How Did We Get Here?: A Look Back at the Kitchen Reconstruction
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,
In 18th century taverns, citizens exchanged ideas and opinions about the events of the day. The Tavern renews that tradition, featuring thoughtful commentary on current events and how they relate to American history and citizenship.
Nov. 7-11: Veterans Day Weekend Active duty military, reservists, retirees, veterans and their direct dependents receive free Colonial Williamsburg admission for the entire Veterans Day weekend
Nov. 11: A Military March Honoring America’s Veterans 4:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Market Square North
The event features the Colonial Williamsburg Fifes and Drums, Military Programs staff and members of Williamsburg community veterans groups. All armed forces veterans are encouraged to participate.