- from Colonial America
The Pilgrims of Plimoth Plantation led simple lives. Their attention was always on survival.
However, another living museum—some 600 miles and more than 100 years away from Plimoth—gives visitors a view of later—and more leisurely—Colonial America.
This is Colonial Williamsburg, once the lively capital of Virginia, the largest colony in America. In Colonial Williamsburg, the well-to-do ladies in fashionable gowns and gentlemen in powdered wigs took tea in the late afternoon and attended elegant balls at night, while slaves did the work that made this gracious living possible.
Colonial Williamsburg was built in the early 1700s after a fire destroyed the first capital of Virginia, Jamestown. By the mid-1700s, Williamsburg was a bustling seat of colonial government. However, when war broke out between Britain and her colonies, Virginia’s capital was again moved. This time it went to Richmond.
For the next 147 years, Williamsburg was just another sleepy small town. However, in the early years of the twentieth century, Reverend William Goodwin had a dream of restoring Williamsburg to its colonial glory. In 1926 he enlisted the financial support of millionaire John D. Rockefeller Jr. In the following years, 720 modern buildings were knocked down; 88 original colonial buildings were restored; and over 400 lost houses and stores were reconstructed. By 1934 the restored town was ready to receive visitors. If you go there now, you can get a glimpse of life in Colonial Williamsburg.