Down Memory Lane
Mike Hogue's Blacksmith Shop
By David L. Blazetich
From the personal files of his grandfather George "Udy" Blazetich.
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Welland blacksmith, Mike Hogue, learned his trade in Effingham, Ontario and was apprenticed in 1896 to Mr. Lymburner, whose shop was situated at 15 Niagara Street in Welland, just north of the current Welland House Hotel location.
In 1907, he purchased the business from Mr. Lymburner and hired Andy Harkness. In late 1929, Mike Hogue purchased property fronting on Fraser Street, just west of his shop, and opened a new business. Lem Hogue, a son, recalls j'that some of the material for the new shop was salvaged from the old aqueduct on the canal. He also notes that blacksmiths were not always paid incurrency. Often payment was in kind a bag of potatoes, a ham, or a pair of piglets. The last horse shoed by the Hogues was in 1954. The original anvil is on exhibit at the Welland Historical Museum.
In 1956, the shop and property were sold to the Oddfellows organization, the members of which apparently had great difficulty in removing large amounts of soot from the facility.