Tag Archives: American History

Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia

19 Jun


Judy Wills

Recently, Fred and I made a trip to Virginia to see our youngest daughter, her husband, and our grandtwins.  We always love being with them.  They live in Williamsburg, but not in the restored colonial area.  But every time we visit there, we always walk through the restored area.

When we returned Stateside from Heidelberg, West Germany in 1983, Fred was stationed at Langley AFB, Hampton, Virginia.  Neither of us had ever lived in Virginia, so it was to prove to be a new and exciting experience for both of us – actually all four of us, since our daughters were still living at home.

We were excited to realize that we lived just eight miles from Yorktown, and that is within the “Historic Triangle” of Williamsburg, Yorktown, and Jamestown.  That area is just oozing with American history.  While that had not been much of an interest to me prior to our time in Virginia, I found myself totally engaged in it.

And Colonial Williamsburg helped that viewpoint.  In that vein, we purchased what they called the “Patriot Pass” – essentially an annual pass.  Since we lived only about 30 minutes from Colonial Williamsburg, we went there often – so often that our girls grew a bit tired of it.  Not only did we take them with us, but their schools had field trips there, as well.  Eventually, we felt we had seen just about everything they had to offer, and let our Patriot Pass lapse.  We could still walk the streets and see the gardens and shops, but we couldn’t go into the “attractions” where the “interpreters” told what was going on in their areas in colonial times.  

All that to say, this time when we visited, we decided to get the Patriot Pass and go through as many of the attractions as possible.  We are so glad we did – it was new and refreshing to hear the explanations of what was done in those areas, by people dressed in period costumes, and telling just what it might be like in colonial times to do their jobs.  

We stopped at the seamstress shop (I was especially interested in how they got the printed fabric),

Trend & Tradition – Autumn 2021

 The printer

Credit National Graphic – Visiting Our Past – America’s Historylands

The apothecary, the boot and shoemaker,

Credit National Graphic – Visiting Our Past – America’s Historylands

 The Capitol, 

Credit Williamsburg Before and After

The blacksmith among others.

Credit Military Lifestyle – March 1992

The tour of Raleigh’s Tavern was especially interesting, as we were told it was the birthplace of Phi Beta Kappa!  And there was a gentleman walking the Duke of Gloucester Street, dressed in period costume (along with a yes-man sidekick) who told about how his house was so much better than his brother’s house.  Just delightful!

Credit Trend & Tradition – Winter 2022

We had hoped to go through the Governor’s Palace, but the line was exceedingly too long, with about five or six groups ahead of us.  By the time we were on our way back there, we were both too tired, and skipped that one.

Credit Military Lifestyle – March 1992

We wanted to go in the Bruton Parish Church (that’s BRuton not Burton!!),

Credit Williamsburg Before and After

 which we had seen quite often, but it was closed that day.  It is still an active Anglican church, and was the site of many of the country’s beginnings.  It is especially beautifully decorated at Christmas time.  Just a note here – all the private residences within Colonial Williamsburg, as well as all the stores and attractions, are required to decorate the outsides of their facilities/houses, and it must be all living decorations – no silk flowers or fake fruit – it must be real.  It’s amazing what they come up with.

Credit Trend & Tradition – Winter 2022

Credit Trend & Tradition – Autumn 2021

The Capitol is at one end of the Duke of Gloucester Street, and Merchant’s Square is at the other end, just across the street from the Wren Building on the College of William and Mary.  Many shops and eateries there, which are fun to patronize.  Duke of Gloucester Street is about one mile long.

Here is a book we purchased titled Williamsburg Before and After.  Many of the pictures in this post are from that book. 

Duke of Gloucester Street – 1928

I am so glad someone decided to restore this area!

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson and a great-granddaughter. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

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