Workshop for blacksmithing and nail-making ca. 1793–ca. 1803
Animated 3D model showing what the Blacksmith's Shop and the Nailery (lighter colored building) have looked like based on physical evidence and historical examples. 3D model by RenderSphere, LLC.
Erected around 1793, this 37 x 18-foot structure with “walls & roof of wood” initially functioned as “a smith and nailer’s shop.” Working over forges and anvils, enslaved and hired blacksmiths shoed horses, repaired the metal parts of plows and hoes, replaced gun parts, and made the iron portions of the carriages that Jefferson designed. Neighboring farmers brought work to the shop as well, and enslaved blacksmiths received a percentage of the profits of their labor. In 1794, Jefferson added a nail-making operation to the smith’s shop. When Jefferson commissioned an adjacent “nailer’s addition,” nail-making moved next door in 1796. The smith’s shop was likely demolished around 1803.