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JOHN BROOKS ROBBINSVILLES VILLAGE BLACKSMITH
schoolchildren of earlier years were no doubt familiar
with the poem written in 1842 by Henry Wadsworth
Longfellow, The Village Blacksmith.
There is little doubt that the blacksmith was a noble and much needed profession in earlier times. They were the mechanics of their day.
was not without its own village blacksmith. John Brooks operated a
blacksmith shop at the present day corner of Circle
John Bunyan Brooks, one of the sons of this couple born in 1867, moved to Robbinsville and sent up a blacksmith shop. He was to be the village blacksmith for the next forty years. John made most of the tools he worked with as well as a lot of tools the farmers used. He could build a wagon from the ground up. There were no funeral homes in those days, so John made coffins too. John had an instrument he used when shoeing horses or mules that caught the animals leg just above the hoof and held it fast. A crank was then turned to raise the animals leg to the desired height and hold it in place. In addition to his blacksmith duties, John also administered Robbinsvilles water system.
Brooks was married to Frankie Hyde, daughter of John
Aaron and Louisa Hyde, early settlers in the
There is an amusing story involving Kate the mule shown in the photograph accompanying this story told by Gordon Ammons. Gordon and the mule have something in common. They were both born in 1906. Gordon tells that the Reverend George Slaughter asked Kates owner John Ammons about borrowing her to ride to church because she was so gentle. John instructed his son Will Ammons to saddle Kate for the preacher. Will had made plans to ride Kate to go visit his girlfriend, but saddled the mule as instructed. But when the preacher got on Kate, Will stuck a cob under her tail and she bucked the preacher off. At this point, the preacher decided he would seek other transportation and Will got to use Kate to go see his girlfriend as planned.