American History 101.2.5

Part 2.5 of “My Life Among Eighth Graders” To read parts 1-2, Click HERE.

OK. At the risk of these current post titles starting to sound like Microsoft software releases, I decided I’d better drop in a few extra photos of our visit to Colonial Williamsburg before I move on to the Thomas Jefferson estate and other fun stuff.

I’d mentioned our evening lantern tour of Williamsburg in my last post, and it really was a great way to see some more of the working shops and “businesses” in town. Our group of 90+ adults and students divided into smaller “family groups” after sunset, then were led by docents to specific locations in town to examine more closely some of the period craft work. At each location, we were met by other docents, who taught the students (and, quite frequently, the adults) about the daily operations at each location.

A Print Shop

An 18th century flat printing press (I almost got it in the photo at right)

For example, our guide at the print shop talked at length about the importance of the printing press (and moveable type) in revolutionary times, when it was used for everything from printing newspapers to paper money, often at the risk of being shut down by the British government. The power of the press certainly helped the colonists win their freedom.

I also mentioned the hedge maze on the beautifully manicured grounds of the Governor’s Palace. My guys had a lot of fun making their way through it.

I did too, although I was a lot slower than just about everyone. Fortunately, we didn’t lose anyone in there either.
The Hedge Maze

The Hedge Maze on the grounds of the Governor’s Palace

Another very unique aspect of the Governor’s Palace were the wall decorations on display throughout the public spaces. Each wall in the large entry hall, the upstairs hallways and up and down the wide stairwell was covered with battle sabers and muskets.

Muskets and Sabers

A wall of muskets above the Palace stairwell

Our tour guide explained that the Governor had to do all he could to show his power to the colonists, since he was so far removed from the King.

Hey…it’s a little late for the Monarchy, but I was certainly impressed.


Next: Off to Monticello and Outer Space

For Part 3, Click HERE

craig hodgkins


~ by Craig Hodgkins on October 26, 2007.

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