• psst … I’m a Realtor! Thanks for stopping by my website. I would love to help you find your dream home and community in the Hampton Roads or Williamsburg area or to sell your existing home. This website is authored by local resident and REALTOR, John Womeldorf. John is known around town as Mr. Williamsburg, for both his extensive knowledge of Hampton Roads and the historic triangle, and his expertise in the local real estate market. His websites, WilliamsburgsRealEstate.com and Mr Williamsburg.com were created as a resource for folks who are exploring a move to Williamsburg, VA , Hampton Roads VA and the surrounding areas of the Virginia Peninsula. On his website you can search homes for sale , foreclosures, 55+ active adult communities, condos and town homes , land and commercial property for sale in Williamsburg, Yorktown, New Kent, Poquoson, and Gloucester, VA as well as surrounding markets of Carrolton, Chesapeake,Gloucester, Hampton, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth Mathews, Newport News Norfolk, Poquoson, Smithfield, , Suffolk, Surry, Va Beach, Yorktown and York County Virginia You can reach John by email John@MrWilliamsburg.com or phone @ 757-254-813

Chownings Tavern re-opens as Ale House in Colonial Williamsburg

Benjamin Franklin once said "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." Returning guests to Chowning’s Tavern are going to be very happy indeed. Chowning’s opens for the season today, reimagined as an authentic 18th-century ale house with a new menu, hours and décor.

chownings tavern
Alewerks Brewing Company has created three craft beers based upon authentic beer recipes from the 18th century. Old Stitch, Dear Old Mum and a brand new selection are served along with other beers, Virginia wines, cocktails, root beer, soft drinks and other beverages. In the arbor garden behind the tavern, a full-service bar and dining tables overlook Market Square.
The interior of the tavern has also had a makeover. “Thanks to paint research, we know more about the interior finishes of taverns and similar structures. What we’ve found is that interiors were much brighter than we previously thought,” said Matt Webster, director of the Grainger Department of Historic Architectural Preservation. “So, we have repainted the interiors to better represent these findings. Using paint from Benjamin Moore’s WILLIAMSBURG color palette, the ceilings are painted hardwood putty, mimicking whitewash, and the woodwork is now a rich cream called bracken biscuit. The dark finish has been removed from the floor, which has been treated to look as if the boards are unfinished as they would have been, even though they do have a protective coating.”
A display cabinet inside the entrance to the ale house holds archaeological fragments from the excavations of tavern sites throughout the Historic Area.
“Our Historic Trades tinsmiths at the Anderson Armoury site have created tin wall sconces which add to the authentic look of the interior,” said Webster.
Chowning’s now opens daily at 11:30 a.m. and remains open until 11 p.m., with no reservations required. Menu changes include shepherd’s pie and light fare served all day, including pork sliders, flatbreads, corn chowder, trenchers and salads. Favorites such as Welsh rarebit are still found on the menu, as are Chowning’s famous desserts.
“We’re located in the heart of Colonial Williamsburg’s Revolutionary City,” said Seth Farrell, director of Historic Area hospitality operations. “We invite guests to stop in any time all day long, whether for a full meal, a refreshing drink or a dessert. The atmosphere at Chowning’s is informal and welcoming, but the authenticity of the tavern that people have come to love remains intact.”
On April 18, Chowning’s launches a new beer tasting event, “Beers in the ’Burg,” from 4-7 p.m. in the arbor garden. The featured brewer for the event is Alewerks Brewing Company. Guests will taste 10 different beers, including Old Stitch, Dear Old Mum and a third beer Alewerks created exclusively for Colonial Williamsburg. Tickets for the event are $25. For those who want to enhance the experience, light fare to accompany the beer tasting will be available for purchase during the event.
Additional Beers in the ’Burg tastings are tentatively scheduled for May 23, June 20, Aug. 8 and Sept. 19. Tickets are available at all Colonial Williamsburg ticket locations or by calling 855-296-6627 or online at colonialwilliamsburg.com/plan/calendar/beers-burg/
Chowning’s Tavern is located at 109 E. Duke of Gloucester St. in the heart of Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area. Free parking is available in the tavern parking lot located on Francis Street just west of Blair Street any time, or after 5 p.m. in the employee parking lot located on Franklin Street just east of Botetourt Street, accessible via Lafayette Street.

