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In Memory of "Blacksmith Bill" Landis
January 19, 2022

It is with a heavy heart and deep sorrow that we share the news of the passing of our beloved, long-time, and award winning volunteer "Blacksmith Bill" Landis. His departure will truly be a loss for our park programs, especially Fort Tejon's Student Living History Program. Bill has been a volunteer at the park since the mid-1980s when his interest was piqued by a visit to the post's blacksmith shop where he made his first handmade, blacksmithed souvenir. Ever since then, blacksmithing became his forum for engaging in hilarious and great historic interpretation at Fort Tejon. The lives of thousands of students and visiting public were wonderfully touched and inspired by Bill through the park's programs over the decades. It will be very "big shoes to fill" for Fort Tejon to find a volunteer like Bill Landis who could masterfully offer enjoyable historic interpretation to all sorts of audiences through the medium of mid-19th century blacksmithing. He will be missed, but remains loved, by many.

Bill could regularly be seen stoking the fire at the blacksmith forge at Fort Tejon. He loved to greet the public and explain the blacksmith craft to all who visited. Bill was one of the sweetest, nicest, funniest friends. Never did any see him angry or in a foul mood. He greeted everyone, young and old, with his bright blue eyes and big smiles. Everyone visiting the fort was drawn to him, his stories and whacky jokes. He truly was a treasure and an irreplaceable friend.

Rest in peace, dear friend.

If you would like to make a dontation to Fort Tejon's Student Living History Program in lieu of sending flowers, please click the following link and you will be directed to PayPal.