September 2016Colonial Williamsburg – This is one of the most impressive historical sites we have been able to visit.
This stop was suggested by Lorie and Mackie Shanks at our going away party last December. Well, we finally made it.
In 1926, the Reverend Dr. W.A.R. Goodwin, rector of Bruton Parish Church, shared his dream of preserving the city’s historic buildings with philanthropist John D. Rockefeller Jr., and the restoration began.The visitor center was full of knowledgeable and helpful people. The ladies at the information desk are so patient with first time visitors. They explained all the options and what was happening this day. Meet Liberty. Liberty is a Briard, a breed that George Washington would have owned in the 1770’s.Williamsburg was the Capital of the Virginia Colony from 1699 to 1780. This is America’s oldest and largest live interactive history experience. There is something different going on everyday. We were going to get a 3 day pass, but they are running a special fall promotion. We got a pass that is good until the end of the year for less than the 3 day pass.This is such a great place for children (and adults) to learn. This was the kitchen at the Governor’s Palace. The cook was one of the highest paid servants at the Palace.He was demonstrating what and how they would cook for the Governor and his guests.The Governor’s Palace. The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is a private, not-for-profit educational institution that receives no regular state or federal funding. It is not a state or national park.This was the home to seven royal governors (appointed by the King of England) and the first 2 elected governors in Virginia, Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson. It was built to impress.Beautiful and elaborate gardens.Lt. Gov. Alexander Spotswood continued to make additions, including elaborate gardens in 1720- 1722.In 1780, the capital of Virginia was moved to Richmond for security reasons during the American Revolution. On December 22, 1781, the main building of the Governor’s Mansion was destroyed by fire. It was rebuilt in the 1930’s based on the buildings foundation that was still in the ground and other extensive research.John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore had an extensive collection of swords and rifles.Some of his collection decorate the main hall.Handpainted silk from England.Hand painted ceramic tiles around the fireplace.Beautiful antigues.King George III was the British monarch during Lord Dunmore’s time at Williamsburg. As the guest entered the room, they bowed and curtsey to the King and Queen of England, as if they were there.This is one of 4 made in the world, a fold out keyboard. That is not the proper term, but I cannot find it anywhere.Ornate architectural elements.A full restoration began in 1981.Along the Duke of Gloucester Street there are several taverns that provide food and drinks.Susan Ingram suggested we go to Chowning Tavern for a Root Beer.So we did.Looks like a Welsh flag.Enjoy the Art Project. The link is on the screen.Every day they have different performances throughout the village. One day we got to see a young Martha Washington. You get a different program for everyday you might be there. You have to then plan your day according to which performance you want to see and where it is in the village. We got to see young Thomas Jefferson twice. Kurt, is the actor that portrays him. He was very good and really enjoys his job and has a great passion for it. These live shows really get you into the period. After the performance, which last 45 -60 minutes, they will take questions, either in or out of character. It was great.There are houses in Colonial Williamsburg that are for rent to private individuals. Check out the brick work on this house.They can rent up to $3,000 a month.There are horse-drawn carriage rides and then you might see some Colonist riding down the street on horseback.We were too early to eat at Kings Arms Tavern.This was the First Capitol of the Virginia Colony.
This whole educational place is incredible. I can’t wait to come back.
Another day we took the tour of Historic Jamestowne. This is a National Park and we have the Senior Pass that gets you in free at all National Parks. An entrance fee of $5.00 each was charged that goes to Preservation Virginia.We are running out of days, so we had to pick one. There are 4 different sites between Jamestown and Yorktown.So we decided on Historic Jamestowne. The site of America’s first permanent English settlement.This monument was erected in 1907 by the United States to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the Settlement here.Jamestown, the first permanent Colony of the English People, the birthplace of Virginia and the United States, May 16, 1607.It is a beautiful monument.This is the 1907 Jamestown Memorial Church. It was erected to support the 17th-century church tower.This is the Archaeologist that guided our tour. I could listen to him all day. He knows so much about the excavations of the 1607 James Fort and the whole area.The James Fort was built right on the edge of the James River.There is a ferry that travels on the James River.Captain John Smith, Governor of Virginia in 1608. This statue was erected in 1909.In 1893 Preservation Virginia acquired 22.5 acres on Jamestown Island, including the Old Church Tower, shown in the background. The archaeologist here are discovering new evidence all the time. They continue to received awards for the finds they are discovering.The 1907 Memorial Church was erected to protect the 1600’s Church Tower.In 1934, the National Park Service acquired the rest of the 1,500 acre island and jointly administers Jamestown with Preservation Virginia.They continue to find old wells with thousands of artifacts. When the wells are no longer useful, they were used as trash containers. Now, 400 years later, they are finding enough items to fill a large museum. Amazing.And there was also Pocahontas, who married John Rolfe in 1614. Her marriage helped establish peaceful relations between the Powhatan Indians and the colonists. In 1616, she visited England with Rolfe and their infant son Thomas, and was presented to the Royal Court. She died on March 21, 1617 and was buried in St. George’s Church in Gravesland, England.
Somehow, I forgot to add this photo of a glass arrowhead. It was made by Virginia Indians. It was found on the James Fort site.
This is definitely worth a visit, just to listen to the archaeologist working on the site. They are discovering new things all the time.
Next visit is to Norfolk.