William Barnhart

William Barnhart puts his blacksmithing skills on display at Mountainfest 2020.

RIDGWAY — Weedville teen William Barnhart was among several artisans who took onlookers back in time at Mountainfest 2020 throughout the weekend.

Barnhart, 16, learned about blacksmithing through a video game called “Skyrim” that he played when he was 12 years old.

“I had never heard of it before the game, and I researched it for a year,” he said.

At age 13, Barnhart began to become a blacksmith himself, using a hammer to create different shapes from metal.

Blacksmithing, a respected trade, has been around since the 15th century. Barnhart enjoys keeping an older skill alive and showcasing how it works.

Barnhart had several of his creations on display at Mountainfest, including his popular railroad-spike knives, and was seen hammering on items throughout the weekend. He has created a few thousand knives throughout the years.

He is widely recognized for his anvil — a large block of iron — and brick forge, Barnhart said, which are located in his personal shop.

When asked what he hopes to do in the future with blacksmithing, Barnhart says he sees himself doing it “forever,” and hopes to open a blacksmithing museum one day.

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