Eagle Scout forges legacy with completion of blacksmith shop at Ramsey House

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The historic Ramsey House in eastern Knox County was once home to one of East Tennessee’s first pioneering families. The house and its property, like many historic homes, had buildings that deteriorated through the years and disappeared.

But a Corryton Boy Scout is leaving a lasting legacy by reigniting a blacksmith forge for his Eagle Scout project.

Beginning in 2019, high school senior Ethan Anderson raised $20,000 to build the blacksmith shop. The newly completed 12-by-15-foot log cabin complete with cedar shake roof and a brick forge returned a piece of history to the Ramsey House built in the late 1700s.

The project took a year to complete with construction beginning in June 2020 with footers being dug.

“My dad asked me when I first started figuring out what I wanted to do as my Eagle Scout project Did I want a monument or a legacy?,” Anderson of Troop 500, said. “I wanted a legacy and not just a monument. I think that it will be a great tool to be able to show younger generations what life was like back in the 1700s and 1800s here.

“This project was a hard task as you can imagine. A bunch of planning went into it, a lot of time and effort.”

Ethan’s father Branden, who is also his scoutmaster, enjoyed the journey with his son, as he and members of the troop worked on the project together.

“When he came home after his tour here and told me he found his Eagle Scout project he said he is going to do a blacksmith shop,” Branden said. “Knowing him like I do, I was thinking are we talking four posts in the ground with a roof on it? Or, are we talking about like the Ramsey House built like a castle. Knowing him, I’m thinking, we’re going to build a castle.”

Ramsey House Director Kelley Weatherley-Sinclair said the new shop is just another step in making the property a “living history experience.”

“We are so excited to finally have a working blacksmith shop,” Weatherley-Sinclair said. “Ethan is a wonderful young man. His family has been wonderful. They’ve spent so much time here putting love into this building.”

The Eagle Scout project guidelines required Ethan to plan, execute, and document the entire project.

“It shows that there are still kids out there today that take on a challenge that is daunting, even to adults that they wouldn’t think about doing,” Branden said.

Ramsey House is hosting a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 1 p.m. Saturday to officially open the blacksmith shop.

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