New guidebook printed by Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg has published its first fully revised official guidebook since 1985. 

imageAt 256 pages, “Colonial Williamsburg: the Official Guide” is the first to focus on what happened in Williamsburg and why it mattered – then and now. For onsite help, pricesAt 256 pages, “Colonial Williamsburg: the Official Guide” is the first to focus on what happened in Williamsburg and why it mattered – then and now. For onsite help, prices, programming and directions, Colonial Williamsburg’s Explorer app, available by free download from the Apple App or Google Play stores, provides current information the way today’s travelers have come to expect. 

“We wanted our new guidebook to delve into the Revolutionary history behind the people, buildings and trades in the Historic Area,” said Bill White, the Royce R. and Kathryn M. Baker vice president of productions, publications and learning ventures for Colonial Williamsburg. “The Revolution sparked on the streets of Williamsburg changed the world. This is the book to consult before and after visiting to remember that this story – Colonial Williamsburg’s story – is the story of every modern citizen devoted to the ideals of the Declaration of Independence.” 

The book features a comprehensive history of Williamsburg during the Revolution, site-by-site and architectural histories, information on historic trades, profiles of Revolutionary figures, famous and not-so-famous, and a sampling of works from the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg. Also included is everything guests need to plan their visit, including information on hotels, taverns and restaurants, recreation and shopping. The guidebook has stunning new photographs, illustrations and maps and places Williamsburg in the context of its location between Yorktown and Jamestown. Additional information about the guidebook is available on Colonial Williamsburg’s 
“Making History” blog at http://bit.ly/MHGuideReview.

The new guidebook was printed in the United States and is available for $19.95 at WILLIAMSBURG Booksellers at the Regional Visitor Center, Everything WILLIAMSBURG in Merchants Square, at Colonial Williamsburg’s official hotel gift shops, online at 
www.williamsburgmarketplace.com or by calling 800-446-9240.

Colonial Williamsburg offers Pass Member Exclusive Offer: Bring a Friend for FREE!*

Annual, Good Neighbor and Collegiate pass members of Colonial Williamsburg can bring their friends and family for FREE beginning November 1 through December 15, 2014. Limit 10 tickets per household.

Not a current pass member?

Find out more about getting or renewing your Annual Pass.

Find out more about getting or renewing your Good Neighbor Pass.

Find out more about getting or renewing your Collegiate Pass.

More details here

Annual, Good Neighbor and Collegiate pass members of Colonial Williamsburg can bring their friends and family for FREE beginning November 1 through December 15, 2014. Limit 10 tickets per household.

Colonial Williamsburg Welcomes Production of AMC Revolutionary War Drama “TURN: Washington’s Spies

Colonial Williamsburg Welcomes Production of AMC Revolutionary War Drama “TURN: Washington’s SpiesThe Colonial Williamsburg Foundation welcomes production of AMC’s hit spy drama “TURN: Washington’s Spies” to the Revolutionary City this week.
Based on the book “Washington’s Spies: The Story of America’s First Spy Ring,” by historian Alexander Rose, “TURN: Washington’s Spies” attracted an average of 2 million viewers in its first season earlier this year. Production of the show’s second season starts this week, with shooting scheduled for Wednesday evening at Colonial Williamsburg’s Governor’s Palace.
“The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation strives to accommodate media productions that are consistent with the Foundation’s core educational mission. The HBO miniseries ‘John Adams’ stands as a leading example,” said Janet Eason, Colonial Williamsburg’s director of marketing communications. “We believe that our collaboration with “TURN: Washington’s Spies” will be highly advantageous for both the Foundation and the community as a whole, and we are working with the production team in hope of forging an ongoing partnership.”
The show’s success coincides with growing popularity of Colonial Williamsburg’s technology-assisted alternate reality games RevQuest: Save the Revolution!, which the foundation promoted on AMC during “TURN: Washington’s Spies” first season. In the games, would-be Colonial agents tap classic spycraft to aid the cause of independence, first at home on their computers, then using their mobile devices in the Revolutionary City itself. More than 43,00o people played last year alone.
“TURN: Washington’s Spies” stars Jamie Bell as Abraham Woodhull, a farmer living in British-occupied Long Island during the Revolutionary War, who bands together with a disparate group of childhood friends to form the Culper Ring. Together they risked their lives and honor, and turned against family and King, for a fight they believed in passionately, ultimately helping George Washington turn the tide of the War in favor of the rebels.
The series production in Williamsburg is also slated to include filming on the Historic Campus of the College of William & Mary, and was facilitated by the Commonwealth through the Virginia Film Office.
To accommodate filming, the Governor’s Palace will close to tours at 4 p.m. Oct. 1. Ticketed evening programs will proceed as scheduled in the mansion’s advance buildings. The public is welcome to visit the Revolutionary City that evening, although scheduled production activity will not be visible from accessible areas on Scotland Street and on the Palace Green.
In addition to Bell, the series also stars Seth Numrich as Ben Tallmadge, Daniel Henshall as Caleb Brewster, Heather Lind as Anna Strong, Kevin R. McNally as Judge Richard Woodhull, Meegan Warner as Mary Woodhull, Burn Gorman as Major Hewlett, Angus Macfadyen as Robert Rogers, JJ Feild as Major John André, Samuel Roukin as Captain John Simcoe and Ian Kahn as George Washington. Joining the cast for season two are Ksenia Solo as Peggy Shippen and Owain Yeoman as Benedict Arnold. Its first season was also filmed in Virginia at several locations including Richmond, Petersburg, and the Shirley and Scotchtown plantations.
Other AMC series include “Mad Men,” the winner of four consecutive Emmy awards for outstanding drama series, the current back-to-back drama series winner, “Breaking Bad,” and “The Walking Dead,” the most-watched drama in basic-cable history.

