As I recall, we just spent a day or so in Colonial Williamsburg, a sort of “living history museum,” but it felt to me more like a theme park experience of the colonial era. The area consists of both original and reconstructed buildings that are made to look like they did/would have (as appropriate) looked during the Colonial era. The residents dress in Colonial-style clothing and engage in Colonial-era skills and trades.
Since we didn’t spend a whole lot of time there, I don’t have much memory of the tradespeople plying their trades and things of that nature. I was also just a little old for the activities that were targeted at small children. I do remember at some point during social studies (since this is 1979, it was either fifth or seventh grade) being told that The College of William & Mary was the oldest public university in the United States, so when I realized that it was right there, I insisted on at least getting a glimpse of it. We stopped by quickly and my dad took a picture of one of the buildings. It turns out to be the Brafferton Building, the second-oldest building on campus. The Brafferton originally was the “Indian School,” and now is home to the offices of the President and Provost. The original photo was entirely too blue, to I took a stab at making the colors look a little more like the building looks in the pictures I saw online. I don’t know how close it is to the way the building looks in real life.
It is sort of fortuitous that I ended up in Williamsburg on this post, since a recent Cracked article talked about the town from the perspective of one of the residents: 5 Insane Realities Of My Life In A Fake Colonial Town. I honestly did not make this post just because that article reminded me of this visit. It was just a timely coincidence.
My folks went back to Colonial Williamsburg at least once since we were there as a family. I, on the other hand, have not felt any such impulse. Maybe someday, once I’ve been everywhere else, I’ll make a return trip. It was nice, but it’s not in the top ten of places that I would like to visit again.