Fundraiser underway for central Iowa historic site

DES MOINES, Iowa- Decendents of a German black-smith, who ran an Iowa shop 100 years ago, are raising money for the now-historic site.

Experts say the Edel Blacksmith shop in Haverhill, near Marshalltown, is packed with more than 4,000 artifacts.

Jeff Morgan of State Historical Society of Iowa says money raised will be used for panels to explain artifacts, the work of blacksmiths, and European immigration to Iowa.

This is the third matching-gift campaign, to help preserve and protect the shop.

The first two matching-gift campaigns in 2016 and 2017 raised nearly $40,000 and helped specialists catalogue, clean and conserve more than 4,400 artifacts in the shop last year.

"We experienced tremendous success with the first two matching-gift campaigns, and we've seen attendance grow at the historic site by 60 percent over the past few years," said Susan Kloewer, administrator of the State Historical Society of Iowa. "With increased attendance, we want to continue improving the visitor experience and thank Matthew Edel's family and our other donors for their generous support."

Edel owned the shop from 1883 until his death in 1940. In addition to blacksmithing, he made wagons and wheels, shod horses and registered patents for numerous inventions. He also made beautiful iron crosses to mark cemetery graves.

This year, Edel's descendants, the Schrader family, have offered to match up to $10,000 of all the funds donated by Dec. 20, 2019.

Contributions can be made online at  https://iowaculture.gov/support or by mailing a check made out to the Iowa Historical Foundation, 600 E. Locust St., Des Moines, Iowa, 50319. Please note in the check's memo line that the donation is for the Matthew Edel project.

The Matthew Edel Blacksmith Shop is one of eight historic sites overseen by the State Historical Society of Iowa, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. More information is available at iowaculture.gov or 515-281-5111.

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