Pinkston Forge moves to new home

Re­lo­ca­tion bit­ter­sweet mo­ment for for­mer forge owner

The Compass - - NEWS - BYMELISSA JENK­INS Melissa.jenk­

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

Pho­tos by Melissa Jenk­ins/The Com­pass

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.

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