Williamsburg Local Customs

  • Cook in the Governor's Palace kitchen
    Cook in the Governor's Palace kitchen
    by grandmaR
  • Fireplace in Governor's Palace kitchen
    Fireplace in Governor's Palace kitchen
    by grandmaR
  • Costumed docent in guest bedroom
    Costumed docent in guest bedroom
    by grandmaR

Most Recent Local Customs in Williamsburg

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    Keeping meals hot

    by matcrazy1 Updated Dec 18, 2004

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    The oven and fireplace of the kitchen of the Governor's Palace was large. But, anyway, I can't imagine cooking on this single oven enough food for say over 50 or even 200 guests of the governor which. Did upper classes eat less in the past or maybe they accepted and ate cold dishes cooked before?

    Well, they used this additional oven on my picture to keep already cooked meals hot.

    ADDITIONAL  OVEN  OF  THE  GOVERNOR'S  KITCHEN
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    They drank BOHEA!

    by matcrazy1 Written Dec 18, 2004

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    There are numerous, different containers put on shelves of the kitchen of the Governor's House. Each is signed, so I got to know what was stored inside: sugar, salt, pepper, coffee and... secret BOHEA.

    The name "bohea" was formerly applied to superior kinds of Chinese black tea. The name originates from the mountain range where it grew (on the border of Jiangxi and Fujian provinces of China). In 18th and early I9th centuries tea generally, including more and more often an inferior kinds of tea, was called bohea.

    I found Bohea in local grocery in Colonial Williamsburg. I have no idea whether it was primarily choicest grade or later an inferior variety of Chinese black tea. The price indicated rather the first option but... it's pricy Colonial Williamsburg.

    BOHEA  &  COFFEE
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    Kitchen oven and fireplace

    by matcrazy1 Updated Dec 18, 2004

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    There is an impressive, stone oven, in the kitchen of the Governor's Palace. It was used both for heating (like classical, decorative fireplaces) and mainly for cooking.

    Wood was used for both heating and cooking in colonial Virginia in 18th century. There was a lot of trees in Williamsburg that time. Later on, the wood had to be transported from surrounding areas. During the Civil War, the Union troops which occupied Williamsburg, used numerous wooden fences for heating and cooking.

    OVEN  IN  KITCHEN  OF  GOVERNOR'S  PALACE
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    Stone container

    by matcrazy1 Written Dec 18, 2004

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    I found this unique container, on my picture, in the kitchen of the Governor's Palace. It is made of almost white and hard stone and was used either for storing some hot meals or for mixing/grating some meal's ingredients.

    Most cookware displayed in the kitchen is made either from copper (a reddish-coloured metal) or from brass ((alloy of copper and zinc). Some cookware is made of iron or pewter (gray alloy of mainly copper, antimony and bismuth or lead) as well. Nowadays it's proved that this cookware (except the iron one) can cause severe disease (more in my Warning Or Dangers tips).

    MADE  OF  STONE
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    Signs of British power

    by matcrazy1 Updated Dec 17, 2004

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    I found numerous signs of British, royal power over colonial Virginia in its former capital, Williamsburg. The best visible sign was all the British flags and the Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom, like the one, on my picture, put on the rear wall of the Governor's Palace.


    The Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom have evolved over many years since the 1100's. This one, in Williamsburg features different shield (only its lower left part is the same) but has the same English lion and Scottish unicorn supporting the shield as the current coat of arms. The Latin writings around the shield and below are the same today as well:
    1. "Honi (or Hon Y) Soit Qui Mal Y Pense" which means ""Shame to him who evil thinks" (an ancient order of knighthood of which the Queen is Sovereign);
    2. "Dieu et Mon Droit" which means "God and My Right" (the motto of the Sovereign).

    BRITISH  ROYAL  COAT  OF  ARMS  IN  WILLIAMSBURG
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    Historical interpreters

    by matcrazy1 Updated Dec 17, 2004

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    We met this lady, on my picture, in front of the Governor's Palace. She was talking about colonial culture and history with a group of American kids visiting colonial Williamsburg.

    She was one of quite many historical interpreters of colonial Williamsburg. These folks were employed to help you to understand colonial culture and history. Most of these interpreters are in 18th century costume. They wait for visitors in front of many historic points of interest. They manage the pedestrian traffic as well.

