Russ the Blacksmith
Russ LoBue is a friendly and informative docent blacksmith for the Folsom Historical Society at the blacksmith shop in Pioneer Village within Old Town Folsom, Calif. The forge was built by the California Blacksmith's Association in the 1970s, is reflective of an 1850s era forge, and sits right next to the historic Sacramento Valley Railroad. The surrounding facility is known as Pioneer Village, an open-air museum that takes visitors through the life and times of Folsom's goldminers, smiths, farmers, and their machinery. Russ works on and off throughout the week on personal smithing projects while educating curious patrons. He was happy to show us the tools and materials of his trade, but most enjoys regaling children with stories of the life of a blacksmith. "Do you guys know why I'm in here?" he recalls humorously asking students, "because this is my playground!"