A Travellerspoint blog

More from Colonial Williamsburg

So many beautiful settings!

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My sister, Bonnie, loved the spinning and weaving demonstrations and displays.

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There was a great shopping area and we ate in a charming cafe called The Trellis
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Other random "stuff"

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Posted by b holm 14:24 Comments (0)

Colonial Williamsburg

Day 9 of our trip was spent at Colonial Willamsburg. It was a treat to spend an entire day in one place. But, when the day was done, we all agreed that we could spend a week here without exhausting all the things that were available to see, tour and explore.

At Williamsburg, we were invited to experience colonial life of the 1700's as we toured the nearly 100 restored buildings, businesses and acres of lawns and gardens that comprise the historic part of this lovely town. We relived history as we listened to costumed guides share historical stories and watched craftsmen display their tools and skills.

I have to share this picture first. This is our group " getting our bearings" and receiving last minute instructions about when and where to meet at the end of our day. Our guides always tried to make sure we knew where we were and where we were supposed to be. We kind of reminded ourselves of a herd of cattle.

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The Governor's House....

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The Governor of Williamsburg was appointed by the King of England and had a much better living standard than the rest of the people of that time.
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Can you guess what this little building is? The main house was not the only thing that was nicer than what the majority of the people had to use!
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I loved the bedrooms!
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For some odd reason, the governor decided to decorate his front entry way with all kinds of arms. I think this was to impress the colonists with his power and influence. However, it turned out to be a bad decision on his part. When the colonists revolted against the King, he had to run for his life and the colonists used all these weapons against the King's army!
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The color themes in this colonial mansion were not quite what we were expecting!
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The summer kitchen...
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Posted by b holm 17:33 Comments (0)

Jamestown, Virginia

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Our visit to the historic Jamestown settlement began with an introductory film in the beautiful new visitors center. The film explained the purpose of the settlement, the reality of the difficulties encountered by the first settlers and the conflict that errupted between two very different cultures--the English and the Native Americans.

By the beginning of the 17th century, England still lacked a claim in the New World. In 1606, King James tried to remedy this problem by establishing 2 companies made up of merchant-adventurers eager to check out the riches of North America--these were the London Company and Plymouth Company.

The first to embark was the London Company. They set forth in three ship in December of that year. Adverse winds held them near England for 6 weeks and seriously depleted their food reserves. Forty-five died on the voyage with only 101 men and 4 boys finally landing in May of 1607. Records show that within a month they were able to complete the building of a large triangular fort on the banks of a river the Indians knew as Powhatan's River. The settlers named it the James in honor of their king.

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When I saw the actual size of these replica ships, it was hard to imagine what it most have been like on this journey. Not only were people crammed together on these vessels but there were also animals on board and the supplies they would need once they arrived.

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This is the type of house the Native Americans lived in.

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These are the structures the "white" men built within the safety of their fort.

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I was especially impressed with the simplicity of the church.

I think we tend to look back and "romanticize" this time period. There was really nothing beautiful about it. The new arrivals dealt with blistering heat, swarms of insects from neaby wetlands, unfit water supplies, typhus, starvation, fierce winters and Indian attacks. That any of them survived is a miracle. Another miracle is that any of them took the time and the energy to record in their journals how they really lived. These documents shed a horrifying light on the the life of these first colonists. They did not find the wealth or gold they had been promised in the New World.

Other boats attempted to reach Jamestown with more people and more supplies. However, they were interrupted by hurricanes and sickness. If they did arrive, many of them were sick or hurt. THeir coming brought only more mouths to feed. One of the first winters became known as the "Starving Time." They traded their work tools and arms for food. When even that food was gone, they ate their way through their livestock, pets, mice, rats and even each other. Following this time, the few remaining people packed what they could and boarded their ships to head back down the James River. Jamestown was being abandoned. BUT, the ships were not 10 miles down-river when they were met by a boat whose occupants told them the newly appointed Governor of Virginia was on his way and with him were three ships filled with supplies and 150 new colonists. Jamestown was given a dramatic reprieve!

Posted by b holm 06:20 Comments (0)

Welcome to the Jefferson Hotel

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After our visit to Mount Vernon, George Washington's beautiful plantation home, we continued on to Richmond Virginia. In Richmond, we had a very special lunch at the lovely Jefferson Hotel. The Jefferson is one of only a handful of hotels in North America to receive both the coveted Five Star and Five Diamond award. This is a building that has, perhaps more than any other, become an integral part of the social and cultural history of Richmond.
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The hotel was build by a man who was one of Richmond's most modest and colorful citizens, as well as, the wealthiest. Lewis Ginter was born in New York of Dutch imigrant parents and came to Richomnd in 1842 at the age of 18. He made his first fortune in the import business and lost it to the Civil War. He served in the Confederate Army, then returned to New York, where he made a second fortune in the banking industry and lost it to a recession. At age 50, he returned to Richmond and entered the tobacco business. He made millions marketing the pre-rolled cigarette and became a civic leader and philanthropist. When he sold his interest in the tobacco compnay he entered his fourth career, land development. He dreamed of giving Richmond the "finest hostelry in America." And, he did!

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The hotel was built incorporating Renaissance and other forms of architecturere that he admired. Ginter named the hotel for his hero, Thomas Jefferson, America's third president. Ginter supervised every detail and the details are amazing. Even the bathrooms are picture worthy!

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Mount Vernon

Home of George and Martha Washington

No estate in United America is more pleasantly situated than this. It lies in a high, dry and healthy country 300 miles by water from the sea....on one of the finest rivers in the world....it is situated in a latitude between the extremes of heat and cold...

-------George Washington

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Our visit to Mt. Vernon was splendid. The morning was crisp and cool while the sun was shining in a bright blue sky. This was such a treat for us after several days of rain! We agreed with Mr. Washington that this was indeed a pleasant place!

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This is the back side of the house facing the Potomoc River. What a view it was!

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I loved the little octagon shaped buildings that were at the corners of fences and gardens.

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Every where you looked there were special details in the architecture.

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There's an abundance of gardens and orchards.

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My mom's favorite part were the lambs. We arrived at the sheep barn just at feeding time. They were all running and scampering with excitement.

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Of course the best part was sharing the beauty with family!

Posted by b holm 12:56 Comments (0)

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