The Armoury is Officially Open!


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?!

Video: Scenes from the Armoury opening.

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 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!


  1. David Jahntz says

    As a donor, it is always a special privilege to share my knowledge with the Colonial Williamsburg visitors as part of the Detached Field Hospital for special events such as the Anderson Blacksmith Shop grand opening. The Historic District and its Revolutionary City activities certainly make history come alive. Thank you for all the foundation’s efforts throughout the year as well.

    • Meredith Poole says

      I thought that the Detached Field Hospital was fantastic. What a wealth of information…and a terrifying array of medical equipment! Thank YOU for all that you do!

  2. Jim H. says

    What a great day it was. From seeing Ken strut around, proud as a peacock (as he should be!) and seeing all of the Blacksmith “alumni” from Peter Ross, Shel, and the rest, it was very special. The gift that Steve made for Mr. Mars was marvelous and exhibited great workmanship. I look forward to many more years of watching the site become more alive and grow. Thanks to all who took Mr. Mars donation and put it to action. Huzzah, Huzzah!

  3. Rick Brouse says

    well well well…..this last 4 years have been quite a ride. From the very beginnings of the archeological explorations to the final building products. I’ve met some great folks though this blog, facebook & in person who have parallel interests in history and the preservation of it. There is not enough that can be said about the efforts put forth by ALL the CW staff and most notably the Mars family (who probably want no special recognition). I’d like to publically thank everyone for allowing me to be a part of this experience. Years from now I’ll be able to tell my Grandkids that I was a “PART OF” a very important reconstruction that took place at CW waaaaay back in 2013!

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