Tuesday, November 27, 2012

History On the Holiday

by Maggie Sefton

After enjoying a wonderful Thanksgiving meal with old friends and family in Northern Virginia, my daughter Melissa and I took a little trip into America's colonial past by visiting the marvelous and carefully preserved historical area of Colonial Williamsburg, just a short three-hour drive south of Washington, DC.  

Colonial Williamsburg contains most of the 17th Century buildings of what was once the state capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia.  The Govenor's Palace complete with beautiful gardens once housed England's royal representative to her earliest established colony.  English colonists established the first permanent colony in Jamestown, Virginia in 1607.

Visiting Colonial Williamsburg is a great way to "step back in time.". The colonial buildings and streets are filled with people who are dressed authentically for the 1600's and have definite roles to play in the town.  They are shopkeepers, tavern owners, militia, judges, and other ordinary citizens.  So you can watch them at work.  Also, various historical personages make regular appearances, so you can gather in the Palace gardens or elsewhere and hear George Washington or Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, and others speak and answer questions from the audience.

For someone who began her writing career penning historical novels---as I did---an opportunity to immerse yourself in an authentic historical time is more than wonderful. The weekly presentations vary during the seasons, all the while emphasizing how our American colonies made the decision to create a new nation of our own---the United States of America.

Have any of you ever visited Colonial Williamsburg?  Or any other historical location or representation?