What's New on History.org: The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation's Official History and Citizenship Website

This blog follows the reconstruction of the Revolutionary War Public Armoury on the James Anderson site

Reconstruction of the Blacksmith's & Public Armoury

March 8, 2013

Because You Asked….

Webcam location

There are two questions that seem to be on the top of readers’ minds today.  The first is “where is the roving webcam located?”  This morning we moved the roving webcam to the back of the Armoury property where it is focused on the new archaeological excavation (started on Monday), and on the brick masons laying the foundation for the Armoury’s workshop.  The graphic above should give you a sense of the camera’s position. 

The second question is about Eleanor, the Armoury cat, and how she is handling the changes (and the foul weather) all around her.  As you can see from the images below, Eleanor is faring quite nicely.  We should all experience stress in such comfort!

Eleanor Eleanor the pampered cat

Comments

Leave a Reply

  1. Thank you for both the diagram and the Eleanor update (if we could all only be so lucky!). It is good to see things coming along.

    • Jim~
      Always good to hear from you. I agree…the real site is looking increasingly like the 3D rendering that our modellers created 18 months ago!

  2. Good afternoon Armoury Crew,
    Thanks for the updates.
    Eleanor in one pampered kitty. Glad to see she has so many friends.
    In a previous blog message on the workshop, you said the building would be built next year. Why such a long wait after the foundation is built? Or did I misunderstand?
    Thanks again for all you floks do,
    Chris

    • Hi Chris~
      Frame raising for the workshop is scheduled for late July of this summer, with completion anticipated around Labor Day. Our Historic Trades carpenters will then get to work preparing materials for the South Storage Building. Our hope is to have the whole site completed sometime in November. Not many “long waits” in the near future!

    • I’m having some trouble with orientation of the webcam. Indicating the location of the webcam in the model is great. Perhaps you could add the view angle? Also add the cardinal compass points to all models. It looks like it is pointed to the west side (if I have my bearing is correct) of the white fence in the model. Is that correct? If so, how would you be able to see the workshop foundation on the east side of the fence? If it is not the workshop foundation, what is the goal of this excavation currently in view?

      • Anton~
        It’s not surprising that you are having a bit of trouble with the webcam orientation. You’re right…the graphic lacks a full explanation.

        he camera is, indeed, pointing northwest. The difficulty you’re having is that the 3D model includes site elements that are already in place, and some that have not yet been rebuilt. The white fence is one of the latter. The webcam sits in the space between the workshop foundation, and the south storage building foundation.

        The excavation that you currently see is focused west of the workshop foundation, and picks up where the archaeologists left off last November. We have expanded (northward and westward) the excavation area that produced part of what we’re calling a “sawpit” (for lack of an alternative hypothesis) with the expectation that we will find more of this feature, and will be able to make a more informed assessment of its function. Remember that the sawpit sits on the lot west of the Armoury, and therefore will not be part of the reconstruction.

  3. If these are the 2 most popluar questions…..I think the easiest way to answer “where’s the roving camera” and “how is Eleanor” would be to hang the camera from Eleanor’s collar. Then we have both answered!

    • Rick~
      We have discussed the possibility of a “Cat Cam” …especially when we exposed the brick drain in the Armoury ravine, and were hoping for a view of what was inside. So far, it seems difficult to entice Eleanor to do any real work. I understand that this is not uncommon cat behavior!

      • Remember the old saying, Dogs have Owners, Cats have Staff. I’m glad to see Eleanor’s staff are holding up their end.

        Very nice to see the project is still moving ahead in good order. I haven’t seen the Web site for a number of months and was happy to see the progress. Keep up the good work and I hope to make another trip one day.

  4. It is good to see the archaeology webcam showing the work on the armoury site. I will follow the work with great expectations.

    Ron

  5. Hey Everyone,
    Just wanted to mention that the Virtual Williamsburg feature is up and running. Checked it out last night and have to say I’m impressed. Lots of research involved and a whole section devoted to the Armoury project.
    Great work and always fun to see the updates at the actual construction site.
    John

  6. Hi Armoury Crew,
    This is not an Armoury question, but in the past you have been kind enough to tell us about the Capitol project. Would you please give us an update on how the roof replacement is going.
    Why is it taking so long? We had our roof replaced in 3 days. How are they protecting the interior from the weather? How would they have protected the building in the 1800’s? We have these big plastic tarps we can throw over construction.
    As always thank you for sharing your knowledge with those of us far away.
    Have a great Spring,
    Chris

  7. Thanks Meredith. I was wondering about the sawpit. Looks like a very big area you are looking at. I assume the sawpit is only a small percentage of the area you are currently digging. Is there something else you are looking for?

    • You’re right, Anton, we’ve opened a much larger area than the sawpit is likely to fill….or at least we HOPE that’s the case! Because we don’t know how large the feature is, however, we’ve aimed high. What may not be visible quite yet is that we have opened an area large enough to intercept (at the northern end of the site, farthest from the webcam) backfilled excavation units from 1975, just as a way of orienting ourselves, and being certain that we’ve looked at everything.

      We’re also doing some exploration to the west of the sawpit. Last summer we detected something unusual happening at that edge of the sawpit, and wanted to investigate further. It was a channel filled with brick rubble running parallel with the sawpit’s west side …I’ll need to post a picture in the next few days just to show you what I’m talking about. Make no mistake, archaeology is like pulling at a thread …. it just keeps going and going…..

  8. How exciting to see all of the activity at the saw pit site! When the weather is agreeable, the site looks like a bee hive of activity! So many people working. Is there a deadline? I’m anxious to hear what has been found and what the diagonal trenches indicate. Keep up the good work.

    • Hi Dave~
      It IS a little bee-hivish out there! There is, in fact, a deadline (April 19) which is more of a self-imposed deadline than anything else. With so many upcoming “events” at the Armoury (frame-raisings, openings, etc) the schedule is a bit like a Rubik’s Cube…if anyone gets off task, everyone falls behind. We just don’t want it to be the archaeologists who are to blame! We won’t be gone long, however. After a few weeks away (while others will be doing their work on the site) we’ll be back in May for another round of archaeology. Plenty to watch throughout the summer!

      The diagonal trenches were first dug in 1941, during the first round of excavation on the property. We call them “Jimmy Knight Trenches”, after the draftsman who employed that trenching technique here. They were intended to help locate and identify brick foundations …. something that they were successful in achieving, for the most part. They show up today as aereas of disturbed soil, full of artifacts from a variety of periods (up to, and including, 1940) . We remove the fill from those trenches to prevent contamination of lower layers.

  9. I see from the website that there is more activity going on and a new foundation being built. What I understand from the diagram that it will be a workshop? If I’m reading it right, what kind of workshop will it be? What, if any, is the completion date on this project?


Switch to our mobile site