In Their Words

"the star...of our society"

Read Aloud

I suppose if we were to hold an election to decide who is the star of first magnitude in our society, as craftsman, Mr. Kelley would receive every vote.
Cornelius Kelley is the ironworker, designer and master builder of the andirons, candlesticks, sconces, knockers, tables &c &c &c. Mr Kelley was born in Cork Ireland, he came to this country when he was 12 years old....he... learned the trade of blacksmith....'A covered buggy' Mr. Kelly said 'would cost between 100-200.00 hundreds of dollars then, but soon they began making all the iron parts by machinery and Mr. Kelly was out of a job. He came to Deerfield then and went to shoeing horses and when business was slack he would make something. He had made a pair of andirons when Mrs. Wynne was looking for geniuses (and she found one). His andirons went into the exhibition. Mrs. Wynne made a drawing of a candelabra and Mr. Kelley made one from it. Some one tried to beat him down on the price, which was ridiculously small, and Mr. Kelly was so disgusted he went back to shoeing horses. For several years he refused to make anything bigger than hinges but before long he gave up shoeing and went back to his [?] twists and curlicues.... In passing I must say that Mr. Kelley's gift for design is only equaled by his gift as a story teller. He has the real Irish wit and a society meeting at the Kelley's is always well attended.

Eleanor Arms presentation on the Society of Deerfield Industries, handwritten transcript from the collection of the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association.