I have made no entries for a week because my partner and I have been traveling. We took a trip to Williamsburg, Virginia. I have been there before, but felt like I needed to return to see again the place of origin of our great country. At Williamsburg, I feel like I am in the presence of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry. It’s sort of like going to church. The America those guys created and I once knew seems to be fading and I just wanted to get a feel for it once more.
We attended a candlelight organ recital in the Bruton Parish church. I felt like some of the founding fathers were in the pew with me. I felt their presence, even more, in the Capitol Building in the room where the House of Burgesses met and protested the British taxes. The greatest surprise was the reconstructed building that served as the hospital for the mentally ill and insane. It has a museum containing the devices for restraining the insane and the rooms for their confinement. The basement of this building is joined underground to a modern facility containing a vast showcase of American Art, ranging from weapons, silver, pewter, furniture, folk art and modern art. It is truly indescribable and the hidden treasure of Williamsburg. The old hospital front for this incredible museum is very deceptive. The crown jewel of Williamsburg has always been the Governor’s Palace and the Gardens but this is now rivaled by the museum hidden by the mental hospital.
Of course we ate in some great places including the Williamsburg Inn, King’s Arms Tavern, Chowning’s Tavern and the famous Christiana Campbell’s Tavern. Numerous enactments depicting the times leading to the Revolution took place during our visit.
One of our days was spent visiting the Jamestown Settlement and Yorktown. The Jamestown settlement is a must for any school kid and anyone wanting to learn about American history. There is a ship that is an exact replica of the ones used by the first English settlers and a Powhatan Indian Village. The exhibits in the new Jamestown building contain a wealth of information and are a complete history of our early settlers to the time of the Revolution. We also visited Yorktown where the last battle of the Revolution was fought. There was a camp like that used by the soldiers of the American Revolution and a great demonstration of the medical instruments used during the time.
The highlight of the trip was the visit to a couple of plantations on the James River. The visit to President John Tyler’s home was the crown jewel of our visit. I even encountered a ghost at the Tyler home that will be described in the next blog.
Even thought the Revolution was a most troubling time, it almost pales in relation to the current problems facing our nation. I suspect that if Washington, Jefferson and Patrick Henry were alive today they would want to take refuge on the porch with me.