Monday, May 15, 2017

October 2012: Washington DC--Part IV

Governor's Palace, Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg is a living history museum in Virginia.  Williamsburg was, for a time before the Revolutionary War the seat of government of the Commonwealth of Virginia.  The original city streets were laid out with a W superimposed upon an M for William and Mary.  Nearly all remnants of that time have been obliterated.  The city was named Williamsburg in honor of King William III of England.

Before the Revolution, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, George Washington and others of the founding fathers helped further the cause of English governance in the colonies.  The town served as a meeting place for the founders after the Revolution.  Williamsburg was also occupied by Union forces led by General McClellan during the American Civil War.  Since the seat of government had moved to Richmond, Williamsburg slowly fell into disrepair and neglect threatened to return it to the swamp.

In the 1920's, people like Reverend Goodwin and John D. Rockefeller began to take interest in Williamsburg and started the process of restoration, ultimately turning it into what it is today, the living history museum.  Several historic buildings have either been restored or rebuilt on the original sites.  Several non-historic buildings and businesses have been restored or rebuilt with the idea of giving visitors a flavor of what it must have been like during the years prior to and just after the Revolutionary War.

There are pubs, tradesman's shops, government buildings, churches and private homes restored as accurately as possible.  People, employees of Colonial Williamsburg dress in colonial garb and call visitors m'lord and m'lady.  It's like a renfest set in colonial times.  For a fee, visitors can enter Colonial Williamsburg and wander it's streets and immerse themselves in the history and flavor of a colonial town.  There are also staged historical events where costumed revolutionaries try to stir up the populace.  All of this is balanced with the regular people who live there in Williamsburg, and the College of William and Mary.

We spent the day in Colonial Williamsburg and had a very enjoyable time of it.  I'd love to bring my family back to experience all of this.  Enough talk, let's look at pictures.

Hadn't even gotten out of the museum when this lady wanted a picture with me.

Outside the governor's palace

Really cool brickwork abounded

Unicorn as a supporter of the governor's arms

And a lion

This detail ended up in the scene design by Richard Clifford for "She Stoops to Conquer"
Nicely carve marble

Guns and swords in the armory, also used as decoration

Who knew that chandeliers wear socks?

Epic newel post

Wigs inside the governor's palace

My that's blue paint.

Iron stove

Pediment over the door

These kinds of details were everywhere

There are the governor's arms again, or maybe they were William III's, I don't know

Palladian details
More fancy brickwork

Brick and pickets, living together, mass hysteria!

Here's the parliament building

and an oak leaf

Rain gutter

Exterior of the parliament building
Inside one of the chambers


The world through old glass

and more

This guy wanted a duel

Old andirons in a fireplace

Inside the jail, or the gaol as it may have been called at that time

Try digging out of this gaol
I don't think they had those kind of sunglasses back then

She might have been singing

Inside the wigmaker's shop

The wigmaker

Some of her wares

My favorite

This one was cool too

Then there was this guy

Pretty sure these guys were conspiring to overthrow the government

Colonial Williamsburg was a fascinating place, and one that I probably could have spent a few days visiting without seeing everything that was available.  It's well worth the cost of admission.  I believe it has been declared a national historic site, or something like that.  I am not sure if the National Park Service manages this property in whole or in part.

I'd love to go back.

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