Blacksmith Shop – Rear of the Hotel

This excerpt is copied from the Town of Elba history book compiled by Scott Benz in honor of the town’s 175th Anniversary in 1995.

This shop was purchased by Levi Rugg in 1850.  In 1870 Frederic Sunricker owned the property.  The Sunrickers came from France in 1836 and settled in Attica, NY.  That is where Frederic Sunricker was born on April 28, 1842 to Michael and Elizabeth (Werner) Sunricker.  In 1870 he united in marriage with Miss Helen Case and they settled in Elba where he commenced the blacksmith business until his death. He received a serious injury in 1878, when a horse he was shoeing for Edwin Parker, kicked him in the back.  His health steadily declined and by March of 1879 he was no longer able to work.  He suffered greatly from his injuries until death overtook the pain on November 18, 1879.  He was laid to rest in Maple Lawn Cemetery.

John Weber was born in Germany on March 7, 1850, one of the ten childen of Leonhardt & Gertrude (Dessom) Weber.  He spent his childhood growing up in York, NY.  He left his family to apprentice out to William Buckingham, a blacksmith in Pavilion, learning the trade.  He came to Elba around 1880 and was employed in one of the blacksmith shops here.  In November 1881, he purchased the shop of the late Frederic Sunricker for $300.  He repaired it thoroughly and reopened it shortly afterwards.Once he was established here he married his former employer’s daughter, Charlotte Buckingham, on April 12, 1882.  John kept himself fairly busy and in May 1888, he added a large addition onto his shop to create more working space.  Later he constructed a new smithy on Maple Ave and sold this blacksmith shop to Louis J Hundredmark in May of 1896.  Leonard Weber remained to assist him.  But Mr. Hundredmark decided he wasn’t cut out for the blacksmithing trade and gave up the business on October 8, 1896 selling out to H. Edward Snell.
H. Edward Snell took over the shop and through the years he employed various people to assist him, including Leonard Weber, John King, Martin Hull, AJ Lawyer, Henry Baube, Frank Warner and JD Cooper.  In September 1898, he opened a wood working shop in connection with the blacksmith business.  He retired from smithing in September 1902, closing his shop, but the following month he reopened with Harmon Baube’s aid.  When Mr. Baube left in March of 1903, he engaged Alexander Wilson, a traveling blacksmith, but he left by the end of the year.  The shop was again closed and in February 1904 he leased it to the Brown brothers.

Stay tuned for another installment.



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