Lewis B. Hanson, blacksmith

Lewis B. Hanson House c. 1870

c. 1870 - Lewis B. Hanson House – 120 Portland Street

This house is part of the South Berwick Village District on the National Register of Historic Places. Lewis B. Hanson was a blacksmith who worked from behind his home in the 1880s through the early 20th century. He also served as South Berwick’s town constable and tax collector. His son, Frank S. Hanson, also became a blacksmith.

The Hanson blacksmith shop is probably no longer standing.  The Maine Register, the state business directory, lists Lewis B. Hanson as a blacksmith in the 1880s and 1890s. Town records show him as South Berwick’s constable and tax collector in 1892-93, in 1895 and again in 1900-01.

The South Berwick Register and census of 1904 list several household members living with Lewis and his wife Betsey, whose maiden name was Thurston. Nellie C., Maude and Grace M. Hanson, presumably daughters, were all living there, and employed with housework. Grace married Fred C. Smalley on August 9, 1899.

DriftpinWrought iron drift pin, late 1800s, from Counting House Museum collection.

A son, Roy L. Hanson, was listed as a painter and living at home in 1904. In 1908, he married Betsy Grant of North Berwick.

Another son, Frank S. Hanson, was listed as a blacksmith still living at his parents’ home in 1904. He also is listed elsewhere on Portland Street, perhaps associated with the shop still standing behind the Micajah Currier House.


Iron bending tool, Counting House MuseumWrought iron bending tool, late 1800s, from Counting House Museum collection.

It is not known when Lewis B. Hanson died. Betsey J. Hanson died Feb. 26, 1921 at age 76. Frank S. Hanson died May 25, 1945.Wrought iron band, Counting House MuseumWrought iron band, late 1800s, from Counting House Museum collection.

Railroad spike, late 1800s, from Counting House Museum collection.

Railroad spike, Counting House Museum




 (Summary by Wendy Pirsig from collections at the Counting House Museum. Updated 2020.)