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Williamsburg, VA – Part 2 – Monday


Our first stop was the Governor’s Residence, home to governors of Virginia appointed by the King. The opulence of the structure and grounds caused much dissention between the governing body and the people of the area. This site is a reproduction as the original structure was lost to fire. It is filled with period pieces acquired from other surviving homes and copies of the furnishings used during this time.

capital hallway

This is the Entry Hall. This may be as far as the “general citizenry” ever got. Weapons are displayed like this around the entire entryway, and the exact number of items goes back to an early inventory of goods prepared after the death in office of one of the governors. To the left is a “Butler’s Pantry” where formal servingware was stored, to the right is a receiving parlor, for gentry who came to call. “Higher status” folk would have been ushered directly in, “lesser status” might be still in the entry, or sent around to the rear of the building.

capital dancing hall

This is the Reception Hall, extending out from the back of the main house. Here is where Dances would have been held, under the portraits of the King and Queen. And yes, it really is that bright blue!

back of the residence

The rear of the building, showing the extention which included the reception/dancing room and a Supper Room – which was painted a bright green! The family quarters were on the second floor of the main part of the house. This led to the gardens.

gardens behind the residence

Another view of the back of the house. The structure barely showing on the right is part of the kitchen, usually a separate building (fire prevention).

maze behind residence

This will never be mistaken for our back yard!

This is the Maze, where presumably young mistresses went to steal a kiss with a beau. The picture is taken from the “Mount,” a man-made hill perhaps 20 feet tall. If you follow the path around behind the “Mount” there is a cavern-like hole dug deep into the ground underneath, shored up with timbers like the inside of a mine. It was used for cold storage of goods. and it’s said that ice was cut from nearby waterways, carried down there and covered with straw and sawdust, and kept all year. This provided ice for summer drinks and the making of ice cream.


We went to the bakery, and ate old-fashioned Ginger Cookies. The smell of the ginger was heavenly, the cookies were dense, with very little leavening in them, not much sugar either. Both commodities would have been very expensive in colonial times, and used most sparingly.

beautiful house with gambrel roof

This house is near the brickyard, and I just fell in love with it. With so many beautifully restored homes, it’s hard to pick a favorite, but I’ve always loved the gambrel roof lines and this one has the proportions so perfect. I took countless pictures of it – when I win the lottery, I want to know exactly what to build with my newfound loot.

cooper making a barrel

The cooper is carving out a line near the top of the barrel where the top will be inserted. It was fascinating to sit back and watch him work.

Bruton Parish Church

Bruton Parish Church, in use continuously since the early 1700’s.

inside of Bruton Parish Church

Inside of Bruton Parish Church. Names on the pews include Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and other citizens of the day.

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