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Arts & Culture

Fellow Blacksmiths Honor John Deere

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John Deere Historic Site
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The site's resident blacksmith, Rick Trahan
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Credit John Deere Historic site
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A picture from the 2014 Hammer In.

A man who played a key role in the history of farming and the Quad Cities will be celebrated this weekend. On Saturday and Sunday, the John Deere Historic site in Grand Detour, Illinois will host "Hammer In," featuring 30 blacksmiths from across the country.

Site manager Kristen Veto says Deere was a blacksmith who moved from Vermont to  northern Illinois in 1836. One year later, at his forge in Grand Detour in Ogle County, he made his first commercially successful product, the self-scouring steel plow.
The blacksmiths will demonstrate how they produce household goods and works of art, and many of their products will be for sale.  

Veto says new this year will be a program called "Come to the Other Side of the Anvil."

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Visitors can try out being a blacksmith.

At noon on Saturday, visitors can hear what's called an "Anvil Ring" - when all the blacksmiths will hammer in unison around the site. 

The "Hammer In" event is held every other year. 
The John Deere Historic Site is on the National Register of Historic Places and features the home built by John Deere, a replica of his blacksmith shop, and an exhibit of his original tools. A resident blacksmith works at the site when it's open Wednesday through Sunday, from May thorugh October.