It was 59 degrees this morning when we got up. Not at all what we expected, but the sun was out and it warmed up to 70 degrees by 9:30 when we left for Colonial Williamsburg. We picked the right day to go! We drove the few miles to the Visitor’s Center, paid our entrance fee (with a 10% discount coupon), and spent a little time at the Visitor’s Center before we hopped on the free shuttle bus.
Bob and George
The first stop on the shuttle bus was the Governor’s Palace where we got off.
Tours were given every 15 minutes, so we signed on for the next tour. While we were waiting for the tour to begin, we walked around the grounds to the outdoor kitchen.
We entered the kitchen and spoke to the ladies in the kitchen about the colonial dishes they were cooking. They were using recipes for an old Colonial cookbook.
Our tour was called and we joined our tour guide for a little background history of the times.
The Palace was one of the finest structures in British North America, built in 1722.
It has been open to the public since 1934 and faces the Palace Green.
There were so many interesting things to see inside the Palace. This impressive display of weapons was seen inside the foyer of the Palace.
The rest of the Palace had lots of stylish furnishings and posh decorations for the time.
After touring the Palace, we walked through the perfectly groomed gardens.
Traveling along the street were carriages and buggies giving tours of Williamsburg.
Walking along the Palace Green, we toured the Withe House. It belonged to George Wythe, a prominent lawyer, who mentored Thomas Jefferson.
The house had some interesting furnishings and decor.
We were intrigued by the locks on the doors and the keys used to open those locks.
Many men and women were dressed in period costumes and talked about the rooms or areas we were in. They were eager to answer any questions we might have.
Next along the Palace Green was the Bruton Parish Church. The present church building has been in continuous service since 1715.
We walked in and the beautiful organ sounds echoed off the walls.
The church was erected in 1710-15. The bell tower was constructed in 1769 and the bell was cast in 1761 which still rings for services today.
Each of the church pews had a short door to close off the pew and a name plate of the person or family who sat in that pew. This one in the front was General George Washington’s. Thomas Jefferson’s was right behind him.
We turned down the Duke of Gloucester St., the main thoroughfare in Colonial Williamsburg.
We stopped at the Greenhow Store and looked at all the different products that were for sale.
Our next stop was at the shoemaker.
We listened to the young woman talk about the different shoe styles of the times.
Next door to the shoemaker was the weaver. The women there were actually using the looms to do some weaving. They had just received some chestnuts from a local resident that would be used for dying the wool brown.
Moving down Gloucester St., we hopped across the the street to the Courthouse which was built in 1770.
The docent there explained that there would be a minimum of 4 judges to hear cases and that people would stand in the open gallery to witness the cases. The courthouse interpreters enlist guests to demonstrate the workings of the local government at different times throughout the day.
I had to try out the stockade that we found in the courtyard there.
Across the street, we visited the Magazine and Guardhouse. The Magazine and Guardhouse were the storehouse for arms and ammunition, built in 1715.
The site included the blacksmith shop and the Armory. Interpreters conveyed the amount of work necessary to supply soldiers with ammunition and supplies. The Magazine displayed firearms and military artifacts.
We checked out the Printing and Bindery Office which was a print shop and bookstore. We took a look at the menu for Chownings Tavern and decided to keep on touring around.
Next door was the William Pitt Store of children’s colonial clothing.
We walked up to Wetherburn’s Tavern and got there just in time to take a tour.
This establishment figured prominently in the commercial life of Williamsburg. A “tavern” back in the 1700’s was more like a hotel. It served meals, offered rooms for rent, and often supplied stalls for the horses. This tavern is furnished in period.
The Barber and Peruke (wig) Shop was closed so we couldn’t get inside.
The King’s Arm Tavern and Shield’s Tavern down the street were both serving lunch. There was a long line of people to get in at Shield’s Tavern.
Around 1:00, we found a shady spot on the curb to witness the Fife and Drum March.
They marched down Duke of Gloucester St. from the Capitol to the Palace Green.
We stopped in the Apothecary to hear about medicine and methods of the time.
Some of the buildings were closed today or they were private residences and not open for viewing. Being a Saturday, there were people walking their dogs, jogging, or visiting the Farmer’s Market in Colonial Williamsburg, but it was much less crowded than we expected for such a nice day. Our last stop was the Capitol Building on the other end of Duke of Gloucester St.
We arrived at the Capitol gate at 1:30 only to be told that there was a special presentation being put on in the capitol and it wouldn’t be open for touring again until 3:30, so we decided to visit the Gunsmith Shop and Blacksmith Shop instead.
My grandparents had visited Williamsburg a couple of times many years ago and had talked about how much they enjoyed it. I finally got to visit and understand what they were talking about. We enjoyed our visit to Colonial Williamsburg and learned a little more about our history that we didn’t already know. From the Capitol, we hopped on the shuttle which took us back to the Visitor Center and our truck. We got back to the campground at 2:30 after a stop at Wal-Mart for some propane cylinders for the grill. When we drove into the campground, we noticed that they had put out Halloween decorations all over the campground. The second picture shows the decorations that were put up on the corner of our campsite.
The special activities that were going on at the campground today were the climbing wall and a mini petting zoo. There were a lot of kids that enjoyed those activities with their parents. We enjoyed the afternoon outside with Auggie. It turned out to be a beautiful day and the campground was pretty quiet for a Saturday. We had salmon on the grill for dinner. Auggie and I took our walk around the campground as it was getting dark outside. The Halloween decorations were lit up at night and the stars came out in full force once it got dark. Bob and I watched some TV and enjoyed our last night in Virginia. Tomorrow we start our 4-day trek home with our first stop in Fayetteville, NC.