Early morning on the Commons was simply beautiful as we embarked upon the opening of the 20th annual "Colonial Times, A Day to Remember" event.   A year of preparation has culminated in a diverse gathering of reenactors and living history interpreters with anticipated attendance in the thousands.
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All is quiet in the early morning.
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Soldiers begin to stir and prepare breakfast.
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A sheep
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Faire Wynds perform on the Glass Harps.
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Backwoods cabin.
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Dr Franklin, engaging as ever.
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Max the Tinsmith working on his wares.
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Blacksmith's Forge is a popular venue.
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Ike talks to visitors about local colonial history.
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Cool drinks available at the Spring House Tavern.
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Artillery Deminstartion
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The New Windsor Cabinet Shop hosts many visitors.
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Inquires about the wares for sale.
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Locals form the village stop by to visit.
While we did not get the Shop completed to the point that we could have visitors come inside, setting up on the porch afforded us the opportunity to share a glimpse of what the New Windsor Shop will become as we grow into the future.

All in all, this was a very good beginning.

Chris 
 
Well, the start of our big annual event is finally here!  While the Shop on the hillside is not ready for prime-time during School Days, we are just one day away from our debut -on the Saturday of Colonial Times!

Today we hosted 1,000 school children from the local Georgia and South Carolina  public, private, and home schools.

Enjoy some pictures from the day.
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By the dawn's early light, School Days gets underway!
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Buses unloading students at the front gate.
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General George Washington addresses students at the Barn.
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Students are shown a variety of needle work projects in the Thompson Academy.
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A Back Woodsman talks to students about life in the back country of the Georgia colony at the back woods cabin.
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The French Lacemaker demonstrates the lacemaking process and attempts to enroll young children into his trade.
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One of 2 Blacksmiths talks to students about working metal in the 18th century.
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Ben Franklin and his wife talk about events of the day.
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Colonel Brown reflects on life in the King's army.
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A Native American gives a perspective on life within the Savannah River valley.
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A Toymaker shares his wares with visiting students.
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A Woodcarver memorizes visitors with wit and skills.
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Faire Wynds Circus is a favorite of young and old.
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Lunch is served on the stage.
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The King's proclamations are posted on the Tavern wall for all of his subjects to read.
 
Well, we made a good run at getting the build complete by the October 15 date for our annual Colonial Times "A Day to Remember" event but we have run a little short on time and funds.
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View as you come in from the Lake Avenue entrance.

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View from Lake Avenue.

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View of the lower level from the path to the Barn.

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Interior view across the Shop and into the Wareroom.

While we did not get the building 100% complete, the exterior is 98% done and the interior will be simple to finish once the final funds are secured.  I hope to have the construction complete before cold weather sets in so that we can use the shop over the winter.

For the October event, we will  be set up to demonstrate on the front porch and talk to the public about the Shop.  I hope to see you this weekend as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of Colonial Times: A Day to Remember. 

That's all for now...

Chris
 
We continue to push forward to complete as much as we could over the past week as we are on the down hill slide now with less than a week before our annual Colonial Times "A Day to Remember" event.    
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Worked continued to finish up the exterior siding, trim and touch up painting.
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The never ending task of moving landscaping block and assembling them into retaining walls is drawing to an end. Alonte' moves yet another load of block for Augusta Concrete Block and readies them for the upper wall.
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Speaking of concrete landscape blocks and retaining walls, we simply would not have the beautiful terrace walls were it not for the dedication and perseverance of some special members of the US Navy Chiefs from Fort Gordon. Steve, Aaron and Germina your volunteer dedication and contribution are unparalleled. Thank You!
And finally for the week, we had a bit of an unexpected surprise.  Someone in government saw fit that we receive new pavement on Lake Avenue right out in front of our front door.
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A nice fresh coat.
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It just feels right.
5 Days and counting!

Chris
 
Wow! The exterior of the Shop has dramatically transformed over the past week as we push to finish in time for our Colonial Times "A Day to Remember" event on October 14-16, 2011.  We now have paint, windows, doors and siding.  
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Painting the 16 windows turned out to be quiet a daunting task. While several folks like Ding and Pam pitched in to help, the vast majority of the work was completed by Lynn. THANK YOU LYNN!
A special thanks to Will Steele of Victor Bilt for the special pricing on the windows and doors.  The craftsmanship of their products are fitting for our shop and their generosity helped make the Shop a  reality.
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The dormer windows going in.
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The Wareroom door is being installed and the upper retaining wall has been started. Check out how good the siding, trim and window look on the side wall.
The siding product we selected for cost, maintenance, and aesthetic reasons was a concrete based product.  Philip Shivel of Lansing Building Products negotiated with James Hardie USA/Canada for special consideration in the purchase of their Colorplus HardiePlank siding & trim.
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WOW!!! The blue siding is simply the most perfect color!
Inside the Shop we are adding a spectacular detail that is not only beautiful but also functions to hold the walls together.   
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I must confess. I was not in favor of adding these overhead beams as I did not want to take away from the openness of the room and have the beams cast shadows from the dormers above. All I can say is the I was wrong and the beams are AWESOME!
Ok... Ok... OK!  Yes, we are an 18th Century Cabinetmaker's shop.  And, No, electricity was not a part of an 18th Century structure unless something had gone enormously wrong.  So then, why am I about to show you pictures of people wiring the Shop with electricity? 

From the outset, the vision for the New Windsor Cabinet Shop was one of a venue for both 18th Century and 21st Century events.  A space to demonstrate the historic wood trades of a bygone era and a place to host and embrace modern day working.  You could do the former both then and now but the latter can only be done now and often times requires a plug.  :-)

Check out the Classes tab on the website.  We will be offering period skill and project classes  as well as present day classes.  Have no fear, if you can see the electrical outlets you are in a modern day class.  If you are in a period class, whats an outlet!
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Master Electrician, Eric Presnell, of Aiken Augusta Security System, lead the effort to install the electrical in the Shop. Once again, Eric has donated his professional services to wire the Shop just like he did in 2009 during the construction of the Barn.
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Lydia Presnell, Eric's wife, stopped by to help pull wire.
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Mr. Zippler installing outlet boxes.
This week we received a helping hand from both local and national companies.  This project simply would not have been possible without the support of these organizations.  My thanks to each of the following companies for without their help and the help of other companies and individuals like them, the Shop would still be a dream in my head.   You can click on many of the logos and link directly to their websites.
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Victor Bilt, provider of windows and doors.
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Lansing Building Products, provider of exterior siding and trim.
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James Hardie, provider of exterior siding and trim.
Another great week of progress.  

Chris