Best Western Colonial Capitol

111 Penniman Road, Williamsburg, Virginia, 23185, United States

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Travel Tips for Williamsburg

Some of My Favorites in Williamsburg

by deecat

Perhaps my favorite little place in Williamsburg was a small shop on Duke of Gloucester Street called Mary Stith Shop.

It's just a one-story brick structure with a bay window and dormers that almost looks like a doll's house; however, it made a big impression on me. Why? I was fascinated by the story of Mary Stith. For the times, she was remarkable. She wrote her will in 1813, and left most of her belongings to her African-American servants. A quote from her will says a great deal:"All the coloured people in my family being born my slaves, but now liberated, I think it my duty not to leave them destitute nor to leave them unrecompensed for past services rendered to me. As in the cause of humanity I can do but little for so many, and that little my conscience requires me to do, therefore I subject the whole of my estate to the payment of my just debts, and to the provision which I herein make for them."

What this means is that she left three buildings and the ground on which they stood; she also left clothing, furniture, and cash. Today, special programs and performances are presented in her shop.

The Golden Ball (Silversmith) I really enjoyed seeing the silversmith create beautiful object by hand. They actually do the casting and forging of silver here! They sell jewelry and silver hollow ware. We purchased jewelry.

Shoemaker's Shop It was great to see a tradesman make shoes using the tools and techniques of the 18th-century. He actually hand sews the soles and uppers. But, my all-time favorite place was The Public Hospital. It was the first public institution that took care of the mentally ill.

The Public Hospital was the last major public building in Colonial Williamsburg to be reconstructed. There is a re-created cell with a pallet on the floor, chains on the wall, and bars on the window (18th century); they also have a reproduction of a comfortably furnished apartment from the mid-nineteenth century.

There's also a great exhibit that graphically traces the different theories about mental illness and the methods used for treating it. They even had sound effects which made it seem so real.

By 1883 there were over 400 patients and it was obvious that they had decided to care for the mentally ill but did not have much of a plan. In 1885, a fire completely destroyed the Public Hospital Building (reconstructed by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in 1985).

The DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Gallery is entered through the lower lobby of the Public Hospital.

The photo shows the interior of a patient's cell during the late 18th century.

The first lady just came back

by matcrazy1

The first lady just came back to the Governor's Palace by her carriage and was immediately welcomed by distinguished servant, who gently helped her to get off.

These scene was played by character interpreters employed in Colonial Williamsburg. I have only one doubt. In conservative Europe, upper class ladies, especially yong ones, were usually not allowed to travel alone. They had to be accompanied by another lady or a husband. Did it work another way in colonial Williamsburg?

Keep in mind that the wifes of the colonial Virginia's governor, who resided in Wiliamsburg since 1699 until 1780, were the most important woman's figures in Virginia and maybe even between the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean. Virginia was the most populous, the wealthiest, the most influenced and simply the most important of all colonies on American soil that time.

Packing List

by upesnlwc

Bring good shoes to walk in. Whether in Colonial Williamsburg or Busch Gardens, the difference between a good day and a great day is comfortable feet. :) There is a lot to see and do in Colonial Williamsburg and many photo opportunities so come prepared to take a lot of pictures! We have 4 of the best golf courses in Virginia here, so tee it up.

Like in Washington or Paris

by matcrazy1

Virginia was the wealthiest and most architecturally advanced of the colonies. So did its capital (1699 - 1780), Williamsburg. It was a planned town

The city is laid out according to the principles of 18th-century city planning, with streets and blocks laid out in relation to the main avenue Axis - the Duke of Glouster Street. Two main and most important public buildings: the Wren House and the Capitol are placed at the ends of the main avenue.

The Governor's Palace is placed north of the axis but it is connected with the avenue by two parallel roads (Palace Green Street East and West) which is lined by old trees on one side and single standing colonial houses on the other. They are seperated by wide green space covered by green grass, seen on my picture and called the Palace Green. Green space of Paris, around Eiffel Towel called Mars Fields (look here) looked similar although it covered much larger area. The following weekend I visited Washington, DC when I saw similar but much larger in size green space called the Mall which also forms a cross.

There are fifes and drums marches played on this area from Duke Gloucester St. to the Palace on each Wednesday at 5.15 pm and on Saturday at 1.00 pm. I was on Thursday in Williamsburg :-(.

Colonial Foods

by upesnlwc about M. Dubois Grocer

Choose from such traditional southern favorites as smoked hams, peanuts, preserves, wine, Chowning's Tavern Ale, and King's Arms Tavern Root Beer in this reconstructed store on the site where Monsieur Dubois operated a grocer's shop in 1779.


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