The Dover Blacksmith Shop Project

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2003                  2004                  2005                  2006                  2007
Open House Dedication
Thank You

According to family history provided by Anna Byerts and Grace Snelbaker, Henry Neiman blacksmithed at the crossroads of Davidsburg and West Canal Roads. Mr. Neiman and his family lived in the log house at this site with his blacksmith shop to the rear of the property. Henry was told he would probably have more business if he moved to Dover Borough since the Borough was central to the agricultural area. In the early 1920's Mr. Neiman purchased the property from Lewis Harlacher (of Washington Township) and the blacksmith shop at the corner of Queen Street and Locust Street (later to be named Butter Road). Mr. Neiman had the shop 'rolled back' to the rear of this property in order to have a Sears Roebuck home built on the corner. The Neiman family moved into this new home in 1925. Occasionally, school classes would visit his blacksmith shop and he would demonstrate blacksmithing. Illness forced Mr. Neiman to retire in 1949.

In more recent years, this property was a favorite site to visit during the Dover Borough Historical walk hosted by Kay Stitley for third graders from the Leib Elementary School. The students were always fascinated by the shop and had a desire to see the shop reborn and working again.

In February 2003, a heavy snow storm caused the collapse of the blacksmith shop. Mrs. Darlene Kann, the current property owner of 61 Queen Street in Dover, donated the blacksmith shop to the Greater Dover Historical Society (GDHS) as she recognized the historical value of preserving the shop. An agreement between the Kann Family and the GDHS was signed on May 16, 2003. Volunteers from the GDHS dismantled the blacksmith shop in May 2003. The rebuilding of the shop by GDHS volunteers, under the expert guidance of Ken Brown, construction project foreman, began in April 2005 and ended in October 2006.

Ted Ziegler of Wellsville is our in-house smithy. The blacksmith shop is open to the community on various occasion during the year - such as our annual Dover Borough Historical walk held the 3rd Tuesday in June.

The GDHS is extremely proud of our first major project completed by the society and its membership with the support of our local community. We, the Greater Dover Historical Society, present to you The Dover Blacksmith Shop.

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Blacksmith Shop in 2003


On May 17, 2003, we started to dismantle the shop. By 10a.m. the metal roof had been removed and put into the dumpster. By 4p.m. the building was down and the wood we needed to rebuild was put into storage. All the doors, windows and glass panes were saved for future preservation. It then started to rain.

May 27 was a clean up day for wood not going to be used in the re-build. We started at 3:30p.m. and worked between the rain showers till 5:30p.m.

On May 30 we started at 3:30p.m. for the final clean up and were done by 4:30p.m. Again we filled the roll off container with debris from the dismantle.

On June 2, 2003, the Dover Borough Council voted that the Blacksmith Shop would be rebuilt at the Alda Ketterman Park on Butter Road in the Borough.

May 17th 2003 Work Day Photos

The Greater Dover Historical Society wishes to thank the following list of volunteers and companies who made this project possible.

  1. Mrs. Darlene Kann for donating the building to the Society.
  2. Attorney Rob Krug for preparing the legal papers.
  3. Floyd Swope Salvage for the roll off container.
  4. Michael Barshinger, Builder and Developer, for allowing us to use his barn to store the dismantled building.
  5. Ken Brown, Chris Brown and Kevin Horner as advisors and main persons dismantling the building.
  6. Russ Geesey, and Jonathan Hess, Dover Borough employees, who helped in the dismantle and storage of the building.
  7. Lexi Slothower, Emily Deardorff and Nate Martin, students at Dover High School, who de-nailed and help dismantle.
  8. The members of the Society who participated in reaching our goal, Ron Botterbusch and wife Norma; our Secretary Susan Forrey and husband Robert; Kay Stitley, our Vice President; Maddie Shermeyer, our Director and husband Harry; Lisa, Bob and Chad Byerts; Sharon Kemper.


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May 17th 2003 Work Day Photos


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Blacksmith Shop in 2004


On March 22 a meeting was held with GDHS President Ron Botterbusch, Project Foreman Ken Brown, and Draftsman Robert Forrey. A discussion point was the need to empty the Spahr springhouse items that were in front of the wood for the Blacksmith Shop so that the lumber could be graded to determine what we have and what is needed. If wood was needed then we would evaluate other wood present on the Spahr property.

A review of the preliminary draft for the Blacksmith Shop produced the following observations.

