The End of an Era

Hello all:

Mack Headley, Jr., master cabinetmaker at the Anthony Hay Cabinet Shop at Colonial Williamsburg, officially retired as of today.  It’s certainly not the end of woodwork and opportunities for him.  But it is the end of an era for us here at the shop, and a new beginning as well.

Mack Headley at the bench, October, 2012.

Mack Headley at the bench, October, 2012.


Mack has ended his 31 years at CW in rousing fashion:  the completion of most of the woodwork for the first of the Mount Vernon candle stands.  A few details will be finished by the staff and the second stand will closely follow Mack’s research and practice.

Mount Vernon Candle Stand Reproduction #1.  Mack Headley, Jr., maker.

Mount Vernon Candle Stand Reproduction #1. Mack Headley, Jr., maker.


As Mack said today to us all at the shop, “It’s been quite a ride, guys.”  Indeed.  So much work.  And the standards set for us now and for the future.  Memorable.

Join us in wishing Mack the best as he continues his life and work and new possibilities.  We will continue to carry his name as Master Cabinetmaker, Emeritus, on the staff profiles here on our blog.

Best to him… and to you all.

The Hay Shop.

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15 Responses to The End of an Era

  1. Stephen fee says:

    I wish Mack the best, he was always a great source of information and inspiration. Stephen fee

  2. rwyoung says:

    Congratulations and best wishes for the future, Mack!

  3. Bill T. says:

    No way!! I always thoroughly enjoyed Mack’s presentations at the annual “Woodworking in the 18th Century” conferences, and also just chatting with him at any opportunity during the breaks or at the Hay Shop. I hope he’ll still be hanging around now and then.

  4. Marsh Jim says:

    You title is correct it is an end to an Era. I to enjoyed Master Headley at the shop as well as reading several articles in the early Fine Woodworking magazine. I was also fortunate to take a beginning carving course with him and learned an awful lot. He always had time to show you a better way to go. I wish him the best.


  5. Dave Ray says:

    Good luck and thank you Mack

  6. pfollansbee says:

    31 years – amazing. Please tell Mack I send congratulations. He is the benchmark in museum woodworking for sure…
    Peter Follansbee

  7. Dennis Heyza says:

    While I certainly wish Mack all the best, I can’t imagine how CW will fill the hole his retirement leaves. I always looked forward to his presentations at the January symposiums. His skills and depth of knowledge are amazing.

  8. I will miss visiting you in the shop. I wish you all the best for the future.
    Any plans for what’s next or just relaxing for a bit?

  9. Kirk says:

    Best wishes, Mack. Thanks for all your help and sharing your knowledge.

    Kirk Rush

  10. Gary Cook says:

    Amazing work. Good luck for the future.

  11. John Crenshaw says:

    Amazing run Mack. We never retire, we just do something else. All the best.
    John Crenshaw

  12. Best wishes, Mack! I always enjoyed working with you and also learned a great deal at the same time.

  13. Andrew Salazar says:

    Mack is truly one of a kind. There is no replacement for him at CW. Others will follow, but to understand 18th century woodworking, and be able to communicate that knowledge at the level he does is nothing less than amazing. I wish him all the best.

  14. Gerald Smith says:

    All the best wishes for your future endeavors,,,it was truly a joy to learn from you… Thanks again,, Gerald Smith

  15. Dan O'Sullivan says:

    Sad to hear you have retired from the Hay Shop. My first trip to the shop back in the early 80s was a turning point for me. Mack, Wallace Gusler, and George Wilson made the journey to CW worth the effort. Mack you have been a positive influence on more people than you will ever know. Carry on and stay well.

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