Geddy House, Williamsburg

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  • Geddy House
    by Yaqui
  • Yaqui's Profile Photo

    Geddy House

    by Yaqui Updated Jul 25, 2012

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    James Geddy, Jr., owned the property from 1760 through the Revolutionary era and built the present two-story house shortly after 1762. The L-shaped house plan is uncommon in Williamsburg and may have been adapted to fit the corner location. The shop extensions to the east were rebuilt on their original foundations by Colonial Williamsburg.

    Early Colonial Williamsburg architects noted the use of architectural pattern books by colonial builders, who copied English and Italian variations of Greek and Roman architectural motifs, but often indiscriminately mingled aspects of the different orders. This tendency was carefully interpreted on the reconstructed porch at the Geddy House.

    Today at the Geddy House, which once served as a residence, workshop and shop, visitors can learn about the domestic and business life of the Geddy family. In the foundry behind the Geddy house, skilled craftsmen work casting objects in bronze, brass, pewter, and silver. Gunsmiths use the foundry to build guns here, too.

    A ticket is required to enter the Geddy House and Foundry.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • Family Travel

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  • steph4867's Profile Photo

    Geddy House & Silversmith Shop

    by steph4867 Written Mar 14, 2003

    This two-story L-shaped 1762 home (with attached shops) is an original building. Here visitors can see how a comfortably situated middle-class family lived in the 18th century. Unlike the fancier abodes, the Geddy House has no wallpaper or oil paintings; a mirror and spinet from England, however, indicate relative affluence.

    The Geddy dynasty began with James, Sr., a gunsmith and brass founder, who advertised in the Virginia Gazette of July 8, 1737, that he had "a great Choice of Guns and Fowling Pieces, of several Sorts and Sizes, true bored, which he will warrant to be good; and will sell them as cheap as they are usually sold in England." He died in 1744, leaving his widow with eight children. His oldest sons, David and William, took over, offering their services as "Gunsmiths, Cutlers, and Founders." They also did a little blacksmithing and engraving and sold cures for "all Diseases incident to Horses." A younger son, James Jr., became the town's foremost silversmith; he imported and sold jewelry, and was a member of the city's Common Council involved in furthering the patriot cause. At a foundry on the premises, craftsmen cast silver, pewter, bronze, and brass items at a forge.

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