Saturday, December 18, 2010

Williamsburg, Virginia

Today was a travel day, and I am sitting in the coffeeshop of a Barnes and Noble banging this post out as fast as I can. I Went to one of my favorite places today, Williamsburg. This was the pre revolutionary British capital of Virginia. Next to the college of William and Mary the village contained many of the original buildings from the late 1600's to the revolutionary period. They were run down but still standing.

The pastor of the local Bruton Parish Church restored his church and realized the entire historic neighborhood was being lost. He interested John D. Rockefeller in the project. They tore down 720 later buildings in the historic area and restored those that remained.

They aquired plans of the time and rebuilt dozens of structures that had been destroyed. They returned the town to a painstakingly accurate recreation of what it had looked like before our revolution. Gotta go..... More tomorrow.


8 comments:

Mary Byrom said...

That place is awesome! I've never been there. Do they prohibit cars on the streets?

Jeremy Elder said...

I just talked to a couple who's daughter goes to WIlliam and Mary and they were gushing about the town. I will have to check this out sometime.

Mike Thompson said...

This is another place to add to your bucket list.

I've been going to Williamsburg since the late sixties when I was in high school - maybe 6 or 7 times over the years. They don't allow cars in the central area but the historic area fans out into the surrounding town and people actually live in some of the buildings so they drive cars and some of the streets may allow them before and after a certain times of the day. It is a little easier to understand once you see it. Modern Williamsburg is a good sized city surrounding the historic area.

You can walk around without paying but you cannot go into most of the buildings or attend the events without admission. If you are really interested in the place and plan on returning, you can even buy a yearly pass for not much more than a two day pass. You can spend a day but two days are better.

I prefer the summer time when the gardens are in bloom or early fall when the trees are changing. The third time I went there, after a gap in years, it felt almost unreal to walk around. I've been to a number of similar places and Williamsburg is by far the biggest and best.

I've seen oil painters there and we bought a small watercolor from one of them the last time we were there. I even saw a Lassie movie that used Williamsburg as one of the places Lassie wandered through while on walkabout. I believe Tom Clancy's character Jack Ryan went to W&M.

You can go grubby like me or dressed to kill like some I've seen.

Check out their web site - http://www.colonialwilliamsburg.com

Lyn A said...

I'm already seeing an amazing painting coming out of the third photo you posted...just look at the color palette, the patterns in the foreground of the street, those incredible trees, the horse and buggy and the people in the street behind it....nice! I haven't been to Williamsburg since I was about 12 years old, but I remember it being a magical sort of place. Safe travels you two...

willek said...

I have always compared our own Sturbridge village with Williamsburg and while I have not been there in a few years, I favor Sturbridge. Instead of "actors" plaring at the different trades sturbridge used to have dedicated volunteers cooking over open fires, blacksmiths sweating iron tires on wooden wheels, carpenters using an adze to square up timbers for actual use, a real drover with a trained ox, a real shoemaker correctly making shoes with no right or left. Etc. Sturbridge would be a terrific place to paint, but you may have to use a genuinely old kit and dress appropriately.

Antonin said...

Looks like a wonderful town. Well I think I know where I am going for my spring vacation.

Kyle V Thomas said...

Williamsburg brings back memories. Thanks for sharing.

mpaquin said...

If you like Williamsburg you should come to Wickford, RI sometime. RISD isn't that far off, and the museum is the best!