Smith’s vaguely scientific notions, combined with folk beliefs and superstitions

Say what you will about the Jake’s to Mango to Mcguire’s to Kozak’s to Cypress curse, Smith picked a beautiful day to open its doors. You should be able to stop in and grab a drink in the evening sun tonight.

We walked by last night and got a peek inside as they prepped for a private party and test run. Magic hour light streamed into the dark loungey cave that already looked plenty boozy. Seattle Weekly’s description doesn’t really do the place justice, either, but here are a few more details. Yes, there is a taxidermy deer head on the wall.

We hunted around the Web hoping to find some tidbit about blacksmiths and Capitol Hill history but didn’t find much. Smiths were part of Seattle’s labor force as they were in all cities through the transition into the machine age of the 20th Century. In addition to ironwork, many handled issues of veterinary medicine — and, often, a smithy’s patients walked on two legs, says the Internet:

In rural Québec in the 19th and early 20th centuries, blacksmiths practised a magico-religious medicine based on vaguely scientific notions, combined with folk beliefs and superstitions.

The village smithy was always brimming with activity. It was a meeting place where men held their stag parties, learned to drink, played power and parlour games and discussed politics. The blacksmith indulged in certain popular practices: he was called to re-establish order in the village; he struck the new fire of Holy Saturday in his forge and carried it into the church; he headed the labour group and maintained the fire used in flax crushing; his horses drew the hearse. The blacksmith himself, the theme of tales, legends and songs, held a privileged place in folklore.

Don’t know how much Seattle is like rural Quebec but we suppose some of the spirit of the blacksmith was present even in a bustling frontier city. Hopefully, today’s Seattle can connect with some of that spirit, too. Smith looks like a good place to do it.

–j/k

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