This house stands off the beaten path, somewhere close to the Williambsburg's Capitol. It looked not only impressive but a little bit unique in colonial Williamsburg. Why?
First beause of a roof which was less steep than usual, second because of 2-storey facade topped by tympanum. Tympanum is a top, triangle-shape area of front facade of ancient Greek and Roman temple usually covered by frescos or sculptures. In this house there was a skylight instead.
Most residential, Georgian houses of colonial Williamsburg have gable roofs with dormers and tall, side chimneys.
Look behind colonial houses. Some of them has beautiful backyards with gadens, some have something like a small plantation on the back. I was in Williamsburg in the middle of October. I could amaze more fall trees than flowers in bloom. But if you come from late April to June...
This picture was taken somewhere behind John Blair house, one of the oldest original buildings in Williamsburg owned by the founder and first president of the College of William and Mary. There is a small formal herb garden called Blair House Kitchen Garden in front of the kitchen with very large side chimney.
I found a few interesting (for history fans only) commemorative plaques hidden inside the Bruton Church, not at all off the beaten paths but easy to skip.
The most impressive one, white and marble was affixed to church wall in 1907 "To the glory of God and commemorative of the first legislative assembly held in America, which met in this county, in the church at Jamestown, on July 30, 1619". Enlarge my picture to read more.
There are two smaller plaques affixed to next wall: one in memoriam of World War I and II, the other one "to the glory of God and in memory of the Speakers of the House of Burgesses (7 names).
Another plaque is put in memory of Charles Washington Coleman, M.D. (1826 - 1894) who was a vestry-man and senior-warden of Bruton Church and "long our beloved physician).
And one more plaque with writing "In Memory of the Confederate Soldiers who fell in the Battle of Williamsburg May the 5th 1862 And of those who died of the wounds received in the same. THEY DIED FOR US."
This huge muliti-colorued tree in fall colours (in the middle of October), on my picture, looked very impressive and unique for me. Well, later on, during my southern odyssey I found a lot of similar trees, but the first one was in Williamsburg.
Nothing unique? Hmm... in my country, Poland, leaves on each tree are one-colorued or almost one-coloured in the fall. I was surprised to see different colour: from bright green to bright red on each particular branch of this tree. I have never seen it before.
If you know the name of that tree, please e-mail me. Thank you :-).
Most areas of Colonial Williamsburg not at all look like in the 18th century. The main avenue (Duke of Gloucester Street) and other streets are paved by asphalt. There are a lot of quite contemporary looking visitors almost everywhere. Most houses are so clean like they were buit yesterday.
But besides it, there are off the beaten path parts of colonial Williamsburg which look more authentic. Look at the backyard on my picture, somewhere close Nicholson street. Do not skip it, go off the beaten path.
I met sheep called Leicester (pronounced "lester") Longwool sheep, on my picture, grazing on a meadow close to Williamsburg's Public Gaol (jail). They are sheep that might have been here in 18th century. Today, there are fewer than 200 animals of this endangered species. They were originally imported to Williamsburg from Tasmania, Australia.
The sheep didn't offer long wool in October but in spring when they are sheared. As they grow very fast they provided a source of meet for colonists.
This house is located a little off the beaten path, northeast of the Capitol. It consists of three or even four different structures which are joined (look here). I found it unique in colonial Williamsburg where each house stays as a single unit and houses are always seperated from the neighbouring ones by at least narrow alleyway.
The land on which the house stands was purchased by John Coke in 1755 and the western portion of the house was built about that time. The Garrett family acquired the home in 1810. After the Battle Of Williamsburg in May 1862, dr Robert Major Garrett turned his home into a hospital.
Currently the house is the private property closed to the public.
I found squirrels the most common animals in Williamsburg. I took pictures of squirrels running fast on the Williamburg's Capitol grounds. Well, squirrels are not common animals in cities of my country especially downtown. And our, European squirrels, are more red than grey in colour.
For me their presence is evidence of clean and safe environment for animals, not so easy to find in many cities of Poland. That's why I was always surprised to see many squirrels (more than human beings :-) in parks located in dowtowns of many cities in the South.
When we arrived to visit Williamsburg's Capitol we had to wait approx. 20 min. to join the guided tour around its interiors. There is green space covered by still green (in October) grass around. These lovely buildings with numerous, tall, side chimneys, on my picture, stood south of the capitol at a distance of 100 yards (m).
I got to know that they are residential houses closed to the public except the Gunsmith which we didn't visit.
This sloping roof, on my picture, covers the Governor's Palace kitchen building. Not at all off the beaten path but fairly easy to miss if you don't pay attention. The roof is pretty overgrown with bright green moss and contains small dormer window. I didn't see any more so green roofs in Colonial Williamsburg.
There are such wooden structures, as on my picture, decorated with British flags put around colonial Williamsburg. Unfortunately there is no information what is that at place.
It is military post of British colonial army which resided in Williamsburg until 1775 when it was replaced by first Williamsburg militia, then regular U.S. army. British Royal troops put up such posts along main routes during the Revolutionary War (1775 - 1783).
I just read that Carter's Gove is to close for comprehensive facility, site and program assessment! The article said that the Colonial Williamsburg foundation will close its Carter's Grove property for two years beginning January 2, 2003 to conduct a comprehensive assisment of all facilities, grounds, and programs located on the 750-acre complex. So, that means that in 2005 (pretty close now), it should reopen.
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 :-(.
We were in Williamsburg in the middle of October, a little bit before the peak of the fall colours. Among numerous and unknown for me tree kinds I liked especially this tree, on my picture, with the leaves turned a soft, bright yellow filtering light that was sensuous and inviting.
If you know the name of that tree e-mail me please.
Most of Williamsburg is off the beaten path. Colonial Williamsburg offers a lot of green space, I can even say that it's a park with wide alleys and boulevards lined by large trees and houses hidden behind them. So, you can easily find such lovely countryside landscapes crossed by driving horse carriages like on my picture. The early British settlers found a lot of empty lands in this area, so they could plan their communities without worrying about limited space on which to build.
Generally, one of the most characterisic feauture of old colonial and then US modern cities is a lot of space they usually cover. Forget about compact European old towns, packed with narrow and crowded streets. Many American modern cities and towns offer huge green spaces and look more like a village, always in vast suburbs but sometimes even in downtown.