Daniel Dunn, Blacksmith

One of the interesting things to come from looking at all those Fitchburg Sentinel stories was the fact that Daniel Dunn was a blacksmith. His occupation is mentioned in the first item I came across, the sad news, in July 1896 that his ‘oldest child’, Reinald, had died. In March of 1900, the Sentinel notes that “Charles Duplease has sold his place in the village, formerly owned by John M. Ballou, to Daniel Dunn, the village blacksmith, who will occupy the premises.” They move in to the property in May, just in time for the birth of Mildred.

It would be interesting to know how Daniel came to be “the village blacksmith.” East Rindge had at least one blacksmith in 1885, Nathaniel Rideout. He’s the only blacksmith from East Rindge listed in the 1885 Cheshire County Gazetteer. Based on the 1880 census, Rideout was about 51 years old in 1880. He may have been close to the end of his smithing days by 1890, but since there are no records from the 1890 census, it’s hard to say. Rideout doesn’t appear in the 1900 census.

In any event, by 1892 East Rindge had another ‘village blacksmith’, Archie Brown. He turns up in a Sentinel story in June of that year noting that he would “give up his business here and remove to the hotel in the center where he will assist Mrs. J. C. Wheeler at the Rindge Hotel, which is to be reopened soon.”

Daniel apparently became ‘the village blacksmith’, then, sometime after the summer of 1892 and prior to July of 1896. Archie Brown and his wife Maggie eventually moved to Princeton, Massachusetts, where they appear on the 1910 census. By the time of the 1920 census, Daniel Dunn is dead, having passed away in 1918 at just 52 years of age. His wife Mary Alice appears, along with daughter Mildred. And just a few houses away is the listing for Archie Brown, blacksmith, and wife Maggie, back from Massachusetts.

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