• warning: Parameter 2 to ed_classified_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/soloneconomist/www/www/includes/common.inc on line 2968.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to ed_classified_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/soloneconomist/www/www/includes/common.inc on line 2968.

Fundraising efforts underway at Matthew Edel Blacksmith Shop

Solon’s Pat Ikan helping family match funds up to $10,000 by Dec. 20
MORE PHOTOSThe Matthew Edel Blacksmith Shop in Haverhill operated from 1883-1940 and has been preserved as a historic site. The Edel family has pledged up to $10,000 in matching donations with the public welcome to contribute. The money raised will help to catalogue and preserve the shop’s 4,486 artifacts. (contributed photo, courtesy of Marshalltown Times-Republican)

Marshalltown Times-Republican
Reprinted with permission
HAVERHILL– The Matthew Edel Blacksmith Shop, located at 214 1st St. in Haverhill, is a step back in time to the turn of the 20th century, largely preserved the way the blacksmith left the shop after his death in 1940. Today, his great-grandchildren carry on his legacy by launching a fundraising initiative to help catalogue and preserve the shop’s over 4,000 artifacts.
Edel started the shop in 1883 after coming to Iowa from Stuttgart, Germany. It remains a rare sight to see in 2016 because of how complete and well-preserved the shop and its contents are.
“The Edel family donated the shop to the State Historical Society of Iowa in 1986, and the Historical Society of Marshall County manages it,” said Jennifer Bancescu, state historic sites manager.
Since that time, it has become clear to historical society staff there is still work to be done in documenting the shop’s 4,486 artifacts. In addition, the shop endures sunlight, humidity and harsh Iowa winters causing deterioration of artifacts.
“The family has a continued interest in the education and preservation of the site. Last year, Edel’s great-grandson Steve Schrader, who lives in San Francisco, donated $10,000, and this year, the family is wanting to take donations where they will match funds up to $10,000,” Bancescu said. “We hope to have a special fundraising event, at a date to be determined.”
All donations made by Dec. 20, will be included in the matching fund campaign. Donations can be made online at iowaculture.gov/support or by mailing a check made out to the Iowa Historical Foundation, 600 E. Locust Street, Des Moines, Iowa, specifying the funds to go to the blacksmith shop.
“My mother grew up in Haverhill and her grandfather was Matthew Edel,” Schrader said. “His blacksmith shop, to me, is a great historical treasure as it has survived, largely intact, over the years. It may give people more insight into the wave of German immigration to Iowa and the Midwest in the 19th century, and it may also provide people with a view of what it was like to be a farmer or Iowa resident in the early 20th century.”
A “Friends of the Edel Blacksmith” group formed, with the family and the State Historical Society of Iowa promoting the campaign.
Schrader’s cousin Patricia Ikan, who resides in Solon, has also gotten involved in the fundraising efforts. “Steve and I met as ‘grown-ups’ this summer, and we shared information about the past history and the current state of the Edel Blacksmith Shop and our mutual concern for its preservation of the site and its historical significance. Steve connected me with Jen Bancescu, and we all three were on board to get the family artifacts I had here in Solon from my mother who died in July 2015 compiled. I have the Matthew Edel family artifacts that his only daughter, Mary Edel Ryan, (my maternal grandmother) had passed down to my mother, Evelyn Ryan Blum, plus other artifacts from before the State of Iowa received the Edel property.”
The blacksmith shop is open Memorial Day through Labor Day, noon to 4 p.m. Free admission. Group tours are welcome by contacting the Historical Society of Marshall County at 641-752-6664.