Despite being small, Kamna Gorica has a rich and diverse history.
Together with neighbouring Kropa, Kamna Gorica was once one of the main ironworking villages in the area of today's Slovenia.
The development of the settlement was dictated by nailmaking. For over a century iron ore from the Jelovica plateau was smelted in the large blast furnace and used to forge nails of various shapes and sizes.
Kamna Gorica was first mentioned in written sources at the end of the 15th century under the name Steinpüchel (Steinpuchell). In the 16th century, which was an era in which ironworking rose in importance, the settlement had already managed to attract a population of 500, while towards the end of the century its numbers increased even more. The village had a blast furnace for smelting iron ore, two plants for the manufacturing of finished products – iron rods - and several foundries where nails were forged.
The main products made by blacksmiths were nails. Various shapes and sizes of nails (there were over 100 different types), each of which served its own purpose, were made by both male and female blacksmiths, and children also helped. They worked 14-16 hour days and were only free on Sundays, although on Wednesdays and Saturdays they 'only' worked in the morning for five hours. 'Free' afternoons were reserved for purchasing coal, preparing firewood and iron rods and repairing tools.
The year 1828 was a fateful one for Kamna Gorica, when in June a serious fire broke out. The damage was huge; 35 residential houses, workshops and warehouses were destroyed. The village struggled to recover following the fire, and in addition, due to falling behind in terms of technology, shortage of materials and economic difficulties, a crisis in manual ironworking was merely a question of time. Towards the end of the century the majority of foundries on Slovenian territory collapsed.
The end of the 19th century was marked by a lack of work and a decline in the population. Even though the blacksmiths were forging for 15 hours a day, the village was under threat of a total lack of work and earnings. Manual forging of nails was no longer able to compete with machine production. The number of residents in Kamna Gorica mainly fell due to workers moving elsewhere – the highest number to Jesenice – which was a consequence of the declining state of ironworking.