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Vol. 23, No. 3: Things

Building a Broom by Feel: Jim Shaffer

by Emily Hilliard

Jim Shaffer’s shop is dusty and smells like a horse stable—a comforting olfactory association that I suddenly realize has less to do with horses than with the rolled and bundled straw I see stacked high along the walls. Though the pole barn that houses Shaffer’s Charleston Broom and Map Company is just a few miles from the capital city of Charleston, West Virginia, the unincorporated area where it sits along Davis Creek in Loudendale is a wooded, quiet, and close-knit community. Everyone who lives here knows Jim, and many people across the state know him too. At 87, Shaffer has been making brooms for seventy years and is the last handmade commercial broom maker in West Virginia.

This article appears as an abstract above, the complete article can be accessed in Project Muse
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