It was built, literally, from the ground up.
Roughly 40 years ago, Chester Haack, an amateur blacksmith, constructed wooden walls around the stone forge behind his Overlea home along Kenwood Avenue.
The shop housed hundreds of Haack's tools, gadgets and iron trinkets, in addition to a large leather billows, a pedestaled anvil and several hanging hooks and chains.
Within weeks, however, only the building's shell will remain. Its contents were recently sold to .
Haack, 96, now lives in a retirement community in Bel Air. He and his son, Jeremy Haack, a Baltimore County Public Schools administrator, decided it was time to sell the collection.
After serving in the U.S. Army during World War II, Chester Haack began working for Bethlehem Steel in Sparrows Point.
Blacksmithing was always a favorite hobby of his, said Jeremy Haack.
From candleholders to hinges, Chester Haack often performed small jobs for family and friends inside the shack. "I never remember him charging people money. If people wanted something, he tried to make it for them," Jeremy Haack said.
Following his retirement from Bethlehem Steel, the elder Haack began volunteering at the Baltimore Museum of Industry. He occasionally took on large mechanical restoration projects, including antique steam engines, his son said.
Chester Haack's wife, Eva Maye, died in 2006. Together, they had three sons, four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.