Free passes to Colonial Williamsburg for Hampton Roads residents…

Starting Friday August 8, 2014 Colonial Williamsburg is offering an unbeatable end-of-summer deal to residents of the region – free one-day tickets to Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area and Art Museums August 8 -15 for adults and accompanying children.
imageResidents of Williamsburg, James City County, York County and Gloucester County are eligible for the free tickets, as are those who live in Newport News, Hampton, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk and Virginia Beach.
“We are extending this offer to people who live in communities that have been strong supporters of Colonial Williamsburg,” said Skip Ferebee, director of consumer strategy and sales. “Colonial Williamsburg is a national treasure located close to home. We invite our neighbors to experience all that a visit to the Revolutionary City offers – the interactive spy game, ‘RevQuest: The Old Enemy,’ 19 historic trades, the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum and Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum, 90 acres of gardens, 88 original structures and nearly 500 buildings reconstructed on the basis of extensive research and, last but not least, the engaging Revolutionary City street theater that puts visitors in the heart of a town in the throes of war.”
The free ticket offer is only available at Colonial Williamsburg’s Regional Visitor Center, located at 101 Visitor Center Drive, accessible via the Colonial Parkway, Virginia Route 132 and U.S. Route 60 Bypass Road. The ticket counter is open from 8:45 a.m. until 5 p.m. daily. Proof of residency is required to qualify for free ticket. Members of the military who have temporary residence status should provide military ID and a piece of mail or other document that includes local address. Ticket must be used on the date of issue.
Details about the offer are available here

The regular price of a one-day ticket is $43.95 for adults and $38.75 for children 6 to 15. Children under 6 are free.

Colonial Williamsburg offers substantial savings to Virginia residents

Colonial Williamsburg offers Virginia residents an opportunity for considerable savings — pay for one day and get the rest of the year free.

Back by popular demand, the Salute to Virginia promotion encourages the purchase of a Colonial Williamsburg pass for the price of a single day admission — a 30 percent savings. The offer is valid from March 21 through May 31. 20144

The James Anderson Armoury complex reconstruction is complete, including the new Tinsmith Shop. The museums are opening new exhibitions, plus families will enjoy playing the newest version of our popular alternative reality game, ‘RevQuest: The Old Enemy.’”

The Salute to Virginia offer is designed to appeal to Virginians who love history and want to experience Colonial Williamsburg season by season. This Colonial Williamsburg pass encourages guests to see and experience the variety of programming, special events, annual celebrations and the classic beauty of the restored capital city of 18th-century Virginia.

Highlights for 2014 include:

• Daily presentations of Revolutionary City, the award-winning interactive outdoor street-theater presentation

• The newest alternate reality game — "RevQuest: The Old Enemy," available through Nov. 30.

