Report by David Macauley
NJBA Demo, Waterloo Canal Day
Saturday June 21st, 2008
Waterloo Village, Stanhope NJ
NJBA performed public demo on Saturday June 21st, 2008 at Waterloo Village in support of the Waterloo Canal Day. The event was sponsored by the NJ Canal Society. They appear to be an easy going, yet well organized group who were easy to work with. They requested a demo while we were doing a demo at the Speedwell Village in Morristown. Well you could not have asked for a more beautiful day to have outdoor event. We had bright sunshine, and low humidity. Total attendance at the event was estimated at over 1,000. In addition to the NJBA demo, there were walking tours of the Morris Canal which traverses through the village, boat tours of the canal, children’s games, some lectures and of course food.
NJBA members attending the event included: David Macauley, Bob Bozzay and Tom Tomczyk. Everyone made some simple items. We had several young men who helped run the bellows. We set up under large tree across from the existing blacksmith shop. The blacksmith shop is closed and locked, but all of the tools, anvils, bellows and forges are still in the shop. Unfortunately, the shop will remain closed until the state of NJ resolves its legal dispute with the former foundation that interpreted the village. That foundation is bankrupt and is not interpreting the village any longer. Unfortunately, given the position of the shop getting a trailer up to the shop or near it is not possible. David barely got his pickup truck positioned near to the demonstration site.
After the event closed the Canal Society hosted a barbeque on the grounds. Although the NJBA demonstrators were invited, we could not attend due to other commitments. Many the organizers came up to us and expressed their appreciation for the demo. Apparently it was great draw. We were asked to participate again next year. Hopefully we will be able to demonstrate in the shop.