Saturday, March 31, 2012

New Reconstruction Site Open Today!

Today is the grand opening of the latest reconstruction project at Colonial Williamsburg!  Anderson's Blacksmith Shop & Public Armoury has been painstakingly excavated, researched, and reconstructed in order to bring us another fine example of 18th century trades and buildings.  Many thanks to Mr. Forrest E. Mars, Jr. for once again funding such an exciting project!  I've been following the progress of this project for the past year and a half on the reconstruction blog and through watching the webcams at  If you haven't been following the blog, I highly recommend visiting it to see how this project evolved.  They have detailed many of the steps throughout the reconstruction and have provided wonderful photos as well.  It is always fascinating to see how many people with different skills and crafts it takes to bring about the most accurate and beautiful end result.  Huzzah to all of them for giving us this wonderful new shop where we can continue to learn about the past!  We are looking forward to visiting the new site when we are next in town.

Colonial Williamsburg armory
Archaeology in Progress
Colonial Williamsburg, June 2011

The new buildings interpret the property during the late 1770s as James Anderson's business began to grow and evolve due to efforts in the war.  Anderson was appointed public armourer in 1776 and the changes in his business reflect his commitment to his new country.  Currently, the nearby tin shop is also being excavated and will be reconstructed next, as well as some other small buildings on the property.  In addition to the blog, you can read more about the new property here.

Colonial Williamsburg armoury reconstruction
The Anderson property after the previous blacksmith shop had been demolished.
The newly reconstructed kitchen stands to the left.
Colonial Williamsburg, March 2011


lahbluebonnet said...

We were at the grand opening of the armory today! It was GREAT!

Ashley said...

Glad you made it to the opening! I can't wait to see it! Did you also go to the special Sneak Preview event at the Kimball?

lahbluebonnet said...

No, we skipped that event since they were going to show it on facebook anyway. Instead we did something very special. We got to be some of the very first visitors to the Armoury complex, without the prodigious crowds, early in the fresh cool morning, seeing everyone fresh (unusual at the blacksmith shop) and all the buildings pristine! We saw dinner pre-cooked, the beginnings of iron, fun, fun. We also had the interpreters pretty much to ourselves. To me that was golden and better than a preview!

lahbluebonnet said...

Oh, after the ribbon cutting ceremony, forget it...the line waiting to get in was l-o-n-g. We made a return visit later in the afternoon to catch up on dinner, etc...without the prodigious crowds!

Rebecca said...

I thought you guys were probably there! :-) Glad you had such a special time. We're looking forward to getting to see everything in a few weeks!