At the foot of the Vogesian mountains, in a landscape with quiet roads, meadows and woods you can find the smithy museum of Etueffont. It was the home and work-place of four generations of blacksmiths from 1843 to 1977 : the Petitjean family.
In an 18th century building, inscribed as « Monument Historique » you can discover the history of this smithy, the village and the surrounding landscape.
From 1843 to 1910, Etueffont was a village of half-farmers, halfs craftsmen, where the smithhy was a good business and where the smith was an important person in the village.
Then, with the increasing mechanisation of agriculture, there were less and less customers, because draught animals had disappeared and very few manual tools had to be repaired.
The farmer population decreased rapidly. The work in the factories gave a much better income then te poor soil around Etueffont. In 1913 a railway line was made, enabling to go working in the town of Belfort.
In 1952, at the death of Camille Petitjean, his son Cesar does not take over his father’s smithy, because it was no longer possible to make a living out of it. He came every now and then to shoe a horse or repair some tools.
In 1977 the smithy is closed for ever.
During the museum visit, you cas discover the craftsmanship of smith and wheelwright, the daily life of the smith’s family ans several local crafts from the beginning of the 20th century. At this time respecting the environment and avoiding waste were obvious. Some of these old ways of working are coming back for sustainability in daily life.
The forge-musée is not just a collection of tool, it is a lively museum, where the smith’s know-how is still passed on during the workshops and demonstrations.