Foard Blacksmith Shop
The Foard Blacksmith Shop was a working smithy from 1882-1982, set up by Edison Foard. The building was originally on Old Level Road, near Level Volunteer Fire Company. The rural crossroads is an important factor in American town planning. Such was the case with Hopewell Crossroads (now called Level) and the blacksmith run by William Foard and his father. The Foard’s operated the building for almost 100 years.
Prior to 1960, the shop’s backroom had been used as a polling location, where members of the community voted during elections. This specific poll booth was used by Mrs. Anna May Bradfield to vote in the 1920 Presidential election, the first presidential election in which women could vote, making Mrs. Bradfield the first woman to vote in a presidential election in Level, MD. By the time Mr. Foard retired in 1981, he was still shoeing horses and repairing “broken things” people brought in. In 1983, the Foard family donated the shop to Steppingstone Museum where it was shipped in order to preserve the building and utilize it as a working blacksmith demonstration area.
The 1983 move of the Foard Blacksmith Shop
Archived photos of the move
Unfortunately, on March 20th, 2017 the building sustained damage when one of the forge chimneys collapsed. The museum was unable to open this popular exhibit until the chimney and roof had been repaired.
With the help of donations and a grant from Preservation Maryland, Steppingstone was able to fully restore the chimney, with restoration completed in 2018.