Revisiting Colonial Williamsburg

It has been a blustery, cold spring so far, but I can still enjoy Spring Break. My friend, Leanna, was willing to come with me to visit Colonial Williamsburg for two days. We had both been as children, but going as an adult with a better understanding of history gave me a new perspective (though the little children running around in colonial clothing, asking questions, and even taking notes were adorable). As a teacher, I am thrilled to see them catching the enthusiasm for our country’s history. We made the three hour drive early in the morning so that we could maximize our two day stay. By the way, currently there is a promotion for Virginia residents that allows them to purchase an annual pass to Colonial Williamsburg for the price of a one-day ticket (info here)!

We toured the Governor’s Palace, the Capitol, and various houses of prominent citizens. I enjoyed the tour of Wetherburn’s Tavern, where George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and other prominent founders were known to stay while serving in Williamsburg in the House of Burgesses, as well as the tour of the Raleigh tavern, where the dismissed House of Burgesses continued to meet together, leading to the first continental congress.

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Wetherburn’s Tavern

The grounds were beautiful and we were thankful for sunny weather, if not actual warmth. Some plants were starting to flower and green was coming back into the lawn. I probably took the most pictures of the adorable little houses and side yards.

I also really enjoyed going into the trade shops. The interpreters are all so knowledgeable, not only about the trade, but about 18th century life. It was interesting how each shop smelled so pleasant, not from a candle or air freshener, but from the work. The leather works, carpentry shops, tailors, apothecary, etc. each had a unique smell.

The most interesting moment for me was watching a tradesman in the foundry (the founder? not to be confused with the founders of the country, haha) pour liquid pewter into a mold and make a spoon in about ten seconds. He then demonstrated how the melting point of pewter was too low for cooking by dipping the spoon back into the liquid and letting it dissolve nearly instantly. I wish I had taken a video to show my 1st graders!

Leanna and I were also fortunate to catch an evening service at Bruton Parish Episcopal Church, which has remained a place of worship since the 18th century. The flow of the service felt familiar after learning to use the Book of Common Prayer at New Covenant. The choral music was also very beautiful and a pleasant, reflective way to end our day.

 

Photos are my own.

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