This entire web site is copyright © protected.  © 1996-2001 Geronimo & Mary Bayard, © 2001-2009  Mary Bayard Fitzpatrick
All rights reserved.  Contact Mary for reproduction information & permission.

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Geronimo Bayard
1936 - 2001

Shown here holding one of the horses he liked best, the Friesian gelding Radboud (Rad)

One of the last graduates of the American Blacksmith School summed up his class experience by writing, "Thank you for the education. I loved the legend, lore, the mystery, and best of all the magic! Thank you." This sentiment is echoed by all who knew him. Thank you, Geronimo, especially for the magic!

Following is the text from this page as it was before Geronimo's death:

 Geronimo Bayard is the American Village Blacksmith. As such he performs the traditional duties of the Village Blacksmithómaking and repairing things out of iron and steel, shoeing horses and generally keeping things together and running. I asked him to tell me in his own words just who he is.

     "I guess my first blacksmithing was done when I was about 6 or 7 years old. It consisted of straightening nails with a hammer on a short piece of railroad track. The nails were needed to build a clubhouse. Later that same nail-straightening skill came in handy when we kids needed to build soapbox derby cars and scooters.

     "As I grew so did the size and complexity of things needing to be made or fixed. I graduated from just straightening nails to mending and making things for other people. I started working in the coal for my Dad making horseshoes when I was 14 years of age.

     "As most horseshoers know, one thing leads to another. One day you are tinkering with used nails and scraps to make playthings for yourself. Next thing you know, you are shoeing horses and blacksmithing. I belong to the Northwest Blacksmith Association and the Artist-Blacksmiths' Association of North America and I guess thatís supposed to sound impressive. Some people say Iím an old man although I donít think so. I started out as a little boy straightening nails and Iím still here just shoeing horses, fixiní and makiní things and showing other people how to do the same.

     "Thanks for listening."

     Although Geronimo thinks of himself as a village blacksmith, he is in fact, a teacher.

     For many years he held workshops for the horseshoers in his area. He was not only able to demonstrate and explain horseshoeing techniques, but his expertise in blacksmithing enabled him to help less experienced farriers make shoes, equine leg braces and other necessary tools.

     As the years went by Geronimo became more focused on the blacksmithing aspects of his work. At the request of non-farrier friends Geronimo began holding classes in eighteenth century blacksmithing in his shop near Oakland, Oregon, in the fall of 1996.

     Geronimo has always been a teacher. He has a special talent for solving learning problems of individual students. If someone just canít quite get the knack of how to do something, Geronimo will devise a totally new and original explanation or exercise to get the point across.

   In addition to the blacksmithing classes Geronimo teaches at The American Blacksmith School, he also instructs at clinics in both horseshoeing and blacksmithing by special arrangement with the hosting organization. A few speaking engagements each year are accepted although time for these is extremely limited.

*    *    *    *    *    *    *

My sledge and hammer lay reclined,

My bellows, too, have lost their wind,

My fires extinct, my forge decayed,

And in the dust my vice is laid;

My coal is spent, my iron gone,

My nails are drivenómy work is done.

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This entire web site is copyright © protected.  © 1996-2001 Geronimo & Mary Bayard, © 2001-2009 Mary Bayard Fitzpatrick
All rights reserved. Contact Mary for reproduction information & permission.