Briggs to Auction Historic Dilworthtown Arden Forge

Briggs Auction, Inc. of Boothwyn (Garnet Valley) will hold a historic auction on August 12, 2008 of the well-known landmark, The Arden Forge. Located at 301-309 Brinton’s Bridge Rd. in the Dilworthtown Historic Village, the blacksmith shop has stood and served many for over two centuries.

The current owner, Peter A. Renzetti, AKA “The Unknown Blacksmith,” retired, and the contents of his shop were sold on the auction block in spring 2007. The real estate has been listed on the commercial real estate market since then with much interest but no definite buyer.

Renzetti, well known for his expertise in the restoration and reproduction of historical hardware and ironwork, holds the knowledge and passion for the Arden Forge. Clients of the Forge included the Hagley Museum of Industry, the Winterthur Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of New York, The Smithsonian and others.

The property was originally granted to John Jones and Company by William Penn in 1686 as part of a 500 acre parcel. Since then the property has passed through 16 recorded owners, 4 of which were blacksmiths. Some of the other trades that occupied the buildings over the years at the crossroads were a hattery, a harness making shop, a wheelwright shop, and the town hall. In 1975, the original blacksmith shop was restored to a full working blacksmith shop and had been operational until 2007.

The single room log cabin was the first of the buildings to be erected on the site. The next built was the original blacksmith shop in 1745. This was a valuable trade at the busy crossroads between Wilmington and West Chester. In 1847, a wing was added to the shop extending toward the intersection. The stone residence on the property was built in 1790 with an addition incorporating a cooking fireplace with a beehive oven completed in 1820. In subsequent years a summer kitchen was built on the back of the house.

The buildings, totaling 6,000 square feet are now ideal for commercial, retail or office use with easy access to major Route 202 and located in the desirable Dilworthtown Historic Village. Auctioneer John Turner, of Briggs Auction, Inc. states, “The property is perfect for a buyer with great vision and desire to grow their business in a very unique setting.”

Real estate auctions have become a very viable alternative to traditional real estate listings promoting fair market value for properties, quick settlement and a targeted date utilizing an extensive advertising campaign.

Turner states, “The seller is happy because they know the exact date their property will sell, and the buyer is happy because they have set their price without lengthy negotiations.”

A $10,000 registration fee is required to bid on The Arden Forge. This fee will be applied as part of the down payment of the successful bidder. The registration fee will be returned to any non-successful bidders. Bidders must be pre-qualified before auction day to purchase the property.

The auction will be held on Tuesday, August 12, on-site at The Forge at 1:00 p.m. Preview from 11:00 a.m. Showings will also be held by appointment. For more information, contact Briggs Auction, Inc. at 610-566-3138, [email protected] or visit