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The Commission's historian noticed in the census of the 1780's, just following the departure of the British from St. Augustine, the name of a William Sims, characterized as a silversmith. The exact site of his shop or residence was not indicated, but Mr. William L. Sims, II, Secretary-Treasurer of the Commission, responded with interest to a suggestion made by the Commission's Director that he might like to re-create William Sims' Silversmith Shop in St. Augustine. A plot of land close to the exhibition area under restoration was selected, where map evidence indicated the site of the building constructed during the English period, and this was re-created in 1966.
William Sims Silversmith Shop functions again today for the delight and instruction of hundreds of thousands of visitors who flow down through the historic city. Starting first with the pouring into original colonial molds of pewter spoons, the shop is beginning to expand into the area of hollow-ware.
The little shop itself is charming small L-shaped structure, typically British colonial in its earthen red paint and white windows. A small forge is built into the chimney at one end of the room for a shop, but the building typifies the typical colonial combination of shop and residence. Mr. Sims made available a gift of $27, 000 which was then matched from other sources to make possible the project.
Purchased: October 25, 1965
From: Edwin Kemp Respess
By: St. Augustine Restoration, Inc. Price: $44, 000