  • The original bldg was 20’ x 30’ with the foundation a mix of small stone and cement.

  • The addition was 16W x 32L with a foundation of shale rock and cement.

  • The forge had a cement base and a brick column.

  • There was a cupola on top of the original bldg.

  • The roof was metal standing seam.

  • The original floor was stone and then a wooden floor was laid down at a later date.

  • The glass has the original panes. It was decided that the GDHS would rebuild and refurbish the window sash and glaze the windows. Possibly use Plexiglas on outside of window frame to protect the old glass.

It was determined that we needed the following to proceed.

  • People to help us grade the lumber; moving the lumber from the barn to the grading site; loading the lumber on trailers and trucks if necessary. We will also need a generator for power to operate the saws.

  • Members who have building experience to help re-build the building – working hours will be some evenings and maybe a day on a weekend.

  • Blacksmith tools and equipment to be put in building for display such as an anvil, vices, etc.

  • The original cupola if possible or someone to build us one

  • Members to remove the rest of the Spahr springhouse items from the barn – Gayle Heagy will make determination for Archives - Joyce will document the items. Need members to help move the items from the barn to a designated site.

  • Donation of nails, screws and other hardware. Members know any hardware companies?

  • Donation or a good price on the standing seam roof.

  • Donation of stone for floor?

  • Build the toolbox as shown in the Blacksmith shop pictures or have the original one found and donated.

  • Plexiglas to be used on the outside of the building – donation?

  • Anyone willing to be a gopher or help with the project?

On Saturday, September 25th, 2004, nineteen volunteers removed, graded, de-nailed and cut the wood for the Blacksmith Shop that was stored in the barn since May of 2004. The wood was relocated to our storage building ready for us to re-build the Blacksmith Shop in early spring 2005. We wish to thank the following volunteers for all their help that day: Lisa, Bob and Chad Byerts; Jan Eisenhart; Susan Forrey; Melanie, Martin and Andrew Green; Lori and Jeff Koch; Joyce and Larry Law; Madelyn and Harry Shermeyer; Grace Spahr Snelbaker; Randy and Judy Worley and Paula and Ted Zeigler.

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Blacksmith Shop in 2005


In 2005 the Blacksmith Shop underwent a transformation. The foundation was poured and the cement block wall laid. During the summer of 2005, the forge was built, a Timber Raising Day saw the building erected and the roof, donated by Larry Toot of Progressive Services, put in place.

In addition to the work being done to the Blacksmith Shop itself the landscaping around the shop also underwent a transformation in 2005. The GDHS Archives Building Landscape Committee began planning the design and execution of the planting beds surrounding the Archives  Building at Alda Ketterman Park in the Dover Borough in May, 2005. Over the course of the next five months, the committee volunteers with the support of other GDHS members and the community saw the project through to completion. Several area businesses – Sweet Woodruff Farm, Stauffer’s of Kissel Hill and Meadowbrook Landscaping – donated supplies and perennials. A number of society members contributed items such as compost, dogwood trees, lilacs, daffodil bulbs, ferns, hostas, hibiscus and a variety of other perennials. In spite of the long, dry summer, the plantings thrived.

The Landscape Committee members are Shelby Bushey, Lucia Hrinyak, June Kinsey, Audrey Thompson, Judith Worley and Randolph Worley. Additional assistance was supplied by Charles Drawbaugh, Jan Eisenhart, Susan Forrey, Gayle Heagy, Bradley Lentz, Robert Merkert, Madelyn Shermeyer, and Harry Shermeyer. These members donated over 86 hours to the landscaping project.

Later in the year the weather caught up with us, so the windows were covered and boarded up for the winter.

We wish to thank all the 2005 volunteers as well as Weavers Quality Meats, K T’s Pizza and Fox Beverages for donating refreshments.


The Greater Dover Historical Society would like to thank all our volunteers for their time and effort in helping this Society become and remain active and productive.

We applaud your spirit of volunteerism – for without this spirit – this organization would not be able to maintain such aggressive archive procurement and support the projects so important to this Society and its neighbors. Your selfless generosity now, will one day help future generations appreciate our heritage and history.

