The Brewer Brothers blacksmith shop became a matter of local history today, after the announcement that it has been closed after almost 40 years of continuous operation.
A landmark at North and Court streets since its establishment late in the last century, the old smithy is being dismantled this week following the death of John P. Brewer, who plied his trade here, and in Muncy for 52 years.
John P. Brewer, was one of three brothers who followed the blacksmithing trade, inherited from their father, and five generations before him. Although brother, Thorn Brewer, is still in business in Muncy, John was the last of the family conducting business here. Harry, who opened the local shop, died in January 1933.
It is an interesting and unique history that the Brewer family claims with its unbroken line of blacksmiths in America going back to the 17th century. Their progenitor was James Brewer, Presbyterian preacher, and blacksmith.
James’ son, Adam and his son, Jacob followed in the blacksmith trade. Jacob’s son conducted the Agnes forge in Dauphin County. He is responsible for the family’s migration to Pennsylvania. Two of his sons, Thomas and John were also blacksmiths.
Thorn Brewer of Muncy, the seventh generation of blacksmiths is the father of Edward Brewer who migrated to Reno, Nevada and is blacksmithing there for lumber camps and plainsmen. His son is in the business and represents the ninth generation in the business.
The dismantling of the Brewer smithy will leave only two or three blacksmith shops operating in this city, where at one time there were dozens.