Local historic machine shop offers tours

Some activities such as going to the movies, shopping at the mall, mini golfing or going to the museum were all closed, due to COVID-19 restrictions. A common activity to do on a rainy day, exploring a museum and learning about different topics, art and artifacts from past history is, however, available again. 

Many of our local restaurants, stores and museums are starting to open back up. One such museum, the W.A. Young & Sons Foundry and Machine shop, which is located in the historic area of Rices Landing, is about 25 minutes from campus and is offering tours to the public. They are open from 12-4 p.m., Oct. 4, 11 and 18 by reservation with a group of six or less. 

Upon entering the main building, you will find industrial artifacts. As a visitor on the tour, you are able to tour the blacksmith shop, pattern shop, hardware store and foundry.

On the tours visitors can see when the machines are turned on to demonstrate what they do and how machines from the last century worked. Ron Baraff, director of historic resources and facilities at the Rivers of Steel organization, explained what visitors should expect to see and experience during their visit. 

“Visitors will learn that the National Historic Landmark W.A. Young and Sons Foundry and Machine Shop was built in 1900, and produced parts for steamboats, coal mines, railroads, and supported local small businesses.” 

The Machine Shop holds a lot of history too, “The Machine Shop is a rare example of a family run shop, which was owned and operated by the Young family for 65 years, until they closed their doors in 1965. The building was locked and all of its tools and equipment were left in place—perfectly preserving its line shaft driven, twenty-five-machine network for future generations,” Baraff said. 

The Machine shop was designated as a National historic landmark in 2016. 

“The Machine Shop is the only National Historic Landmark in Greene County and is one of the best-preserved examples of an early 20th-century small industrial machine shop in the nation. Visitors tour the blacksmith shop, pattern shop, hardware store and foundry— they will marvel as the machines are switched on during a live demonstration of this turn-of-the-last century technology,” Baraff said. 

Located in the heart of Rices Landing, the W.A. Young & Sons museum is a landmark for the surrounding community and provides a glimpse into the past. 

To learn more about the tours, such as location, contact information, click the link below. 


These tours are offered most Sundays ending October 18. If you want tickets click the link below.