Blacksmith Shop 5/20/2005 Work Day - Cutting Sills - Photos

Blacksmith Shop 5/21/2005 Work Day - Timber Framing - Photos

Blacksmith Shop 2005 Landscaping Project - Photos


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5/20/2005 Work Day - Cutting Skills



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5/21/2005 Work Day - Timber Framing






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2005 Landscaping Project at the Blacksmith Shop

Original 4/21/2005


Preparation 5/8/2005

Preparation 5/8/2005


Finished 9/9/2005

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The Blacksmith Shop 2006

On April 17, 2006 the floor was leveled off and screenings put down and tamped. On April 29, our volunteer group got together and installed the brick floor. We had a good day to do it and wish to thank every one who helped and suffered sore backs and knees the next day. The next step will be to lay the apron in front of the double doors, put the windows in and have the electric installed. We hope to have the shop up and running by the middle of summer.

Between April and June 2006, the brick apron was completed in front of the double doors, a mulberry tree removed and the mulberries swept up. The step to the side door had been completed and the electric installed. The electrical installation, fixtures and wiring were donated by R. L. Snelbecker, Inc. of Dover. A mercury vapor light was also installed over the double doors. The building had been lightly painted to resemble white wash.

The Eagle Scout, Gage Koster, was scheduled to do landscaping in front of the shop. Hollyhocks had been planted on the back side of the shop. This completed our project and the shop was ready for Ted Ziegler to take over as our blacksmith. The Blacksmith Shop was open for the night of the Historical Walk, June 20th 2006.

We wish to thank all the volunteers who graciously gave of their time to help complete this project. We also thank all those who donated food, drinks, and items for the shop.

Below is a picture of the sign that we had for this project, please note that the wording on the sign has been changed. The word "future" was taken off and replaced with a picture of a building and flowers.




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Blacksmith Shop Open House - April 29, 2007


The day dawned bright, sunny and windy. The volunteers came early to set up for the event which started at 2 p.m. A large tent was erected in the woods near the Blacksmith Shop, and due to the wind, tarps were added to the sides of the tent to shelter our guests. Hay bales wrapped in burlap were used for seating under the tent. Food tables, covered with burlap tablecloths were laden with artistically arranged refreshments. Punch bowls were filled with libations. Flower arrangements adorned the tables. What a perfect setting to showcase the rebuilt Blacksmith Shop.

Ted Ziegler, our blacksmith, was in the shop demonstrating his craft. His audience sat on wooden benches and/or hay bales. Ted shared his passion for 'smithing' with everyone. He answered many questions fielded by Lisa Byerts who also described the blacksmith tools and their uses. Robert Byerts was in charge of the hand turned blower, making sure that the fire remained hot for Ted and his son, Ted, Jr., who is also a blacksmith.

Some of the Society's artifacts were on display under the tent - a jiffy ice cream freezer, a glass butter churn, a wooden butter bowl and paddle, a kerosene lamp and a large wooden butter churn. There were also items on display that came from homes of some of the GDHS members - a flat iron, sad iron, oil lamp, antique vases and milk cans.

A total of 73 people were in attendance, 51 members with 3 guests and 19 craftsmen/donors and their guests.

We wish to thank everyone who attended. I hope you enjoyed the day as much as we, the committee, enjoyed hosting you at this event.


The Committee:
Seated left to right: Lucia Hrinyak, Doris Burger
Standing left to right: June Kinsey (committee Chair), Kay Stitley, Lori Koch, Melanie Green

Volunteers for the Open House: June Kinsey, Kay Stitley, Melanie Green, Lori Koch, Jeff Koch, Ian Koch, Lisa Byerts, Robert Byerts, Kyle Byerts, Marty Green, Madelyn Shermeyer, Michael Hrinyak (Michael supervised the erection of the large tent, his expertise in this endeavor was needed and greatly appreciated.)

More Open House Photos


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Blacksmith Shop Dedication - June 2nd, 2007


On June 2, 2007 the Society's dedication of the Blacksmith Shop, along with the Dover Borough's dedication of the Alda Ketterman Park, was realized. Invited dignitaries included Congressman Todd Platts, State Senator Terry Punt, State Representative Bev Mackereth, County Commissioners, and Miriam Lamparter, daughter of Alda Ketterman. Local elected officials from Dover Borough and Dover Township also attended. Dover Borough Mayor, Eric VanDyke, gave the invocation.