• A groundbreaking new exhibition in the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg, “A Rich and Varied Culture: The Material World of the Early South”

• Entertaining and engaging evening programs

• Signature events such as Independence Day and Grand Illumination.

The Salute to Virginia Pass includes the following benefits:

• Unlimited admission to the Revolutionary City and its 35 exhibition sites and 19 Historic Trades shops

• Access to Colonial Williamsburg’s world-class museums

• Complimentary shuttle bus service

• Free special walking tours (reservations required)

• 25 percent discount on most other tours and evening programs

• Seasonal discounts on admission tickets for family and friends

• Advance information about coming attractions and new events.

Salute to Virginia Passes are valid through the end of the calendar year. For more information or to purchase Salute to Virginia Passes, visit www.colonialwilliamsburg.com/salute or telephone (855) 296-6627. Admission ticket income supports the mission of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

Merchants Square in Williamsburg announces 2014 Calendar

Colonial Williamsburg’s Merchants Square announces its complete 2014 calendar of events. The calendar includes many of the events that Williamsburg area residents and visitors have come to love plus a few additions that will round out a full year of good memories in the Square. This year the Square will host the Williamsburg Farmers Markets, road races, art and food events as well as concerts, car shows and the much-anticipated return of the “Merchants Square Birthday Bash.” There is no better place to enjoy music, art and other cultural events, coupled with great shopping and superb dining. A detailed calendar is maintained at www.merchantssquare.org/calendar.

Highlights of the 2014 season include:
  • Williamsburg Farmers Market launches an expanded new schedule with a March 8 season opening. A perennial favorite, the Williamsburg Farmers Market returns to Duke of Gloucester Street with 30 producers and vendors. Weekly Saturday continue through November, with one additional Holiday Market.
  • The Summer Breeze Concert Series will kick off with the fan favorite Independence Day Concert on July 2, and run each Wednesday through August 27. The July concerts will feature the following “not-to-be-missed” party bands from 7 to 9 p.m.:

July 9      – RareMixx

July 16    – Kings of Swing

July 23    – Karnival

July 30    – Slapnation

The USAF Air Force bands and TRADOC Army bands will entertain audiences each
Wednesday in             August, from 7 – 8:30 p.m. All concerts are free, and concertgoers are advised to bring a lawn chair.

  • Car Shows in the beautiful setting of Merchants Square have become a crowd pleaser. Along with the 6th Annual Williamsburg Invitational Car Show on Sunday, June 8, sponsored by the Colony Auto Enthusiasts, Merchants Square will add a second show on November 2 with the inaugural Williamsburg Jaguar Gathering.
  • Merchants Square is excited to announce the return of the overwhelmingly popular “Birthday Bash” on October 3. The concert will again feature the renowned party band “Right On” and include the great food of the Merchants Square Restaurants. Rain date is Friday, October 10.
  • Other favorites returning in 2014 include:
    • Prince George Movie Nights, Sundays beginning June 15, at dusk. The popular outdoor movies on Prince George Street will return throughout the summer, ending on September 7.
    • An Occasion for The Arts, October 4-5, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. The 46th annual downtown Williamsburg arts event features more than 160 juried artists.
    • Constitution Day Concert, September 17, 7-8:30 p.m.
    • Holiday Entertainment each weekend in December, and daily beginning December 8. Merchants Square will again host festive holiday entertainment, including strolling musicians, Santa Claus and Father Christmas, and the family favorite “A Christmas Carol” in 30 minutes performed by the VA Theatre Machine.

For the most up to date listing of the current calendar of events, additional detail and contact information for individual events please refer to the calendar section of the Merchants Square website at www.merchantssquare.org/calendar

Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s website at www.history.org.

Ferguson to pay for 5300 field trips to Colonial Williamsburg

Ferguson has partnered with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation to fund educational field trips for approximately 5,300 Peninsula fourth graders. The field trip lessons correspond with the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOLs). The grant covers the cost of admission and transportation to Colonial Williamsburg’s Revolutionary City for all fourth graders in the Gloucester, Hampton, Newport News, Poquoson and York County public school systems during the 2013-14 academic year.

Ferguson also funds Colonial Williamsburg’s Electronic Field Trips, Emmy-award winning live internet events and television broadcasts for grades 4-8. Approximately six million students nationwide view an Electronic Field Trip each year.

