The Old Blacksmith Shop

The Old Blacksmith Shop, Galena: Hours, Address, The Old Blacksmith Shop Reviews: 4.5/5

The Old Blacksmith Shop
4.5
Speciality Museums
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Monday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
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About
Historical, working blacksmith shop/museum in Galena. We are open to the public from May through October, with shop hours of 10am-4pm Friday through Monday. Stop in and see how Smiths worked back in Galena's heyday.
Suggested duration
< 1 hour
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
149 reviews
Excellent
104
Very good
35
Average
6
Poor
2
Terrible
2

Taylor B
Chicago, IL7,735 contributions
It costs $5 for individuals and $15 for families but it's worth the price to visit The Old Blacksmith Shop in Galena, Illinois, and observe an authentic 1897 blacksmith shop with working forges, tools and equipment from its 100-year-old history. Located at 245 North Commerce Street, it is open from 10 to 4 Friday through Monday, from May through October. Blacksmithing dates to 1,500 BC. A blacksmith is a metalsmith who creates objects primarily from wrought iron or steel by forging the metal, using tools to hammer, bend and cut, producing such objects as weapons, cooking utensils, agricultural implements, tools, gates, grills and railings. See how smithys worked during Galena's heyday in the 1850s and 1860s, when it was a larger and more important town than Chicago, the busiest port on the Mississippi River from St. Louis to St. Paul. Watch a smithy take a piece of steel and create a lovely work of art from start to finish. These are true craftsmen who are knowledgeable and informative who explain the history of their craft while showing you how it's done. Very educational. Entertaining, too.
Written August 6, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

mannys810
La Mesa, CA10 contributions
The Old Blacksmith Shop is a quaint historical building, relocated across the street from its original location. The workers volunteer their time, and display their skills for visitors to watch. The friendly blacksmiths answer questions as they work. Some of the completed items are available for sale, and are usually stamped Galena. The establishment requests donations in place of a set admission fee. Galena as a whole, and the Shop specifically are worthy of a visit.
Written May 17, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

MotherOfTwoSons
South Holland, IL73 contributions
We have been coming to Galena every year for over 30 years and finally made it to The Old Blacksmith Shop. They have limited hours and we seldom were able to be in town when they were open. We love living history museums and this one was great! The blacksmith was creating items to be sold in the shop as we watched. He would show us the piece periodically, explaining every part of the process. We were able to give creative feedback and wound up purchasing the piece he made as we watched. There is a small gift shop in back with the pieces they make for sale, as well as other iron pieces made nearby and small Galena souvenirs. They do have a box for a suggested donation to help defray the costs. It was a fun experience and I would definitely return.
Written October 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
We are so pleased you enjoyed your visit with out Blacksmiths! We hope you return again, and share with your friends!
Written October 5, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Ron H
Rockford, IL499 contributions
Couples
This is a great old blacksmith shop, the last surviving one of 35 in Galena. It is now run by volunteer "smithees" that keep it going as a real working shop. They create tools and useful utensils which are sold on the premises to help keep the shop open. This one is worth your time to stop and see all the old original tools, watch the blacksmith work the coal fired forge, and listen to him talk about the techniques of blacksmithing. It's a wonderful treasure from the days of horses and wagons and a stop you will enjoy. They request donations to help preserve it. I rate it an A+ with a high recommendation to make it a must on your trip to Galena.
Written October 2, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Don Z
Rochester, MN3 contributions
Couples
A visit/vacation to Galena, IL is a must, and one of the top places to visit is The Old Blacksmith Shop on Commerce Street. Rich Tickner and his crew of volunteers are excellent. Not only is this an actual working blacksmith shop (they have made a number of items for me that far exceeded anything I could have purchased elsewhere), it is also a teaching blacksmith shop. They are all willing to answer your questions in a very professional manner. This shop is a step back in time that is well worth your time.
Written October 25, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Cooperton
Conroy, IA130 contributions
Friends
The Old Blacksmith Shop is a good addition to visiting the Grant Museum. There is not a admission fee but they do request a donation of $4 dollars a person to help run the shop. It is open Friday to Sunday 9 to 4. It is run by volunteers. Today there were two men in the shop. One was in the gift shop and the other was demonstrating blacksmith work as it was done in the early 1900's. He was making hooks today in the shop. They are then sold in the gift shop to help support the upkeep of the museum. The museum does not have its own parking but we were able to find public parking nearby. It is a very friendly and would be a great place to take the kids to learn about how things were made long ago.
Written June 22, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Emily V
15 contributions
Couples
My husband and I went into this with the completed unknown. We pictured a small shop, quick 10-15 minute trip and on to the next adventure. 2 hours later we finally left with a new perspective of blacksmithing and a one-of-a-kind item.

We walked in and were greeted by Rich, a plethora of knowledge. After a quick history lesson from Dan, we found the gift shop. History books, hand-made iron animals [roosters, ducks ect] and more, we ended up getting a wall hook. As we were checking out, my husband noticed a "unfortunate accident" as Dan would say sitting next to the register. He said "Am I able to purchase this?" -- after some talk that item was to be picked up by someone else within the hour.

As we were walking out, Rich and Dan both said that if we have 30 minutes to spare Dan would be happy to make us our own "unfortunate accident" piece, similar to the one near the register.

30 minutes passed in a blink of the eye. Dans knowledge and stories captivated our attention as he forged a dragons head bottle opener [replicating the one that was sold to someone else] out of a old railroad spike.

We highly recommend going here, it doesn't look like much, and it's on the edge of town, but take some time to talk to the blacksmiths and enjoy a time-old-craft.
Written June 19, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Peanut977
Johnston, IA353 contributions
Couples
There are people working in the blacksmith shop. You can ask them questions while they work and they'll explain what they're doing and the history of the blacksmith in the area. Very interesting stop.
Written December 3, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Raymond S
Elgin, IL81 contributions
Family
The blacksmith, who was a scientist, gave us an interesting demonstration on making a decoration hook. His talk is very interesting and detailed. My daughter has never seen this before, was deeply engaged. I think this is most interesting place for Galena area. When you are ready to leave, please do not forget to make small donation for their show.
Written October 26, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Renee963
28 contributions
The woman providing the demonstration was fantastic-she explained everything to our kids (ages 6, 9 & 11). We purchased the leaf we watched her make as a souvenir.
Written July 26, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Frequently Asked Questions about The Old Blacksmith Shop

The Old Blacksmith Shop is open:
  • Fri - Mon 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM