The images below, captured late last week and early this morning, record some of the final preparations for the Armoury’s March 31st opening. The building has been painted, inside and out, bellows are being adjusted and hung, and the blacksmiths’ tools, carted over from the Deane Forge, are now hanging in their places. Visitors familiar with the former Anderson Blacksmith Shop will notice some new “furniture.” A steadily growing pile of musket crates is just one suggestion of Anderson’s transition from civilian blacksmith to Public Armourer.
Long time visitors may spot new features in the Armoury yard. A well and pump, built over archaeological remains of the 18th century well, is nearly complete. In the days running up to “Opening Day” it will receive a coat of paint and all necessary hardware. Across the yard, Colonial Williamsburg’s Masonry Trades team is finishing construction of an outdoor forge just south of the Armoury building (another archaeologically indicated feature), and will be applying additional layers of clay to the bread oven. As you can see from the images below, the oven currently sports a “scratch coat” consisting of clay, lime, and straw.
March 31st promises to be an exciting day, and we hope you’ll join us! Although the Armoury reconstruction will not be completed until 2013, we have reached an important milestone worth celebrating. The newly finished and furnished Armoury building and Anderson kitchen will be open for touring with special events and programming between 11a.m. -1 p.m. The site will remain open beyond 1 p.m. (and for decades to come!) to Colonial Williamsburg ticket holders. While an in-person visit offers the best view and full effect, the webcams will be stationed to capture the action. We hope you’ll join us one way or another. In the meantime, please click on the images below to enlarge the view and whet your appetite.