Forge" was established in Moser River in the late
1800's by John Holman, Sr. The blacksmith shop or 'forge'
made horseshoes, but also pots and pans, tools, square
nails, hooks, wagon hitches and countless items needed
by the community. The Holman blacksmith shop, which
passed through successive generations of Holmans, also
repaired cast iron cooking stoves and wagon wheels and
in later years, automobile parts and the bicycles of
Fisher Holman, grandson to the original John Holman
and the last smithy in Moser River, once repaired my
"How much do I owe ya, Mr. Holman?" I remember
my 9 year old brother asking. "How much ya got?"
the old gentleman asked. My brother had earned 7 cents
carrying in wood and helping with barn chores. He reached
deep in his pocket and held out seven copper pennies
for the blacksmith to see.
"Seven cents!" said Fisher with a twinkle
in his eye. He paused and wiped a blackened wrist across
his forehead, leaving a huge smooch of soot. "Seven
cents is exactly the right price!"
That was in 1952. A few years later, Fisher Holman
retired and two decades after that, the old forge building
was moved to Pictou Landing.
There, on the restored Pictou Heritage Quay, Moser
River's blacksmith shop sits
proudly in its new home, not far from the Scottish settler
ship, "The Hector". All summer long, visitors
stop and buy hand-forged souvenirs from a modern day
Today, in Moser River, 'the new old forge' is
housed in a small recycled 1800's building that was
once the original "Shellnut
We call the later 1800's edition of the 'Shellnut House'
"The Prospector's" after the profession of
its most recent owner. It is located just next door
to the Bay of Islands Centre
and becomes "The Stone Soup Cafe" during special
events at the Center.
The original one room house is now a highway gift shop
and interpretive centre for eco-tourists who visit the
Bay of Islands region, a special place on Nova Scotia's
In summer months, the arts and crafts of Nova Scotian
artisans who work with local resources [wood, stone,
shell, herbs, heritage seeds, tree seedlings, etc] are
displayed for sale at the Trail Stop and at our online
In winter, the Bay of Islands goes to market with displays
set up at the various markets in Halifax/Dartmouth.
Visit The Old Forge Trail
Stop and help support the various activities and
projects of the Bay of Islands Centre.