The Blacksmith Shop

 The Blacksmith Shop

The old Herdt Blacksmith Shop on Central Avenue

The Blacksmith Shop is mentioned in two of the Little Colonel books: The Little Colonel's Hero, published in 1902, and The Little Colonel's Christmas Vacation, published in 1905.   Excerpt from "The Little Colonel's Hero," Chapter XIII, "The Rescue of the Princess Winsome:"

"Next morning at the depot, the post-office, and the blacksmith shop a sign was displayed which everybody stopped to read. Similar announcements nailed on various trees throughout the Valley caused many an old farmer to pull up his team and adjust his spectacles for a closer view of this novel poster."

Excerpt from "The Little Colonel's Christmas Vacation," Chapter VII, "Humdrum Days":

"ALL through the rest of that week, and through New Year's Day, Lloyd managed to keep her resolution bravely. Even when the time came for the girls to go back to school without her, she went through the farewells like a little Spartan, driving down to the station with tearful Betty, who grieved over Lloyd's disappointment as if it had been her own. 

When the train pulled out, with the four girls on the rear platform, she stood waving her handkerchief cheerily as long as she could see an answering flutter. Then she turned away, catching her breath in a deep indrawn sob, that might have been followed by others if Rob had not been with her. He saw her clench her hands and set her teeth together hard, and knew what a fight she was making to choke back the tears, but he wisely gave no sign that he saw and sympathized. He only proposed a walk over to the blacksmith shop to see the red fox that Billy Kerr had trapped and caged." 

"Historic Pewee Valley," page 13, notes that there really was a blacksmith shop in Lloydsboro (Pewee) Valley during the time the Little Colonel stories were written:

"Pewee Valley had one small manufacturing concern, Jacob Herdt's carriage and wagon building business, which evolved from a blacksmith shop and wagon-building concern on Central Avenue in 1895.  In 1910, Herdt built a new structure on LaGrange Road to accommodate his growing business.  About 1924, as carriages were gradually being replaced by automobiles, he added a garage onto the building and became the community's Ford Motor Company dealer." 

On the Pewee Valley map, the original blacksmith shop would have been located near the edge of the W. D. Gallagher property ("The Haunted House at Hartwell Hollow")  The 1924 building, which was constructed during the time Annie Fellows Johnston was living at The Beeches, is still standing on LaGrange Road and many of Jacob Herdt's descendents continue to make Pewee Valley their home today.

Herdt Motors as it looks today

where the original blacksmith shop stood as it looks today

Page by Donna Russell