If you grew up in Virginia, chances are you took at least one field trip to Colonial Williamsburg. In fact, this is one of the most popular destinations for visitors and residents alike. It’s the world’s largest living history museum – a restored 18th century British outpost in the New World. Years before the American Revolution even began, ideas of America began blossoming here. Diverse and revolutionary ideals were discussed and eventually became the foundation for a society that would honor liberty and equality. Here are some interesting facts that you might not have learned about this historical spot.
1. Williamsburg was the original capital of Virginia.
This city was the capital of the state from 1699 to 1780.
2. Thomas Jefferson frequented the town.
Many associate Jefferson with Charlottesville, but fewer people realize that Jefferson attended William & Mary, the country's second oldest college, and spent a significant amount of time in Williamsburg.
3. Williamsburg houses the first hospital for mentally ill patients in North America.
The Public Hospital for Persons of Insane and Disordered Minds (currently the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum) accepted the first patient in 1773.
4. The Colonial Williamsburg museum opened in 1932
Williamsburg was the chosen location for the historical museum because it had a less developed downtown area than Boston, Philadelphia, or other historic cities.
5. Over 80 of the original structures were preserved in the development of Colonial Williamsburg.
6. The hostesses who worked that opening year made 30-40 cents per hour.
By the 60s, the wage had increased to only $2 per hour.
7. Colonial Williamsburg spans 301 acres.
The area is filled with guided tours, live interactions, gardens, restaurants and the Busch Gardens theme park.
8. Lassie is one of many famous tourists of Williamsburg.
Lassie is among the famous visitors of Colonial Williamsburg. This pup rode through the Historic Area by carriage in 1966.
9. There is an existing code of ethics.
The introduction to the code of ethics begins with this statement:
"As representatives of Colonial Williamsburg, board members, employees, and volunteers will act professionally
with honesty and integrity, and in compliance with all applicable legal requirements. They will treat each other, and those
with whom they deal, fairly and with respect. Board members, employees and volunteers are responsible for being aware of
and complying with applicable Colonial Williamsburg policies, understanding the duties of their positions and executing
those duties to the best of their abilities."
10. By 1994, Colonial Williamsburg had 3,500 emploees, which was more than twice the original town's population during the Revolutionary era.
11. Some of the rustic restaurants provide colonial recipes such as Carolina Fish Muddle, Shepherd's Pie, and Peanut Soup (pictured below).
12. The Peyton Randolph house (built in 1715) is considered to be one of the most haunted houses in America.
This house is just one of the many haunted spots in Colonial Williamsburg. This makes the town a popular place to visit for both history buffs and ghost hunters alike.
Have you visited Colonial Williamsburg recently? Be sure to share your experience!