The Ironworks is an Event Venue tucked away in “Artsburg” Ontario, better known as Clarksburg, at the original blacksmith shop from the 1800’s.
Michael B. Pocock, a farrier since the late seventies, originally established The Ironworks in 1995.
In 2001 he purchased the Clarksburg property with the intention of developing a facility to celebrate Art, Entertainment and Culture.
Nestled in a valley near the blue-green shores of Georgian Bay,
there is a village where time appears to have stood still.
One hundred and fifty years ago, prominent businessman William Jabez Marsh came to this valley, looking for a place to build a mill.
Here he founded Clarksburg Ontario.
So why did he name it Clarksburg?
Soon after Marsh arrived in this valley, an American settler by the name of William Clark appeared. Clark paired up with two brothers John and Thomas Tyson as soon got down to the business of building a mill. The main intersection was laid out and homes were built. In 1860, a meeting was held to settle on a name for this new community. There was a tie vote for the names "Marshville" and "Clarksburg", after the two men who first settled the area. The story goes that Marsh insisted that his friend have the honor of the village being
named for him and Clark insisted the main street be "Marsh" Street.
Such civilized early settlers in Clarksburg.
As early as 1861 the little village had a hotel, a general store, a post office and even a library! Many of these original buildings still survive today and make up the community core and quaint business district. The eclectic shops have
all retained bits and pieces of their original charm with tin ceilings,
hemlock flooring and unique architectural features.
Take a stroll through the past 150 years of Clarksburg history, wander through the buildings and meet our fore-fathers who settled our beautiful little village."
From - Clarksburg Sesquicentennial
The blacksmith was an essential part of life for centuries. In southern Ontario the earliest villages were often of two general classes. One grew up at a crossroads where there was a blacksmith shop and a country store, which was also the post office. The other grew up around a dam site, where there was a gristmill that ground grain into meal and flour, perhaps a saw mill, and a blacksmith shop. Clarksburg would fall into the latter category.
Mark Currie is widely recognized as one of the first and most prolific Blacksmiths in Clarksburg. His original shop began in the heart of Clarksburg around the turn of the Century, right beside what was the historic “Lake’s Garage”. Lloyd Lake was a machinist and successful business owner. He and Mr. Currie would often work cooperatively to solve customer’s problems.
By the late 1920’s “The Creamery” purchased Mr. Currie’s building, precipitating the move to 108 George Street, the current location of “The Ironworks” There, Mr. Currie continued serving the community as a farrier and “Smithy” until he retired in the mid-thirties.
Alec Heron took over the blacksmithing duties in the mid-thirties. Known for his forging skills, on most weekdays Mr. Heron’s anvil could be heard ringing throughout the town.
After Mr. Heron’s retirement, there was not another blacksmith in the shop until the turn of the next century. A farrier since I979, Michael B. Pocock purchased the blacksmith shop in 2001. Over the years Mr. Pocock restored the grounds and facility, naming it “The Ironworks”
The following 3 minute video from 2014 describes the early Evolution of the Ironworks here in Clarksburg. Since this video was created, we have continued to reinvest in the Venue and Workshops. The newly renovated Venue features great lighting, high ceilings, white walls and an open concept design.
Today, the Ironworks is becoming a hub for Art, Entertainment and Life-Long learning. Featuring ongoing art exhibits, educational seminars, adult workshops, fashion shows and a host of special events. We intend to keep growing with the continued support and encouragement from our treasured customers and guests!