— at Sahuaro Ranch . . . —
Farm and ranch work have always been hard on machinery, making frequent repairs necessary. Throughout Sahuaro Ranch's history, most of these repairs were made here by the ranch's own employees.
This building, which is believed to have been erected in the 1890s, started as a blacksmith shop. The blacksmith, who was one of the ranch's most valuable employees, repaired - and sometimes made - tools, farm implements, and wagon parts. He also was responsible for fitting and nailing horseshoes on the ranch's horses and mules.
Starting in the 1920s, the ranch began using trucks and other mechanized farm equipment. This led to the installation of tools and machines suited for working on internal combustion vehicles and modern farm implements. Some of these shop machines were powered by canvas belts turned by an overhead drive shaft, which can still be seen above the concrete slab on the right side of the shop.
On the Ranch Today
The centerpiece of any blacksmith shop is the forge, which is used to heat iron so it can be shaped and cut. The ranch's original forge, which was made of wood and is still in working order, is located in the enclosed section of the shop.
[Photo caption follows]
There are no known photographs which directly show the Blacksmith Shop. Above is a view of Charles Juncker's Blacksmith and Machine Shop, which was located a few miles south in the town of Glendale, about 1918. Juncker's shop could build hay derricks, rakes, wagons, and other important farm equipment. From left to right is Charles Juncker, Bill Coffelt and an unnamed apprentice. While smaller, Sahuaro Ranch's Blacksmith Shop contained many of the same tools and could complete similar tasks. (Photo courtesy of the Glendale, Arizona Historical Society).