"Ferguson is committed to providing and enhancing educational opportunities for students," said Ferguson CEO Frank Roach. "Colonial Williamsburg is a great learning venue right in our own backyard. As a company, we are honored to be able to provide students with the chance to experience it firsthand."

"Our core mission is to use history as a means of teaching our youth to become responsible, contributing citizens in society," said Colin Campbell, President and CEO of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. "We are thankful and thrilled that Ferguson has partnered with us to enable our local school districts to discover that Colonial Williamsburg has to offer. The Ferguson Cares program, the company’s community engagement program, is a superb example of community involvement and corporate responsibility."

Guests 50+ Pay For A Day, Enjoy Unlimited Colonial Williamsburg Visits Through 2013

imageGuests aged 50 and up enjoy a special opportunity through the end of October. For the price of a single-day admission, they get the privilege of unlimited visits to the Revolutionary City and the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg through the rest of the year.

Qualifying guests must present an ID verifying their age when purchasing the ticket. The “Pay for a Day and Come Back the Rest of 2013” offer is valid from Sept. 1 through Oct. 31. The promotional price is based on the single day admission of $41.95 and cannot be combined with any other discounts. The special tickets are available for purchase on-site at the Colonial Williamsburg Regional Visitor Center, and in the Revolutionary City at the Lumber House Ticket Office and Dubois Grocer.

More info here

Colonial Williamsburg gets $2 million endowment to preserve the George Wythe House

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is celebrating a $2 million endowment gift for the George Wythe House.

The foundation says the endowment from Janet and Alan Coleman of Greenbrae, Calif., will assure the preservation of the home in the historic area.

“We are deeply grateful to Janet and Alan Coleman for this important and symbolic gift to Colonial Williamsburg,” said Colin Campbell, president and CEO of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. “The Wythe House is an iconic home in the Historic Area. The foundation is fortunate to have such extraordinary benefactors, whose generosity assures its preservation for future generations.”

george wythe house williamsburg

Janet and Alan Coleman, both California natives, are members of Colonial Williamsburg’s Goodwin Society and Life Members of the Raleigh Tavern Society.

“George Wythe was one of the most prominent leaders supporting independence for America,” said Alan Coleman. “He stood in the very highest regard among his peers. His scholarship and leadership were of the highest order, and the history associated with his home reflects his stature, as well as his political and scholarly accomplishments.”

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Colonial Williamsburg Plans Reconstruction of 18th-century Market House

Colonial Williamsburg trustee and major benefactor Forrest Mars Jr. of Big Horn, Wyo., has made a $1 million commitment for construction of a Market House in the center of the Revolutionary City. It is the third major historic reconstruction funded by Forrest Mars since 2007 with gift funds totaling $11 million.

“Forrest Mars’ most recent gift for the Market House affirms his belief in the importance of the Revolutionary City as a stage for teaching history and engaging guests,” said Colin Campbell, president and CEO of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. “We are extremely grateful for his vision and his generosity.”

Early in the 18th century, the colonial legislature set aside an open space midway between the Capitol and the College of William and Mary to be used for markets and fairs. By midcentury, Market Square was an important center of community life with daily markets and auctions.

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Despite its well-known existence, physical evidence of Williamsburg’s 1757 market house is scarce. The building was used through the early 19th century until it was replaced by a new structure in 1835. During the earliest years of the restoration, Dr. W. A. R. Goodwin repeatedly urged reconstruction of the Market House, but the time was never right. Today, reconstruction of the 18th-century market house will restore one of the central features of Market Square, bringing greater vitality and authenticity to Colonial Williamsburg’s interpretation of economic and social life in colonial America.

“I am excited by the prospect of having a new market building as the centerpiece of commerce in today’s Revolutionary City, just as it was in the 18th century,” said foundation trustee Forrest Mars.

Colonial Williamsburg’s reconstructed market house will be a wooden structure on a brick base, measuring approximately 20 feet in width and 40 feet in length with a shingled hip roof. The sides of the building will be entirely or partially open.

Archaeology on the Market Square site will be conducted this summer. A possible timetable may have a reconstructed Market House in use by 2015. When the new market house is complete, it will serve as the location for outdoor sales, adding to the vibrancy of the Revolutionary City experience.

