On Saturday, November 16th, James Anderson’s Blacksmith Shop and Public Armoury opened officially to the public. Kicked off by guest speakers, a cannon salute, trades and archaeology displays, and the smell of ribs wafting from the Armoury’s kitchen, the opening marked the culmination of more than three years of research and reconstruction. Many of you have followed along, celebrating each milestone with us: frame-raisings, completions, and openings. Then, on Saturday, we got to see the Armoury complex fully animated by blacksmiths, cooks, coopers, armourers, carpenters, wheelwrights, and tin men. Who knew that so much activity could be squeezed onto half an acre?!
Many thanks to all of those beyond Colonial Williamsburg’s staff whose presence contributed to the weekend’s “revolutionary” feel: reenactors from the 1st Maryland Regiment, the 2nd South Carolina Regiment, the 2nd North Carolina Regiment, the 2nd Virginia Regiment, the 6th North Carolina Regiment, the 7th Virginia Regiment, the Detached Hospital, the German Regiment, and Kingsbury’s NC Artillery, as well as our Native interpreters who portrayed the 1779 Delaware delegation. As you can see from the images above, they were active and important participants in the weekend’s events.
What’s next? Today we will “retire” the Roving Webcam, currently stationed on the east side of the Armoury lot. With the site now open, it has become a modern intrusion to interpretation. The Armoury Webcam, positioned in an upstairs window at the Anderson House, will continue to provide an overall view of the Armoury yard.
We will be winding down the Armoury Reconstruction blog, as well. Throughout December we will take a look back at four years of research and reconstruction, using the vast photographic archive that we have accumulated along the way. Look for lots of galleries in the next month! If any of our blog readers have images or anecdotes that you’d like to contribute to this retrospective look at the project, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org along with your consent to have them posted to the blog.
In the meantime, just in case you missed the Armoury’s Grand Opening, the images above should aid your imagination!