Something new/old in Colonial Williamsburg

Gun patterns hang in the newly recreated Public Armoury in Williamsburg.

Gun patterns hang in the newly recreated Public Armoury in Williamsburg.

Colonial Williamsburg has opened a new exhibit along Duke of Gloucester Street.

Musket balls await final finishing touches.

Musket balls await final finishing touches.

Anderson’s blacksmith shop and the Public Armoury opened amid colonial militia encampments and fanfare the weekend of November 15-17.

James Anderson expanded his little blacksmith shop to support the efforts of Virginia and Continental forces during the Revolutionary War. Up to 40 people worked on this site to create the arms necessary to win the war. It lasted only two years, from 1778 to 1780.

The site has been rebuilt thanks to a gift from Forrest E. Mars Jr. and the work of many archeologists and historians.

Here’s a photo essay:

21st Century visitors see the blacksmith's shop in action.

21st Century visitors see the blacksmith’s shop in action.

A tinsmith's apprentice soldiers a broken pitcher for soldiers encamped nearby.

A tinsmith’s apprentice solders a broken pitcher for soldiers encamped nearby.

When they weren't working on armaments, the blacksmith made household objects.

When he wasn’t working on armaments, the blacksmith made household objects.

Other artisans worked on the site as well, including basketweavers and coopers.

Other artisans worked on the site as well, including basketweavers and coopers.

Picket by picket (all hand-hewn of course) a fence goes around the Public Armoury site. Did you know houses in Williamsburg were required to have fences to demarcate their lots? Some of them were quite handsome.

Picket by picket (all hand-hewn of course) a fence goes around the Public Armoury site. Did you know houses in Williamsburg were required to have fences to demarcate their lots? Some of them were quite handsome.

A cooper planes a slat for a barrel.

A cooper planes a slat for a barrel.

 

A soon-to-be barrel.

A soon-to-be barrel.

© Text and photos
Mary K. Tilghman

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