Previous gifts by Forrest Mars include $5 million for reconstruction and endowment of R. Charlton’s Coffeehouse and $5 million for reconstruction and endowment of the James Anderson Blacksmith Shop and Public Armoury, including the recently completed Tin Shop, which formally opens this fall.

Benjamin Moore looks to history for its latest color collection

Benjamin Moore  has joined with The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s WILLIAMSBURG brand to launch The WILLIAMSBURG® Color Collection by Benjamin Moore , an assortment of paint colors authentically rooted in the history of our nation and its founding. The new 144-color palette represents a unique intersection of history, science and design that reflects the actual colors that existed in the 18th– and 19th-century and brought to customers through the most advanced paint technology in the industry from Benjamin Moore .

image"This work showcases the close collaboration between two firms steeped in a rich heritage, both with a passion for bringing history into the home," said Carl Minchew , Benjamin Moore ‘s Vice President of Color Innovation and Design. "The WILLIAMSBURG® Color Collection by Benjamin Moore offers our customers beautiful shades in a palette of amazing, accurate colors that are as stylish today as they were 250 years ago."

Colonial Williamsburg’s renowned research team of historians and conservators examined period documents, paint samples, wallpaper and architectural fragments, and through this process discovered fresh and unexpected color findings. The Benjamin Moore team then carefully studied pigment compositions in order to precisely match these colors using the latest scientific methods to ensure the highest degree of authenticity to the original hues. As a result, The WILLIAMSBURG® Color Collection by Benjamin Moore presents a vibrant yet complex array of shades as they appeared more than 250 years ago that can be effortlessly incorporated into the modern home.

"It has been very exciting to work with Benjamin Moore developing a paint palette based on historic precedent," said Matthew Webster , Director of the Grainger Department of Historic Architectural Resources for The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. "Together we developed the colors using almost 90 years of paint research and an understanding of historic production methods creating a palette that embodies the WILLIAMSBURG ‘trend meets tradition’ theme. It’s personally satisfying to see research become reality with a palette that is consistent with colors that would have been found in the 18th century."

For more information, visit www.benjaminmoore.com.

Significant Archaeology Announcement from the Smithsonian Institution, Colonial Williamsburg and Preservation Virginia

Tomorrow Wednesday, May 1 at 10 AM the Smithsonian Institution, Colonial Williamsburg and Preservation Virginia will announce a significant discovery relating to Colonial America. The project is rooted in combined archaeological, forensic and contextual research, stemming from an archaeological finding at Historic Jamestowne and expert analysis at the Smithsonian Institution.

More updates to follow…..

Kids Stay, Play & Eat FREE @ Colonial Williamsburg this summer

March 2013-This summer, Colonial Williamsburg is making vacation easy, fun and affordable for families traveling with children under the age of 12. With the Kids Stay, Play and Eat Free offer, travelers can enjoy a value-loaded getaway to the Revolutionary City and take part in countless exciting programs, seasonal offerings, and special activities. Debuting in June, RevQuest: The Black Chambers, the new chapter of Colonial Williamsburg’s interactive, text message-based spy adventure, will take visitors on a secret quest to identify the foes to liberty.

Families will enjoy the excitement provided by this new summer offer, starting at $78 per adult, per night, featuring:

duke of gloucesterInteractive storytelling, hands-on programs, musical performances, walking tours and fun recreational activities make Colonial Williamsburg the best headquarters for a summer vacation.

This offer is also available at The Williamsburg Lodge, starting at $90 per adult, per night. Pricing is based on double occupancy and a minimum three-night stay is required. Pricing varies with room type and arrival date. The Kids Stay, Play and Eat Free offer is valid for up to four children per room with a paying adult.

For more information, visit http://www.colonialwilliamsburg.com/summerfree.

