WILLIAMSBURG, Va., May 26, 2015 – Jamestown Settlement will hold an “International Blacksmiths’ Day Celebration” on Saturday, May 30, to honor the legacy of the blacksmith, an iron-working tradition in Virginia dating to 1607 when John Smith declared that the colony’s “best commoditie was Iron which we made into little chisels.”
From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., visitors can see modern blacksmiths from the Central Virginia and Tidewater blacksmith guilds demonstrate the craft and, in Jamestown Settlement’s re-created colonial fort, examine 17th-century techniques in the blacksmith forge.
Historical interpreters will show the process of smelting iron from ore in an iron bloomery from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the museum’s fort. During the same time in the riverfront discovery area, visitors can discover some of the Virginia minerals that colonists may have found as they explored the new colony by helping sieve and identify materials collected along the James River.
Saturday’s event also features two afternoon lectures. At 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., scholar Lisa Heuvel will discuss the history of English mineral exploration in the New World. At 3:30 p.m., Jamestown Settlement historical interpreter and blacksmith Vincent Petty will discuss the evolution of iron-making technology and its application in the Virginia colony.
Jamestown Settlement, located at Route 31 and the Colonial Parkway (2110 Jamestown Road), is a living-history museum of 17th-century Virginia, with expansive gallery exhibits and outdoor re-creations of a Powhatan Indian village, the three ships that brought America’s first permanent English colonists to Virginia in 1607, and a colonial fort.
Admission is $16.75 for adults and $7.75 for ages 6 through 12, and free for children under 6. Residents of James City County, York County and the City of Williamsburg, including College of William and Mary students, receive complimentary admission with proof of residency. For more information, visit hif.ciniva.net or call (888) 593-4682 toll-free or (757) 253-4838.