Men and boys stand in front of a blacksmith shop
Emil Seman’s Wagon & Blacksmith Shop, 1893-1897. Located on Lansing Street where the present day Fire Station stands now. Emil Seman, second on right.

May 28, 1926 – Pioneer blacksmith, Emil Seman, died at his home on Little Lake Road following a brief illness. Born in Germany around 1856, Emil began an apprenticeship as a blacksmith when he was 17. He immigrated to America in 1879 and began working for Carl White in Whitesboro the following year.

He next came to Mendocino to work in Jacob Stauer’s blacksmith shop, which was located where the fire house on Lansing Street is today. After four years working for Mr. Stauer, Emil took a position as blacksmith for the Mendocino Lumber Company.

In 1891, Emil purchased a half-interest in Mr. Stauer’s blacksmith business. The Beacon announced that the new partnership would “carry on the business of blacksmithing, horse shoeing, wagon making and general repairing.” Following Mr. Stauer’s death in 1893, Emil purchased Stauer’s interest in the business, and in 1897, he moved his shop to the northwest corner of Lansing and Little Lake Streets, where the Century 21 building is located today.

In his obituary, the Beacon wrote, “Mr. Seman was an accomplished mechanic and a hard worker, and built up a profitable business by his industry and craftsmanship. His was one of the few [blacksmith] shops that did not go out of business when the auto superseded horses. Deceased was upright and honest in all his dealings; a good citizen who took a keen interest in his community’s welfare and all its activities.”

He was survived by his wife Rosa, one son, Emil Jr., and three daughters, Lena Baumgartner and Sene Daniels, all of Mendocino, and Bertha Moore of Lompoc. Funeral services were held at the Catholic Church.

Tomorrow! The Kelley House Museum hosts its annual Memorial Weekend used book sale on Sunday, May 29, from 10AM – 3PM. Choose from a curated collection of books on history, travel, cooking and gardening. A few rare finds will be available for collectors. 45007 Albion Street in Mendocino.