The colonial sites in The Historical Triangle - No 1 - Williamsburg 12-17th Nov 2011
Thu 17 Nov 2011 19:09
Now that we were safely moored up in Norfolk, we took the opportunity of sharing a few days car hire with Steve & Chris to explore some the famous colonial sites in Virginia. First stop, a visit to the restored historic area of Colonial Williamsburg, which stretches over 301 acres, and includes 88 original 18th-century structures Hundreds of houses, shops and public outbuildings are reconstructed on their original foundations. Practicing tradesmen make Williamsburg’s historic area a living town, where trades are practiced with 18th century methods and tools.
Along with nearby Jamestown and Yorktown, Williamsburg forms part of the Historic Triangle, which attracts more than four million tourists each year.
The Historic Triangle and location of historic Williamsburg
The College of William & Mary, established in 1693, is the second-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and its former students include 3 U.S. presidents. Modern Williamsburg is inhabited in a large part by William & Mary students and staff.
Williamsburg, founded in 1632 was the thriving capital of the Colony of Virginia from 1699 to 1780 and was the centre of political events in Virginia leading to the American Revolution. It was here that the fundamental concepts of the republic were nurtured under the leadership of patriots such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, George Mason, and Peyton Randolph.
Near the end of the Revolutionary War and through the influence of Thomas Jefferson, the seat of government of Virginia was moved up the peninsula to the safer and more centrally located city of Richmond.
In 1926 restoration began. John D. Rockefeller and Goodwin began a modest project to preserve a few of the more important buildings, but the work eventually progressed and expanded to include a major portion of the colonial town, encompassing approximately 85% of the 18th-century capital's original area. In the preservation of the setting of Virginia’s 18th-century capital, Rockefeller and Goodwin saw an opportunity to ensure that the courageous ideals of the patriots who helped create the American democratic system live on for future generations.
Rockefeller gave the project his personal leadership until his death in 1960, and it was his quiet generosity of spirit and uncompromising ethic of excellence that guided and still dominates its development. He funded the preservation of the 88 original structures, the reconstruction of many buildings, and also the construction of extensive facilities to accommodate the visiting public.
Some of the beautifully restored houses, stores and workshops (above & below)
Costumed historical actors, artisans and guides share their perspective on work, family, politics, religion and culture (above & below)
Strolling around the historic grounds and admiring the beauty of ‘the Fall’ (above & below)
The opulent Governor's Palace (above) was the embodiment of British order in the colonies.
The Capitol (above right) was witness to the vote for America's move to independence.
Michael, Steve & Chris map reading, where is that coffee shop? Outside the College of William and Mary
A very good day out. Next stop Yorktown.