How Did We Get Here?: A Look Back at the Kitchen Reconstruction

The Reconstructed Anderson Kitchen
To our readers: James Anderson’s Blacksmith Shop and Public Armoury opened on November 16th,  2013, bringing the reconstruction project to a close.  While we will all enjoy the completed Armoury for decades to come, this blog, dedicated to the reconstruction effort, will soon be winding down.  Before we go, it seems appropriate to take a parting glance at the progress we have made. Over the next 6 weeks, we will
focus individually on the Armoury’s component buildings, from their archaeological discovery to the final coat of paint.   For those who arrived late to the Armoury Blog, this is an opportunity to read an encapsulated history of the project.  This week’s post takes a look back at the reconstruction of the Anderson Kitchen.  

Given that everyone always gathers in the kitchen (no matter the century or location), it is fitting that the Armoury reconstruction began with this building.  The kitchen appears on the 1782 Frenchman’s Map, although its use is not indicated.  It was excavation, conducted in the 1930s and again in the 1970s, that revealed a massive chimney base and other features suggesting cooking as the building’s primary function.

Excavation also revealed another important fact: that the kitchen was in use long before the rest of the Armoury was constructed.  We believe that it was built between 1750 and 1760 to serve a tavern once standing where the Anderson House stands today, and that it was incorporated into the Armoury complex in 1778.   Because of its earlier history, the kitchen is often referred to as the Anderson Kitchen rather than the Armoury Kitchen.

To learn more about the discovery and reconstruction of the Anderson Kitchen, continue on.  The gallery below is best viewed by clicking on the first image.  This will enlarge the picture and, through captions,  provide a narrative for the action.  Continue through the gallery by clicking the arrow at the right of each image.  Enjoy!

 Photo Credits: Dave Doody, Lisa Fischer, Willie Graham, Tom Green, Peter Inker, Clyde Kestner, Jeff Klee, 

Amelia Poole, Meredith Poole, Dave Sams.



  1. Christine Hansley says

    Hi Armoury crew and Meredith and your crew,
    Over the last several years I have learned so much from so far away. Thank you for the great education. One of these days we will get back there. I hope sooner rather than later. I look forward to the look back. I was glad to hear that Forrest Mars was able to attend the opening.
    It would be nice if they gave the Archeological crew their own blog. That way, where ever you are digging, a single site or multiple sites, we can still ask our Archeological questions. Some about current digs and others from the past or future as we think of them.
    Will there be a blog for the Market project?
    Again, thanks for the great ride through history. It has been a pleasure.
    We wish everyone a very safe in your travels, Merry Christmas and Happy and Healthy New Year!
    Chris & Jim Hansley

    • Meredith Poole says

      Chris and Jim~
      There is a strong possibility that you are psychic! We are presently hammering out the details for an archaeology blog to be launched early in 2014. As you suggest, this would allow our followers to keep up with current excavations, to get a behind the scenes look at other aspects of archaeology, and to hear about the highlights of past excavations.

      You should also keep an eye out for a Market House blog, which is in the planning stages as well. We are so pleased that this format has worked for you. We have certainly enjoyed pulling it together, and have reaped the benefits of interaction with a wider and appreciative audience.

      • Chuck Trefz says

        An archeology blog sounds great! The few finds at the market square excavations provided for interesting discussions on site last month.

        Next years excavations over in the ravine between the coffeehouse and Capital will be interesting to follow.

  2. Surretha Uebel says

    Thank you for sharing this adventure. This is how I live out my dreams of being a part of a dig/reconstruction.

  3. Jim H. says

    I have enjoyed watching, reading, and attending the reconstruction of the Anderson Armoury over its course. I am enjoying this look back. I would love to get details of the construction of the side draft forges in the blacksmith shop as they seem to work so well.

    • Meredith Poole says

      Jim- Thanks for placing your order! We are going to take a look back at the blacksmith shop next, and will try to address the side draft forges.

    • Meredith Poole says

      Glad you enjoyed it, Chuck. I think we all looked a lot younger at the beginning! In the next installment, we’ll take a look at rebuilding the blacksmith shop.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *