Save the Blacksmith and Carriage Shop

Part of the cultural heritage of Clifton Park is our way of life, including signs of what has changed and will continue to change with time. We are fortunate to have one of the original Blacksmith shops from the 1800s in Clifton Park. The Blacksmith and Carriage shop are a part of our heritage that must be preserved. By preserving the shop we can keep a tangible connection to our past and the life we left behind in the dust of modern technology.

Samuel Grooms was a wagon maker and blacksmith. He had a shop standing upon land owned by Francis N. Vischer. Francis N. Vischer owned the farm on the northwest corner of Grooms Road and Miller Road. By 1851, Samuel moved the wagon and blacksmith shop to its present location just south of the Grooms Tavern and joined the two businesses together.

Chalk inscriptions, still on the walls of the wagon shop, list local marriages occurring between 1852 and 1885. Other inscriptions, both stenciled and penciled, list past patrons and storekeepers. It would appear that the building was quite a gathering place in the mid-nineteenth century.

The 1871 Business Directory for Saratoga County lists Samuel Groom as proprietor of the Grooms Corners Hotel, wagon and carriage manufacturer, and blacksmith. Ed Klingbeil later converted the large space above the former wagon shop and blacksmith shop into a three bedroom rental apartment. The space below was used for garage and storage.

Did you ever wonder how our great great grandparents got around? It wasn’t with the automobile or as they would later call it the horseless carriage. It was with the family horse or mule and saddles or carriage. How long would it take you to get the horse out of the barn and rigged up to the carriage to go into town for groceries and dry goods? What now takes a matter of minutes with our automobiles, then may have taken hours or a good part of the day. That harness that hangs in my barn is as mysterious to me as the internet. I wonder how often it was strapped to that other member of the family that lived in the barn. It was just a hundred years ago that we depended upon our horses to get us around. Instead of a garage mechanic to change our tires and keep our cars running, you would have needed a blacksmith or wheelwright to keep your horse and carriage in fine shape. How things have changed!

The Friends of Historic Grooms Tavern ask your help in preserving and restoring the Blacksmith shop. A strong community interest will ensure that our history and culture remain fresh in the minds of all. By preserving the shop we can create a venue for educational activities and cultural events.

Many members of our community wish to donate artifacts from the past and they could be displayed in the shop. Local Blacksmiths and Wheelwrights would be able to demonstrate and teach their craft. You can help preserve the shop and a part of our heritage. by contributing to- ward this project.

The Friends welcome you to become partners in this adventure, to volunteer and/or to donate to save the Blacksmith shop.