Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Colonial Williamsburg, Williamsburg, VA

Colonial Williamsburg is a living-museum that takes place in the old historic section of downtown Williamsburg. The 300 acre area is made up of original and restored buildings and tries to recreate what life would be like around the late 1700s. There are also people throughout the park that are dressed for the period providing tours of the buildings, live skill demonstrations (i.e. brick and wig making) and acting out large historical events (live programs) that took place in Williamsburg at the time.  

This is from one of the first live programs we watched. The town Governor (on top of the wooden box) had all the town's gunpowder confiscated by order of the king. Well' the townspeople didn't like this and were forming an armed rebellion to take it back. The Governor was instructing the town Representative (in red) to have the rebellion stand down. Luckily for us cooler heads prevailed.

Notable buildings and things to do include touring the Capitol building, the Governor's palace, the brickyard, the wig making shop, wagon wheel shop, and the courthouse where the audience participates in two mock trials. We found all the actors at these locations very friendly and knowledgeable.

Bricks were highly used back then so making bricks was very important for this community. This brick oven below is literally a solid pile of bricks that bakes for several weeks and then allowed to cool for several weeks more. These bricks being made at Colonial Williamsburg were actually needed to make some repairs of historic buildings in Jamestowne and Yorktown.

Brad was put in the stockade for wearing his hat inside at lunch. He should have listened to his father more.
Brad participated in two mock court cases. He volunteered to be one of the 12 volunteer judges lead by the head judge below. Hmmm... day dreaming or doing some serious thinking about the proper verdict? The two court case were: a man did not go to church for two months (during this time by law your required to go at least once a month), and a tavern owner was accused of selling alcohol to an apprentice without his masters permission.

Redcoats? What were Redcoats doing in this town? Well, they were there to reclaim Williamsburg for England and reassure the citizens that with their presence they were safe from the rebels fighting for independence. The people watching this program of course booed this soldiers.

Overall, it was an interesting experience but we didn't love it. Colonial Williamsburg is run by a private foundation and is not a part of the National Parks Service. The cost for a one day pass was $42 a person. This is a bit pricey for the experience provided.

Easy and affordable - no matter where you are! 

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