Wednesday, May 11, 2011


This morning, we got up and enjoyed a hot breakfast at our hotel, and then headed to the Colonial Williamsburg visitor's center. The girls have been looking forward to renting costumes and experiencing the colonial town in period dress.

As we walked to the town, we crossed a bridge with plaques imbedded in the ground. They were taking us back in time from present day to the days when Williamsburg was a loyal colony to the King of England.

We began our visit with an introductory tour/walk around the area. This was helpful to get us oriented, and we also learned some interesting facts. Next was a program in the museum about restoring and preserving items. After the museum, we toured one more house before lunch. It was the residence of Mr. Wythe, friend and teacher of Thomas Jefferson. We saw the parlor where Thomas Jefferson spent time playing his violin!

The most intriguing, enchanting thing about the community is that it is/was REAL... So many of the buildings have been there for hundreds of years, and our founding fathers really walked the same paths, discussed politics in the same parlors, and slept in those same bedrooms!

Lunch was in a local Williamsburg tavern. The building was set up how a tavern would have been, and of course, our server was dressed as a bar maid. Thankfully, this tavern had the modern convenience of "necessaries" indoors!

The Geddy home was the home of the local silversmith. We got to see the shop and the attached home. In this home, we had a manners and dancing lesson! The house was a good example of upper middle class life, and we learned that it was in these houses that families made use of drop leaf tables that are so common in antique shops. Middle class families did not have as many rooms as upper class families, and therefore had to make the most of space. They would break the tables down after meals and move them against the walls to make room for dancing, music, sewing, or school.

Adjacent to the silversmith's home was the gunsmith. We saw how a gun barrel was molded from a piece of iron!

We took a short break had some playtime on the palace green...

What could be more fun than playing with hoops and sticks on a large, grassy area!

We walked across the green to see the blacksmith and wheel wright. In most of the shops there would be one person to talk to visitors while another person worked at the trade. While we watched this man making a hinge, we listened to another man tell us about shaping iron utensils.

We saw the guardhouse, courthouse, and the magazine. Will was particularly interested in what the man had to say about all of the weapons (which were authentic, original weapons!).

He wouldn't dress up in a costume, so we locked him in the stocks... but only for a minute!

We happened upon the beginning of a tour of Peyton Randolph's home. This tour was given by an African American gentleman who spoke from the viewpoint of a slave. Who was Peyton Randolph? Some people argue that he was really our nation's first president, because he was the president of the first and second continental congresses until his untimely death. His home reflects his rise in political influence. The original structure had a side entrance with a narrow, steep staircase. In 1754 he joined his two buildings with a fabulous entry area. Sarah is regarding his ornate wall coverings from the landing.


Sheri said...

It looks like a simply marvelous journey thus far. How wonderful indeed, of Sarah to regard Mr. Randolph's ornate wall coverings. The photographs of the children climbing the tree were absolutely heartwarming. I conjecture that your youngest son, Joshua, sincerely longs to be with you!

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