A skilled blacksmith and inventor, German immigrant Matthew Edel owned this shop from 1883 until his death in 1940. In 1884, Edel was one of 2,100 blacksmiths in Iowa.
Today it's rare to find such a complete and original shop open to visitors, kept just as he left it the day he died. See his tools, inventions, and hear stories about blacksmithing in the age before tractors and automobiles.
Support the Matthew Edel Blacksmith Shop
When German immigrant Matthew Edel of Haverhill died in 1940, his blacksmith shop and tools were frozen in time. In 1986, a team of specialists documented 4,486 artifacts in the shop's collection and left them intact exactly as he did 76 years ago.
Today, some of those artifacts are showing signs of deterioration and need help. The Schrader family (descendants of Matthew Edel) has generously offered to match up to $10,000 of the funding we can raise to upgrade conservation of the artifacts to modern-day standards.
Please join us and the Edel family in keeping the shop's history alive. All tax-deductible gifts made to the Iowa Historical Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to support the State Historical Society of Iowa, by Dec. 20 will be included in the matching campaign.