George Granger Jr. ran Monticello’s blacksmith’s shop from 1783 until his death in 1799. He also managed the nailery from 1794 and was given a small percentage of its profits. In addition to shoeing horses, he made and repaired tools and made parts for guns and vehicles. His younger brother Isaac started his working life in the nailery and became a blacksmith also.
Items made or repaired in the blacksmith shop at Monticello include horseshoes, axes, scythes, large and small tools, chains, bits for horses and many other items. Shoeing horses was one of the most basic responsibilities of a blacksmith.
Horseshoe fragment. Thomas Jefferson Foundation
Gill, Israel, and James Gillette all worked in Jefferson’s stable tending his prized thoroughbred horses.
Horse bit excavated at Monticello. Thomas Jefferson Foundation
Iron tweezer excavated at Monticello. Blacksmiths like George Granger, Jr. made metal objects needed on the plantation.
Iron tweezer excavated at Monticello. Thomas Jefferson Foundation