    HISTORICAL  INTERPRETER
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    Costume of 18th servant

    by matcrazy1 Updated Dec 17, 2004

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    This guy, on my picture, managed the visitor's traffic in front to the Governor's Palace. He welcomed and let people waiting in a line for guided tour go inside the palace.

    He played the role of door servant. He was dressed in 18th century costume, quite pretty although not the best option for hot, sunny days. The beauty of servant's dress and quality of his service proved the importance of the house in the past.

    The upper part of the 18th century man's costume consists of:
    - a man's shirt of white linen,
    - a waistcoat that covers the upper body uder the coat; today it's known as a vest,
    - a coat which is closely cut with narrowly fit shoulder and sleeves, the coat is knee-long.

    COSTUMED  GUY
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    Smile of Williamsburg

    by matcrazy1 Updated Dec 17, 2004

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    We met this smiling face, on my picture, somewhere close to the Governor's Palace. Most of the folks, employers of the colonial Williamsburg were smiling to their visitors. Nothing special and unique in the USA but very nice.


    Generally I found the USA a very smiling country. Keep smiling is the main and pretty rule in the USA. When you see people smiling all over the place, like I saw in Williamsburg, it is usually for one of two reasons.
    One, because they are happy people.
    Two, because the business they work for INSIST that they smile at customers.

    Of course, after one gets used to smiling everytime they see someone, it becomes a habit, a very pretty habit.

    Keep smiling :-)

    SMILE  OF  WILLIAMSBURG
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    A lot of kids

    by matcrazy1 Written Dec 16, 2004

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    This kids, on my picture, came to visit Williamsburg from Hawaii, as I remember well. Quite a trip. They put more attention to my camera than to words of the historical interpreters who was talking to them. There are many kids and school groups visiting the Colonial Williamsburg. No wonder, the educational value of that place is well known.

    I think that every man and woman living in Virginia visits Williamsburg at school times like every kid in my part of Poland visits quite different place, the former Nazi concentration camp in Auschwitz (Oswiecim), Poland. What's the most popular place for school groups in your area?

    KIDS  FROM  HAWAII
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    Lady in red

    by matcrazy1 Updated Dec 16, 2004

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    We met this lady in bright red costume, on my picture, at the beginning of our visit to Colonial Williamsburg. She welcomed us to visit the Governor's Palace and its kitchen and surely we followed her invitation -). I do hope she dressed different in hot, sunny days.

    Later on, we met many folks dressed in 18th century clothes who played their roles in the colonial Williamsburg..

    LADY IN BRIGHT  RED
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    Colonial Life

    by acemj Updated Oct 18, 2002

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    Williamsburg offers a glimpse into Colonial life and the people you'll meet will be in costume and playing a role. There are trades people, historical interpreters and character interpreters that will make you feel welcome while educating you at the same time. I sure wouldn't want to trade places with them in the summer time. Those outfits must get hot!

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  • There weren't any cultural...

    by caramello Written Aug 25, 2002

    There weren't any cultural mishaps I ran into while in Williamsburg. However it is a great place to have cultural experiences. When you buy your pass to get in, you are given a name badge with your photo and where you are from on it. There are people from all over the world there and chances are they would be more than happy to chat with you.

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    For Colonial Williamsburg,...

    by MegSmith252 Written Aug 24, 2002

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    For Colonial Williamsburg, remeber that you are travelling back in time. Once you walk throug the door you are in the 18th Century. If you try to challenge the 'residents' i.e. If you say ' What do you think about Monica' they will look blankly at you.
    If you say you are from Australia they will have no knowledege of your country.

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    Church

    by Tom_Fields Updated Apr 4, 2011

    Jamestown was a founded under a Royal charter. So that made it officially an Anglican, or Episcopal, colony. This is a replica of its first church.

    The Anglican church Inside the church
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    A six-hour guided tour...

    by AndreasK Written Sep 7, 2002

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    A six-hour guided tour provides an overview of various aspects of life at every level of society; you will see the influence of family, government, religion, slavery and the trades.

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Williamsburg Local Customs

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