided tours of the shop, providing local history information, blacksmithing demonstrations, assisting in cataloguing and caring for the collections and generally seeing to the care and security of the facility.

For more information contact the Historical Society of Marshall County at 641-752-6664 or info@marshallhistory.org. You may view the full job listing on Indeed.com. The shop is located at 214 First St. in Haverhill.


Contact Sara Jordan-Heintz at 641-753-6611

or sjordan@timesrepublican.com