The Blacksmith’s Cottage and Forge at Bacchus Marsh has a great historical significance as it has been occupied by a blacksmith since 1852 or even before that. The Cottage was constructed in 1852, and a few modifications and extensive renovations were undertaken in later years. This is an excellent place to have a peek back on how a blacksmith and wheelwright’s premises looked like during the Gold rush era with the tools used on those days.
The historical significance of the cottage doesn’t end there. The bricks laid inside the wheelwright shed under the veranda and some of the marked paths are from the harvest home hotel, which was built in main street in 1866. The hotel was delicensed in 1911 and demolished in the 1980’s.
Some of the slate flagstones laid in the cottage form part of the first stone pavements in Bacchus Marsh. They were laid in 1875 by Jeremia Ryan outside his commercial properties in Main Street: The Commercial Hotel and the Hall of Commerce. There is a Horse trough donated by George and Annis Bills Trust at the property.
There is a collection of tools used by Blacksmiths displayed at the Forge. The wheelwrights shop has a display of tools and machinery used for wheelwrighting with brief information of the process involved.
The forge book barn operating next door is a not-for-profit second-hand bookshop, run by volunteers.
Vere Quaile, a blacksmith, was running his business from this allotment since 1851. In 1852 Vere Quaile built a house with four rooms and a weather board kitchen (The blacksmith’s cottage). In 1857, Quaile expanded his business by building two forges and a shop. In 1866, Quaile sold the business to Thomas Manley, who in 1869 sold it to Hugh Meikleand and Henry Hodgeson. After Meikle’s death, Charles Edwards rented and later purchased the property. Edwards family continued with blacksmithing until 1961 from the premises.
The equipment was sold to Emu Bottom, Sunbury when the business ceased. But the Edwards family continued to live at the cottage until Edwards daughter Mrs Caroline Simpson’s death in 1974. The shire of Bacchus Marsh purchased the property in 1976 and opened as a museum in 1979.
Address: 100-102 Main Street, Bacchus Marsh, Victoria
What you can do here: Get to know the life of early settlers, Have a look at the Blacksmiths tools and understand wheelwrights methodology