1895: First Purtle/Vanblad
| Original Purtle Blacksmith Shop
The original Purtle Blacksmith Shop was one of several blacksmithing businesses in Smethort. This is one of the few remaining in Smethport. These original shops had a wide variety of skills from horseshoeing, wagon & carriage repair, wagon painting, wagon manufacturing and basic fabrication. Purtle’s sold out to the Vanblads. One of the more colorful blacksmiths associated with this building was Carl John Vanblad. Carl John Vanblad was born in 1875 and moved to the US in 1892 at the age of 17. He apprenticed at the Charles Lilgendahl blacksmith shop on Mechanic Street and later opened his own establishment. John was also heavily involved with the Smethport Hose Company as pump operator for the famous “Henry Hamlin” pumper and as the bell ringer for the department.