Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Richmond, Virginia

We have been so busy seeing all the historic areas around Richmond that I haven't had time to blog. So I'm going to put about 4 days of touring into one blog.
After we left Charleston we stayed one night at Walmart in Emporia, VA. and then pulled into the Richmond Elks on Thursday, April 28. Ron and Bernita Poutney joined us at the Elks. On Friday, the four of us drove to Williamsburg , about 50 miles East of Richmond. We spent the day at the Colonial Williamsburg Historic Area. This is a 301-acre, outdoor living-history museum re-creating the spirit and culture of everyday life in 18th-century Virginia.
Colonial Williamsburg is a step back in time where costumed interpreters - tradespeople, housewives, slaves, government officials, and soldiers go about their everyday duties. We saw men cutting wood and shaping shingles for the new blacksmith shop. There is also basket making, weaving, shoemakers, millinery, tailoring, printing office and many tradespeople working with period equipment.

In 1926 a local minister and John D. Rockfeller Jr. embarked on an ambitious project to preserve 70 structures. The picture above is the Governor's palace (he is from England) which was quite spectacular compared to the colonies buildings.

One of my favorite trades - making chocolate!

At 3:30 on Wednesdays and Fridays there is an hour and a half play that starts at the Raleigh Tavern with a speech for men to join the army. The play re-creates the struggle for American Independence from 1774-81.

The play moved to the Capitol building, which we had toured earlier. The two round sections of the building represent the two branches of government - governor and representatives.

The final performance was on the field behind the Courthouse where cannons and muskets were fired.
We stayed from 10 til 5 and didn't see it all. The historic area really made us feel we were back in the 18th century.

On Saturday, the four of us drove to Petersburg to visit the Civil War battlefields. Petersburg was an important point through which supplies moved through Richmond. After a stop at the visit center we drove the Eastern Front Driving Tour. Here there are earthworks where the Confederacy had dug to protect them during conflicts.

Union volunteers including coal miners, dug a 511-foot mine shaft that ended beneath the Confederate line. They packed it with dynamite and the blast produced 278 casualties. The deep depression is called The Crater.

On Sunday we went to downtown Richmond to see the White House of the confederacy and the confederacy museum. The White House and museum are located amid a large hospital complex. The tour of the white house was very good. After the tour we found Hollywood cemetary where two presidents - Monroe and Tyler are buried along with Jefferson Davis, the only president of the Confederacy.

Monday we drove West of Richmond to Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's home outside of Charlottesville, VA. What a beautiful place! It is located on a hill and at one time Jefferson owned 5000 acres. We took two tours - one of the house and another of the plantations which focused on the slaves living there.

Jefferson was into everything: architecture, astronomy, paleontology, archaeology, and horticulture, to name but a few. The views from the estate were magnificent and the gardens and grounds were beautiful.

Now we are in Washington, DC. Whew! A lot of history in this area.

1 comment:

Chuck and Jan Moore said...

Very interesting! Definitely places to go visit in the future. Sounds like you 4 are having a ball. Hugs to all, J&C