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Blacksmith Shop

North Railway Street, Cartwright, Manitoba, R0K, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1989/10/16

View of the main elevation of the Blacksmith Shop, Cartwright, 2005; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, 2005
Main Elevation
Perspective view of the Blacksmith Shop, Cartwright, 2005; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, 2005
Perspective View
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1888/01/01 to 1888/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/10/06

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Blacksmith Shop, a weathered wood-frame structure, is set on a quiet street in the village of Cartwright. The building, a reconstruction that incorporates elements of the original shop on the site, lives on today as a fully functional blacksmith museum. The municipal designation applies to the building and its lot.

Heritage Value

The Blacksmith Shop, one of the last forges to operate in Manitoba, is a rare and representative working example of an enterprise that was vital to early farming communities in the province. The pioneer building with its substantial boomtown front but otherwise typical functional design, features the layout, workbenches and key internal structural elements of a shop built in 1888 and expanded in ca.1900. Like others of its type, the shop offered the possibility of quick, sometimes improvised repairs to the machinery and equipment used by farmers as they struggled to plant, nurture and harvest crops within the inflexible constraints of nature's deadlines. On this site, a succession of smiths made their contribution to the economy of the Cartwright region, the most notable being Calvin Hill, the last occupant.

Source: Village of Cartwright By-law No. 76-1989, October 16, 1989

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the Blacksmith Shop site include:
- the building's placement, facing south, on a quiet corner near Cartwright's main business street, moderately close to the sidewalk and sheltered by trees to the east and north

Key exterior elements that define the shop's modest settlement-era design include:
- its single-storey massing with the forward-facing gable roof fronted by a step-topped boomtown facade
- the functional fenestration with a triple set of double-sash windows to the east of the double doors and single openings to the west of the entrance and along the west side
- details such as the front doors of sawn lumber set vertically, joined by a boxed Z-brace and attached with large flat hinges

Key elements that define the heritage character of the functional interior include:
- the open plan with workbenches positioned along the walls and a low-ceilinged attic storage area
- exposed materials and finishes such as the beams, joists and sawn boards on the ceiling and the square-cut wooden trim around windows and doors, etc.




Recognition Authority

Local Governments (MB)

Recognition Statute

Manitoba Historic Resources Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Site

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1900/01/01 to 1900/12/31

Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce

Function - Category and Type




Commerce / Commercial Services
Shop or Wholesale Establishment

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

The Village of Cartwright 485 Curwen Street Box 9 Cartwright MB

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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