If you’re interested in learning the history of this great country, there is no better place than traveling to one of the original thirteen colonies, and the city of Williamsburg, Virginia makes its name off of the rich historical activities and locations available in the area! Here are just a few lesser-known historical points of interest in the area:
The Capitol Building
The Williamsburg Capitol is easily recognized as you draw nearer to the building. Its weathered exterior shows its age and history, as it has not been used as a capitol since 1779 when the capitol was moved to Richmond. It was used for several purposes after that, including an admiralty court, law school, military hospital, grammar school, and female academy, and throughout the years, it has been reconstructed and refurnished into what it is today. Now, it is a popular tourist site for visitors of all ages to learn of the Capitol’s role in Virginian colonial government and in the American Revolution.
Established in 1717, the Raleigh Tavern served as a meeting, dining, gaming, and dancing facility for colonial Virginians, and even young Thomas Jefferson frequented the tavern during his years a student at William and Mary. Even General Washington was a frequent diner at the tavern, as well as several other famous people throughout history. In 1859, the original structure was destroyed in a fire, and restoration began in 1926. Now, the reconstruction and furnishings are historically accurate.
Completed in 1722, the Virginia Governor’s Palace instantly become one of the most elegant and impressive buildings in colonial America. Clearly a statement of power, the palace has impressive gates, grounds, and chambers inside. After undergoing various renovations over the years, the role changed in 1780 after the government moved to Richmond. The palace served as a hospital for soldiers in the Battle of Yorktown, and more than 150 are buried in the palace garden. Later that year in 1781, the building was destroyed by fire, and it was reconstructed in the mid-1900s as an exhibition site that includes artifacts and décor. Past governors who lived there include Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, Robert Dinwiddie, Hugh Drysdale, Alexander Spotswood, and others.