Editor's note - The workshop of Oliver J. Farabee was on the road to his house in the village of Morrisville near Waynesburg, Greene County, PA. The shop is about a city block from where one turned to go to his house. It was about one block further down the road, and his brother Cleveland Farabee lived next door.
I used to stay at Uncle Ol's sometimes on weekends. He liked to have my cousin Peggy Farabee and me stay with him.
He had a blacksmith shop. He made horse-drawn sleds about 8 or 10 feet long, with thick steel runners on top of the wood for wear. They were well built. He cut all his wood by hand -- no power tools. He made baskets by weaving thin strips of wood; he also did chairs. He would sell them to the farmers around Waynesburg.
When I was very young, I used to like to play at his shop and watch him work. I used to like to turn the crank on his forge that he had to heat the metal. He used a wood vise to hold the wood when he shaved the wooden strips for the basket.
He liked to kid my cousin and me when we would stay at his house. He used to tell us to tell him when we went to sleep. I guess we were about 6 years old then. He always had cake that he would give us. We liked that.
Copyright © 2003 David Walker. Published with permission