Here at early valley crossroads in 1851 or 1852, 36-year-old David Brinton established Holladay’s first business enterprise, a blacksmith shop, causing this locale to be known as Brinton’s Corner. North of Big Cottonwood Creek (today rerouted farther south) was Brinton’s house, leaving ample room for his shop, horses, carriages, and customers.
In the 19th century, a towns blacksmith was an important resident drawing clients miles distant because he made or repaired wagon wheels, axes, metal tools, plows, chains, hinges, sleigh runners, and horseshoes. Blacksmiths often shaped or welded iron by heating an inch-wide iron rod in a fire (called a forge) and forcing air into the fire from a bellows, which raised the fire’s temperature. When the iron rod was red- or white-hot, the blacksmith removed it from the fire with tongs and placed it on a metal anvil. He pounded the softened metal into the shape he wanted and dipped it into a bucket of cold water so the new shape would hold.
Children especially liked to watch blacksmiths shoe horses. Blacksmiths held up the horse’s foot, cleaned and shaped the nerveless hoof with rasps and knives, then custom fit and nailed to the hoof a new U-shaped horseshoe.