Festivities included a puppet show, games, food, music, face painting and a balloon artist. The Jazz Band of Dover High School opened the formal activities with patriotic music beginning at 9:30 a.m. Boy Scout Troop #67 presented the American flag with the National Anthem sung by local high school students Erin Lehman and Jes Arruda. The ceremony honored the Eagle Scouts Gage Koster, Joel Chronister, Garrett Hoover, Tom Fenstermacher and Anthony Beck who helped beautify the park by planting trees and flowers, installing paths and building and installing picnic tables. The gospel group Crossroads of Hampton, PA performed from 1 to 3 p.m. Our blacksmith, Ted Ziegler of Wellsville, gave blacksmith demonstrations during the event.

Dedications Committee: Ron and Norma Botterbusch, Lisa Byerts, Bob Dentler, Jan Eisenhart, Lori Koch, Larry and Joyce Law, Carol Leathery, Lois Slothower, Madelyn Shermeyer, Zita Smith, Kay Stitley (Chairperson)

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We wish to thank.....




Ron and Norma


Doris Burger
Shelby Bushey
Bob and Lisa Byerts
Dr. Charles Drawbaugh
Jan Eisenhart
Bob & Susan Forrey

Melanie, Martin

Andy Green
Shiela Harkins
Gayle Heagy
Kevin Horner
Michael and Lucia Hrinyak
Robert and Zee Kehr
June Kinsey
Lori and Jeff Koch
Terry Koller
Lewis Kunkel
Larry & Joyce Law
Glenda & Brad Lentz
Bob Merkert
Mel Miller
Brett Pfleiger
Jay Sabold
Harry and Madelyn Shermeyer
Wayne and Lois Slothower
Cindy Snyder
Robert & Kay Stitley
Jay Stouch
Audrey Thompson
Grace Trimmer
Phyllis Wolgamuth
Randy and Judy Worley

  The Society would also like to thank the following Artisans who have generously given their time and expertise in the process of rebuilding the Dover Blacksmith Shop. Without their knowledge, volunteering and spirit of giving the Blacksmith Shop could not have become a reality.

Rebuilding of the Blacksmith Shop 2005-2006

Ken Brown Construction Company - Project Manager

Larry Law - Asst. Project Manager

Jay Bollinger - Electrical Contractor

Glen-Gery Brick Co. – Bricks for Forge, Floor and Patio

John Moul Sawmill – Truss/Lathe

Ace Hardware - Nails

Robert T Forrey - Draftsman

Roberts S. Forrey - Custom Millwork

Ted A. Zeigler - Blacksmith Advisor

Donald Miller - Masonry Advisor

Madelyn Shermeyer -Replica Reproductions

Jan Eisenhart - Surveyor

Rodney Anderson Construction - Foundation

Dover Borough Council - Electric

KT's Pizza - Donation of Food

Larry Toots, Progressive Services, Inc. - Donation & Installation of Roof

Weavers Quality Meats - Donation of Food

Fox Beverage, Inc. - Donation of Beverages

Alvey’s Paint & Hardware

Aaron Enterprises – Crusher Waste and screenings

R. L. Snelbecker, Inc. – Installation of Electric all fixtures and wiring

DeTraglia Excavating, Inc. – Crusher Waste



Picture taken October 2002



Ken Brown Construction

183 Pickett Road

Dover Pa 17315




Larry Law

4420 Paradise Road

Dover Pa 17315




Robert T Forrey

2630 Municipal Road

Dover Pa 17315




Ashley Spangler Jr, Ace Hardware

4072 Carlisle Road

Dover Pa 17315

292-6055 / 292-7476 fax



Rodney Anderson

2721 Blackberry Road

Dover Pa 17315



John Moul

Moul’s Custom Works, Inc

5210 Davidsburg Road

Dover Pa 17315




Jay Bollinger 

5711 Clearview Road

Dover Pa 17315




Jan Eisenhart.

24 South Main Street

Dover Pa 17315





Ted A Ziegler

8535 Carlisle Road

Wellsville Pa 17365




Progressive Services Inc

1806 Spangler Avenue

Dover Pa 17315




Don Miller

@Ken Snyder Masonry

Dover Pa 17315




Robert S Forrey Jr

4371 Schoolhouse Road

Dover Pa 17315




4811 Carlisle Road

Dover Pa 17315




1090 East Boundary Avenue

York Pa 17403




7 West Canal Street

Dover Pa 17315




81 West Canal Street

Dover Pa 17315




3621 Carlisle Road     

Dover Pa 17315




30 East Canal Road

Dover Pa 17315




Butter Road

Dover Pa 17315



Darlene Kann

61 Queen Street

Dover Pa 17315



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This site was last updated 09/19/13