Nevers Blacksmith Shop // c.1860s

While architecturally significant mansions, churches and civic buildings are great, the smaller wood-frame buildings such as this really tell the story of New England. When the town of Sweden, Maine was still in her infancy, the Nevers Family helped to establish the town and diversify its output from the typical agricultural village. Sweden supported an interesting variety of nineteenth century businesses including: general stores, saw mills, copper and cobbler shops, and a straw hat factory. The town of Sweden was distanced from major trade routes, railroads and navigable rivers, so it saw a period of decline from the late 19th to the 20th century. The town has since been a sort of “bedroom community” where people mostly live, but travel outside the town for commerce and work. This blacksmith shop shows us an example of a trade that has largely gone away, but it was a common structure and profession in early America.