80.5 F
Friday, June 2, 2023

Ceremony at Fort King to unveil blacksmith shop

The Fort King National Historic Landmark, in coordination with the Fort King Heritage Foundation, will host a dedication ceremony next week for its new blacksmith shop.

The ceremony will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 11 at the Fort King National Historic Landmark, which is located at 3925 E Fort King Street in Ocala.

Fort King was designated as a National Historic Landmark on February 24, 2004. After the successful reconstruction of the fort in 2017, the Fort King Heritage Foundation began planning the reconstruction of an 1837 period blacksmith shop.

In 2021, the archeology research needed to reconstruct the shop was funded by the foundation in the amount of $42,750. The project officially broke ground in December 2022, and construction was completed in April 2023.

Construction begins on blacksmith shop at Fort King
A photo from December 2022 showing the site of the new blacksmith shop as crews prepare for construction (Photo: Fort King National Historic Landmark)
Fort King blacksmith shop construction progress photo March 2023 1
The blacksmith shop quickly took shape, and Dinkins Construction completed the project in April 2023 (Photo: Ocala Recreation and Parks Department)

The blacksmith shop will serve to educate and demonstrate the history of blacksmithing, as well as the importance it played in the history of Fort King and the early life of settlers.

Blacksmith Shop at Fort King (completed) feature image
The completed blacksmith shop (Photo: Fort King National Historic Landmark)

A blacksmith demonstration will showcase the new shop during the upcoming dedication ceremony, and reenactors will lead guests on informative tours. Those in attendance will also be able to explore the fort, visitor center, and archaeological resource center.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will conclude with the firing of cannons.

For more information, visit the Fort King National Historic Landmark’s website or call 352-368-5533.