The former main floor office will be re-purposed and used as a Universal washroom.

In this latest chapter in the story of this significant building, the society has invested thousands of hours and tens of thousands of dollars into restoring this important part of Cannington’s history.  The grand opening of the shop took place on Sept. 30th, 2017 when dignitaries and local citizens attended a ceremony opening our doors to the community.  We have repeated this every year since in honour of the national ‘Culture Days’ event on the third weekend of September. 

In 1884 his son William took over the thriving business, and in 1895 he built the building that exists to this day.  This was a rather unique venture, as the three-story building accommodated a blacksmith shop in the ‘front’ – servicing the needs of the horse traffic in town, and expanding into other lines of work like producing spikes for the rail lines in the area.

21 Laidlaw Street South
Cannington, ON L0E 1E0

During the time period 1860 to 1875, a wooden blacksmith shop opened up on this lot to service the needs of the residents of Cannington, and those who travelled by horse to the rapidly growing village.  In 1881 William H. Hodgen expanded the business to take advantage of the guests staying at the Queen’s and Commercial Hotels beside and across the street from the shop. 

20 volunteers remove and relocate Eric's Ercoupe 415C in November of 2015. 

History of the Blacksmith and Carriage Shop

Mr. Hodgson’s apprentice Thomas Henry (Harry) Warrian took over the business in 1919, and he sold it to Cameron Walker Cotton in 1939.  Two generations of this family moved into the shop and operated it as a blacksmith shop until 1969.  It was a busy place – hosting weddings, kids growing up upstairs while the business continued downstairs. 

The second floor Carpenter Shop, over the Carriage Shop, will continue to be utilized as a restoration / storage area.

The Blacksmith & Carriage Shop

Behind, and above this shop was the carriage business.  Here buggies, carts and cutters were built and repaired, while above this back shop was a showroom where carriages were on display, and sales were finalized.  The custodian for this busy place lived on the third floor – he was responsible for firing up the forges in the morning, grooming the horses and looking after the building.  In addition to the custodian, their were two blacksmiths, a carpenter, a wheelwright, a painter and William’s son Earl – who was the bookkeeper.  

The 3rd floor Custodian’s Residence will be used for artifact storage.

The lower level Carriage Shop will be re-purposed into a fully accessible community meeting room.

The former second level Show Rooms will be utilized as an office space, boardroom and resource room / library.

In 1969 the building was sold to Erik Hockley-Larsen.  Erik moved into the residence upstairs, while he turned the main floor into a hangar for his 415K Ercoupe aircraft, and where he pursued his many hobbies.  Erik was a long-time member of the historical society, and when he passed away in 2012, he and his sister Dorritt Meldrum Lundgaard of Copenhagen bequeathed the structure to the society. 

The Blacksmith Shop, complete with forges, will be  restored as a working museum and display area for the Historical Society.