Posts in Williamsburg


Our Favorite Williamsburg Historic Attractions

November 3rd, 2020 Posted by Local History, misc, Williamsburg No Comment yet

Visit Colonial Williamsburg and step back more than 220 years to the eve of the American Revolution. From 1699 to 1780, Williamsburg was the political and cultural center of Britain’s largest colony in the New World. In the shops, taverns, government buildings, homes and streets, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, George Mason and other Virginia Patriots debated the ideas – liberty, independence and personal freedoms – that led to the founding of American democracy and inspired generations of Americans and others from around the world. Today, Colonial Williamsburg is the nation’s largest outdoor living history museum encompassing 301 acres including some 500 public buildings, homes, stores and taverns reconstructed and restored to their 18th-century appearances; tradesmen practicing 30 historic trades and domestic crafts; historical interpreters and character actors; and 90 acres of gardens and greens. Additional highlights include the Governor’s Palace; the Capitol; DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center and Bassett Hall.

Historic Jamestowne

A National Park Service site, Historic Jamestowne offers a wealth of activities for exploring the first permanent English settlement in North America. Founded in May 1607, some 13 years before the Pilgrims arrived at Plymouth, Jamestown served as the capital of Virginia throughout the 17th century and saw the establishment of the language, customs, laws and government practiced in our nation today.

Share the moment of discovery with archaeologists as they uncover the original 1607 James Fort and see more than 1,000 artifacts at the Archaearium, an innovative new exhibition facility that also includes interactive exhibit areas that interpret the rediscovery process of archaeology. Overlooking the scenic James River, Historic Jamestowne also boasts the only remaining 17th-century above ground structure – the church tower – and reconstructed 17th-century Jamestown Memorial Church. At the Glasshouse, costumed glassblowers demonstrate one of the first industries attempted in English-speaking America using 17th-century tools and techniques.

For more information visit the Historic Jamestowne website.


Jamestown Settlement

At Jamestown Settlement, comprehensive gallery exhibits describe world events and social and economic conditions that led to the English colonization of America and the formation of the Virginia Company that sponsored Jamestown with a goal of earning its investors a profit. Learn about the land and lifestyle of Algonquian-speaking tribes in coastal Virginia under the powerful leader Powhatan and about the culture of the first documented Africans in Virginia, who were from the kingdom of Ndongo in Angola. Outdoor living-history areas bring the 17th century to life. The Indian Village demonstrates the Powhatan way of life from hunting, farming and fishing to housing, clothing and food.

At the museum pier, board the Susan Constant, Discovery and Godspeed, replicas of the three ships that transported the original Jamestown colonists to Virginia in 1607. A riverfront discovery area provides information about European, Virginia Indian and African economic activities associated with water including navigation, boat building, fishing, commodities and trade. The re-created James Fort interprets the settlement during 1610-1614, reflecting its military and commercial character. Wattle-and-daub structures with thatched roofs represent dwellings, work spaces and public buildings. See a “settler” load and fire a matchlock musket, a blacksmith forge tools, or a carpenter work with wood.

For more information visit


Yorktown Battlefield and Visitor Center

See where American independence was won at the Yorktown Battlefield, a National Park Service site. Today, Yorktown remains much as it was during the waning days of the Revolution. Earthworks and siege lines mark positions of British and American Troops, cannons stand ready behind the embattlements, and Surrender Field is a silent reminder of English General Cornwallis’ capitulation. Explore the 18th-century homes of Augustine Moore, where the terms of surrender were negotiated, and Thomas Nelson, Jr., a signer of the Declaration of Independence and commander of the Virginia militia. Visit the Yorktown Victory Monument, commissioned by the Continental Congress in 1781 and completed in 1884 to commemorate the victory at Yorktown.

See Cornwallis’ Cave, where legend has it that the English General and his staff sought refuge from the bombardment by American and French Troops. Other sites of interest include the Custom House, built in 1720 and the Poor Potter Site which preserves the remains of the kiln used by William Rogers as early as the 1720s to produce pottery that rivaled English quality.

For more information visit the National Park Services’ website for Yorktown Battlefield.


Yorktown Victory Center

Gain a new appreciation and understanding of our nation’s beginnings at the Yorktown Victory Center where America’s evolution from colonial status to nationhood is chronicled through a unique blend of timeline, thematic exhibits and outdoor living history areas that emphasizes the experiences of ordinary people. In an outdoor re-created Continental Army encampment, historical interpreters depict the daily life of a soldier and you may be asked to help prepare a cannon for firing or join a military drill. A re-created 1780s farm provides a look at how many Americans lived in the early years of our nation.

