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 The Escondido History Center's Tom Bandy General Blacksmith has been involved in a number of remarkable projects over the years, including historic reproductions, restorations, community outreach, and education. Here are a few of the projects the the Tom Bandy Blacksmith has taken on:

San Salvador Sailing Ship

  Tom Bandy Blacksmith representatives took part in a four-year project in support of the Maritime Museum of San Diego, constructing a historically accurate replica of the San Salvador. Under the command of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, the San Salvador arrived at the port we now call San Diego on September 28, 1542. She was the first recorded European vessel to sail along Southern California, and survey its coastline.

  During the project, our blacksmiths made hundreds of metal parts for the ship, including dead-eyes, chain plates, chain links, steel and bronze bolts, hooks, eyebolts, nails, straps and ballast hangers. They were also called upon to make tools for use by the shipwrights, including marlinspikes, caulking irons, staple dogs and ceiling clamps. The blacksmiths even made a set of surgeon's tools for display on the finished galleon.

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Photo Courtesy of the Maritime Museum of San Diego

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Mud Wagon

The Tom Bandy Blacksmith Wheelwright Shop and the Rancho Bernardo Historical Society built a replica "mud wagon" stagecoach from scratch, based on drawings and photographs, for display in the RB History Museum at the Bernardo Winery.  The project was funded through a grant from the San Diego County Neighborhood Reinvestment Program. Mud wagons were small coaches used to transport passengers and light freight during the latter part of the 19th century. Their small size and weight allowed them to traverse the rugged and often muddy trails linking small communities throughout the back country. One such stage line connected San Diego and Escondido, operating on a daily basis. Mud wagons departed each city at 8:00 a.m. and met at "Twenty-Mile House" in Poway around lunch time and arrived at their destinations at 4:00 p.m. The one-way fare was $1.00, including lunch.  


Centennial Cannon Restoration

The San Diego centennial cannon was originally cast in 1876 by the San Diego Foundry to celebrate the nation's centennial. It was used over the years during significant occasions around San Diego. It was still in use in 1942 where it appeared on its wagon mount in Horton Plaza but the cannon went missing when Horton Plaza underwent a post-war renovation in 1945. It was discovered in a Pacific Beach yard in 2013 and was donated to SOHO, San Diego's Save Our Heritage Organization. When the Tom Bandy Blacksmith's learned that SOHO wanted to restore the cannon to original working order, they reached out and offered to do the restoration. The barrel of the cannon was the only part left, so the restoration project relied upon grainy newspaper photos and descriptions to guide the restoration effort. Restoration completed, the cannon is again used to celebrate significant events around the San Diego area.

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321 N. Broadway

(in Grape Day Park)

Escondido, CA 92025


P.O. Box 263

Escondido, CA 92033


Research Center

Tuesday-Saturday 10am-4pm

Museum Complex

Saturday 1-4pm


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