Webb Brothers’ Blacksmith Shop
LOCATION: Parley and Granger Streets
All Sites, Tours, Shows, and Rides at Historic Nauvoo are FREE and
Chauncy Webb, along with his father and brothers, owned and operated this blacksmith and wagon shop at the corner of Parley and Granger Streets. Wainwrights were wagon builders, while wheelwrights were specialists who constructed the wheels. Along with blacksmiths, who furnished the iron parts for the wheels, these skilled workmen were important people in Nauvoo, crucial to the smooth functioning of the community. There were forty-eight blacksmiths in Nauvoo, and fourteen men were listed as members of the Nauvoo Coach and Carriage Manufacturing Association.
When the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints prepared to move west, almost everyone in the city was engaged in a massive wagon building effort. It took many wagons to move this entire population westward, and it required the cooperation of all. It is a tribute to Chauncy Webb’s skill, that Brigham Young chose him to make the wagon that carried him to the Salt Lake Valley.
This shop has been reconstructed on its original foundation. When you visit, you will learn how wagon wheels were constructed, and you will see a wagon, loaded with supplies, ready to cross the plains. You will enter the blacksmith shop where the forge is blazing and the smith is making horseshoes. Learn the difference between shoeing horses and oxen. Everyone who visits receives a “prairie diamond” ring, made from a horseshoe nail, to take home as a souvenir.
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