Visit the crop field and tobacco barn and learn what was cultivated to provide an income. Explore the house and separate kitchen for a glimpse of domestic life, and try your hand at hoeing the garden or “breaking” flax.

For more information visit



Monticello, located near Charlottesville, Virginia, was the estate of Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence, the third President of the United States, and founder of the University of Virginia. The house is of Jefferson’s own design and is situated on the summit of an 850-foot-high peak in the Southwest Mountains south of the Rivanna Gap. Monticello was designated a World Heritage Site in 1987, an honor it shares with the nearby University of Virginia.

For more information visit the Monticello website.

A Short History of Williamsburg VA

October 18th, 2020 Posted by Battle of Williamsburg, History, Local History, Williamsburg No Comment yet
Today, Williamsburg, Virginia, is recognized as the “world’s largest living history museum,” but during the 18th century, the meticulously restored colonial capital was Britain’s largest settlement in the New World.

The city was founded as the capital of the Virginia Colony in 1699, and it was here that the basic concepts of the United States of America were formed under the leadership of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, George Mason, and many others.

Named Williamsburg in honor of England’s reigning monarch at the time, King William III, the colonial mecca also became a center of learning. The College of William and Mary, founded in 1693, counts political leaders such as Presidents Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and John Tyler as graduates.

The Governor’s Palace, Colonial Williamsburg © JamesDeMers / Pixabay

During its time as the capital of Virginia, Williamsburg flourished as the hub of religious, economic and social life in the state. A palatial Governor’s Palace was built as were markets, taverns, a theatre, a church (those living in the New World were required by law to worship in the Church of England), and countless homes. Market Square was the site of celebrations, festivals, fairs, contests, and even puppet shows; tradesmen, such as wig makers, tailors, blacksmiths, and cabinetmakers, practiced their craft along Duke of Gloucester Street. Restaurants and taverns offered onion soup, ham, carrot and chicken dishes, pudding, and pie.

A cooper at Colonial Williamsburg © Joe Ross / Flickr

Following the Declaration of Independence from Britain, however, the American Revolutionary War broke out, and the capital of Virginia was moved 50 miles (80.4 kilometers) north to Richmond. It was feared that Williamsburg’s location allowed easy access for the British to attack.

The United States of America’s independence from Great Britain was a turning point in world history. Key players from Williamsburg helped lay the foundation of America, and the preservation of the colonial town has allowed present-day visitors to experience what life was like back then. Today, visitors will find employees dressed in colonial-era garb strolling the streets, using colonial grammar and diction. Popular buildings open for exploration include the Governor’s Palace, the Peyton Randolph House, the George Wythe House, the Capital, the Courthouse, the Raleigh Tavern, and the Bruton Parish Church.

Our Tours Are A Perfect Thing To Do Right Now!

August 23rd, 2020 Posted by on site tours, Williamsburg No Comment yet

Our daily tours are a perfect thing for your family to do during this time of closures and safety precautions. Our tours are outdoors, where you will be able to walk along the streets and historic sites of Williamsburg to learn about the history of our nation and it’s residents. We offer an activity that will get your body exercise, let you learn new things about the history and culture of our nation, all while still letting your family keep social distancing! Be sure to call in advance to reserve your spot!

Some history, walking tours manage to stay afloat during pandemic

Williamsburg History Tour

Williamsburg Walking Tours Hosts Blind Students From The Virginia Department Of The Blind And Visually Impaired

July 30th, 2019 Posted by African American History, African American History, Battle of Williamsburg, battle of williamsburg tour, black history, tours, trip advisor reviews, williamsburg, Williamsburg, williamsburg va civil war tour No Comment yet

Williamsburg Walking Tours Hosts Blind Students from DBVI

For the third year, Williamsburg Walking Tours hosted 30 students from the Virginia Department for the Blind and Visually Impaired for a special 1 ½-hr. tour. On Saturday, July 20, 2019, Co-Owner and Master Storyteller Trish

williamsburg tour guide

Trish Thomas

Thomas entertained the group with little-known facts about Williamsburg drawn from the company’s repertoire of stories from its tours which include:

Thank You To The James City Lions!

On an extremely hot day, the James City Lions graciously provided water and guide assistance for this remarkable tour. Private tours and customized on-site presentations are available for family, civic and other groups visiting Williamsburg.

Schedule A Tour

Call 757-634-2452, visit TripAdvisor to see reviews, or go to our Williamsburg tours page for more information.