Philip Simmons Blacksmith
Every great city has a great museum, but one city IS a museum to the work of one man. Charleston, South Carolina has been the home of blacksmith Philip Simmons his entire life. (A life continuing at age 97) Mr Simmons recently moved to a rest home...at the time of my first visit he was still pounding the anvil, the second time he was passing his skills down. The blacksmith shop was built by a slave who gave it to his son in the late 1800's, who in turn hired Mr. Simmons at age 13. Simmons worked in the shop for 77 years. Well over 200 of his gates, doorways and other ornamental ironwork have been identified, the documentation continues. Some of his beautiful work, along with a map is illustrated at the Philip Simmons Foundation site, they are raising funds to preserve his shop as a museum.