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Keeping history, and business, alive
Argus Observer - Friday, December 28, 2001, Ontario, OR

By Darlene Allison



NEW PLYMOUTH - When "horse power" was replaced by the automobile the blacksmith industry had to change to meet the new face of industrial America.

Tuttle Blacksmith Shop, New Plymouth, managed to weather the change and also hold on to blacksmith equipment tools and techniques.

The business, founded by Ray Tuttle in 1926, is alive and well and under the new ownership of Jerry Jones.

Jones said he purchased the business to build and sell concrete horse stalls. The concrete horse stalls are exactly that, horse stalls made of concrete with rebar reinforcement and jail bar fronts.

"We also have the engineering for Mane Stay horse barns," Jones said. "They are made totally from concrete and steel and can be made as a row of stalls with a sloped roof or two rows of stalls with a pitched roof in the configuration of a barn with a walkway between the rows and doors."

In addition to general farm repair, welding, lathe work, milling and blacksmith, Jones also has several "side businesses" he pursues.

The newest addition to the Jones' firm is the "Tuttle Bin Handler." Model 4546, designed to automatically handle onion bins, is set up at the Tuttle Blacksmith Shop and available for demonstrations.

"The bin handler eliminates the expense of forklift and operator time," Jones said.

Anyone wanting to see a demonstration of the bin handler can contact Jones at (208) 278-5846 or (208) 371-9315.

Another specialty Jones produces is wrought iron benches.

"We make several different styles and can customize them with pictures or personalize them with names, or both. Whatever the customer wants," Jones said. The benches can also be powder coated almost any color the customer requests, which makes the bench weatherproof and rust resistant, he said.

Jones makes bar stools with farm equipment seats. He also builds custom wrought iron items, including fences, gates, and stairs. His newest artistic endeavor is wrought iron decorations for lawns and gardens. All items are powder coated.

He said he recently had a customer ask him to build a decoration to be placed at her husband's grave site.

"The man loved to fish," Jones explained. "The decoration is of a man catching a huge bass. She also asked me to make a larger one for display in her yard."

Jones said he can custom make anything, if the customer brings in a picture or just tells him what they want.

"You dream it, we can make it," he said.

Another of Jones' businesses is Oregon Trail Wagon Works, also situated at Tuttle Blacksmith Shop, where he rebuilds and restores all types of horse drawn vehicles.

"We also have a three-seated, spring wagon, complete with horse and driver, that can be rented for special occasions," Jones said.

Add to that service his rotiserie, capable of cooking 100 pounds of prime rib at a time, and that he also plays in two local bands, makes him capable of handling a dinner and dance party of any size.

"I know we can feed at least 500 people at a time," Jones said. "Because that's how many we fed for an LDS church gathering last summer."

One of the bands he is in is named Highway 21 and plays new country and some rock and roll, Jones said.

The Country Classics band plays older country music, he added.

"The public is welcome to stop in at the shop and see history," Jones said. "It doesn't cost anything."

Time has changed the necessity for some of Tuttle Blacksmith Shop services, but it has not changed the fact that even those services are still available at the shop.

Tuttle Blacksmith Shop is situated at 116 W. Maple in New Plymouth.

Blacksmith shop in New Plymouth has managed to evolve and reinvent itself.



This classy looking, three-seated black and red spring wagon, complete with horse and driver, can be rented for special occations from Jerry Jones, New Plymouth.

Photo by Darlene Allison









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