Pinkston Forge moves to new home
Relocation bittersweet moment for former forge owner
Dec. 15 will be a day to remember for John Pinkston of Brigus, after two large loaders hauled the old Pinkston Forge off his property for relocation.
The building was built in 1889, and was last operated by Pinkston’s father, a blacksmith, through the 1970s. He died in 1997.
Although it had not been used for years, it’s of great interest to tourists.
Spectators appeared nervous as the building rounded the corner. It began a bit shaky, with the crew checking the phone poles underneath the building regularly, verifying the chains were safe and moving the machinery slowly.
Once they got to South Street, the bridge, which was only about a foot wider than the building, was the next challenge. But it was one the crew breezed through.
By 12:40, the building made it across the bridge, and was ready to get placed on the slab. It took another 20 minutes for the team to create a ramp, position the forge and push it to its new home.
The crowd cheered when it was complete.
A hefty price tag
From the beginning, the society knew it wouldn’t be a cheap project.
In fact, the cost to date for the move is in the range of $80,000. It will be $100,000 by the time it is completely restored at its new home, Sullivan said.
With the help of some fundraising activities, including one at the Brigus Blueberry Festival and a benefit concert, some of the money was raised. But it was the contributions of several key donors that allowed this to take place, including Ches and Iris Penney and The Eleanor Gill Ratcliff Foundation.
The best-case scenario, building will be opened to public by late next summer.
As for the land the forge used to sit on, Pinkston is still weighing his options.
“I’m not quite sure what we’re going to do yet,” he said. the the
The Pinkston Forge left its home at the corner of Forge Road and South Street on Dec. 15.
Albert Sparkes of Brigus recalls memories of the Pinkston Forge from when he was a boy, as he watches the heavy equipment operators move the building to its new home.
John Pinkston (left) and Muriel Wells, who was taking a video on her tablet, look on as the Pinkston Forge, which has been in their family for generations, is moved across a small bridge, to its new home on Magistrate’s Hill.