Our 2nd excursion of Nicolas’ Special Liberty Days involved a drive back almost 300 years to the 18th century when our nation was not yet a nation, but just a group of English colonies.
I had read online that, although you can purchase tickets to enter the historic buildings and participate in the demonstrations, tickets aren’t needed to just visit the town.
We were only spending one afternoon there, so we figured that just walking through the historic streets and having lunch in one of the taverns would be enough history for us. We didn’t need to get tickets to tour the actual buildings – good decision – we would not have had enough time to see many of the buildings . . . and the three non-history buffs I was with were not really interested in touring the buildings anyway. I thoroughly enjoyed it though, and took LOTS of pictures!
We started out at the Visitor Center,
where we watched a movie about the time leading up to the American Revolution and oriented ourselves to colonial Virginia.
Then. it was time to begin our walk back in time . . .
There were shuttles to take you from the Visitor Center to various locations around Colonial Williamsburg, but there was also a short walk along the Revolutionary Parkway, so we opted to walk.
We arrived at one end of town, where the Governor’s Palace was located.
In the early 1770s, Williamsburg was the capitol of the Virginia Colony, and the House of Burgesses, made up primarily of Merchants and Plantation owners, were more inclined to remain loyal to the King of England rather than join up with the rebellious colonists up in Massachusetts.
The younger generation, however, were eager to join the rebellion and were gathering to march towards Boston as the Burgesses met in the courthouse to cast their votes on whether or not to join with the other colonies and declare their independence from England.
Although many were opposed to the movement, the vote was unanimous to become a united nation, independent from England. So much has changed in 200+ years . . . our current government could never come to a unanimous decision on anything, especially something they disagreed about!
OK, enough politics, it was time to explore this colonial town.
Without tickets, we did not have access to any modes of transportation other than our own feet, but some people were taking advantage of the available rides.
The cobblestone streets were lined with historic buildings,
and I had no shortage of photos to take!
Many of the buildings included historical demonstrations and were open only to ticket holders, but others were open to everyone – like the church, and several shops.
We went into the Greenhow Store,
which was stocked with authentic colonial goods . . . at 21st century prices!
We walked around, browsing the shelves,
and getting into our colonial role!
You can actually rent period costumes for the day, if you want to be immersed in the experience, I guess . . . we saw a few family groups walking around in costumes, but not many.
Dogs were welcome in Colonial Williamsburg, too, and we saw quite a few, including a giant Great Dane that just laid on the sidewalk and let kids come right up to it. Casey would never have been that calm around all those people!
Market Square was in the center of town, just across from the Courthouse, and was the location where the newly gathered troops began their march toward independence. It was also an area for vendors to gather and sell their goods.
We continued our walk along the Duke of Gloucester Street,
admiring the well-maintained colonial buildings, many of which are still private residences today.
The guys took a break in the shade while I continued taking pictures.
More houses, shops and taverns . . .
They had to stop and ask what a peruke was . . . it’s a wig!
We were all getting a little hungry, and we had decided on Shields Tavern for our lunch stop.
We put our name in for a table, and waited just a few minutes to be seated. Our lunch was very good, and there was even entertainment!
At the end of D of G Street, we reached the Capitol,
and turned around. WE continued down the other side of D of G Street, stopping in at the Bakery to take a look around and pick up some ginger cookies for dessert that were cooked in this big old oven.
If we had tickets, Nicolas could have taken us into the Liberty Lounge for a cool drink!
After our stop at the Bakery, we turned down a side road past the recreation area and the “industrial area” – where the cabinet maker, carpenter, and brickyard were located.
More photo ops!
What an interesting tree!
Tom could walk right through it!
The back road took us right back tot he path to the Visitor Center,
past the Great Hopes Plantation,
and back through time to the 21st century!
We did a lot of walking – to the 18th century and back again – but it was fun! I know I enjoyed the trip!