Note if you are a local read about the $10 annual Good Neighbor Pass to Colonial Williamsburg here

Good Neighbor Passes included

  • Unlimited admission to the Revolutionary City—35 Historic Area sites and 19 trade shops
  • Access to  three world-class art museums
  • Complimentary shuttle service
  • 10% off your purchases* at official Colonial Williamsburg stores, everyday!
  • 25% off tickets for most tours, evening programs, and carriage rides
  • 25% off up to 20 general admission passes each year per household for your friends and family
  • 10% discount on Busch Gardens & Water Country USA single-day admission tickets
  • Special Offers & Events

Merchants Square debuts new Electronic Magazine for the Holidays

Merchants Square announces the launch of an inaugural eMagazine that provides readers with a window into the magic of the Square over the holidays. Filled with beautiful images of Merchants Square, gift ideas and fun suggestions for holiday entertainment, the interactive magazine can be viewed on a standard web browser or downloaded as an iPad application.The eMagazine allows viewers to see more facets of the picturesque shops and restaurants and link directly to their websites when something is of interest.Merchants Square announces the launch of an inaugural eMagazine that provides readers with a window into the magic of the Square over the holidays. Filled with beautiful images of Merchants Square, gift ideas and fun suggestions for holiday entertainment, the interactive magazine can be viewed on a standard web browser or downloaded as an iPad application.The eMagazine allows viewers to see more facets of the picturesque shops and restaurants and link directly to their websites when something is of interest.

Read the latest issue here

Merchants Square, the shopping and dining district adjacent to Colonial Williamsburg’s renowned Historic Area, is home to more than 40 shops and restaurants. Built in 1935, Merchants Square is recognized as one of the first planned shopping malls in the United States. In 2005 Merchants Square was added to the National Register of Historic Places along with the Williamsburg Lodge and the Williamsburg Inn to make up the Merchants Square and Resort Historic District.  Merchants Square properties are owned by Colonial Williamsburg with the majority leased to private business owners. . For more information on Merchants Square, visit www.merchantssquare.org

Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s website at www.history.org.

Free Admission for military personnel, retirees and their families during Veterans Day weekend Nov. 9-12 @ Colonial Williamsburg

Nov. 9-12. 2012

Colonial Williamsburg honors the sacrifices and dedication of U.S. active duty military personnel, guard and reservists, retirees, veterans and their dependents during special Veterans Day programs on Nov. 11. 

On Veterans Day a military march honoring America’s veterans will be held at 4:30 p.m., stepping off at the Capitol. All veterans of service in America’s armed forces are invited to participate in a march along Duke of Gloucester Street with the Colonial Williamsburg Fifes and Drums and military programs staff. Groups begin forming at 4:15 p.m. A ceremony follows at the Courthouse on Market Square. Veterans unable to walk the distance can join the march near the Magazine. No Colonial Williamsburg admission ticket is required.

The Williamsburg Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) will hold a brief memorial service in the garden behind the Governor’s Palace at 3 p.m. Colonial Williamsburg Nation Builder Richard Schumann, who portrays Patrick Henry, will give remarks. The ceremony will include a drummer and fifer from the Colonial Williamsburg Fifes and Drums. The Williamsburg SAR Color Guard will participate, along with other SAR and Daughters of the American Revolution chapters presenting wreaths.

As part of this tribute, Colonial Williamsburg offers special free admission tickets to active duty military, guard, reservists, retirees, veterans and their dependents from Friday through Monday, Nov. 9 – 12.

The “Honoring Service to America” ticket provides admission to Colonial Williamsburg exhibition sites, the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg and most daytime programs. The ticket also includes free parking at the Visitor Center, access to the short movie, “Williamsburg—The Story of a Patriot,” and complimentary use of Colonial Williamsburg shuttle buses.

The service member need not be present, and free “Honoring Service to America” tickets will be provided to dependents of currently deployed troops with appropriate identification. Military veterans who separated before retirement can bring a copy of their honorable discharge paperwork, DD Form 214, as identification of service. These weekend-long tickets are available only at the Colonial Williamsburg Regional Visitor Center and on-site ticket sales locations including the Lumber House Ticket Office in the Revolutionary City or ticket window in Merchants Square.

Merchants Square in Williamsburg debuts new website

Merchants Square in Colonial Williamsburg has launched a completely redesigned website  aimed at bringing you timely news and information about events in the Square and special promotions from their merchants.

Located adjacent to Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area, Merchants Square is an 18th-century style retail village with over 40 shops and restaurants. Visitors and local residents alike regularly experience the Square’s unique shopping, dining and special events offerings in a setting of unrivaled beauty.

All of the merchants are now  active participants in maintaining their events and promotions on the website.

The website is intended to be a one-stop tool for learning what’s happening in the Square.

REMINDER: Don’t miss the Merchants Square semi-annual sidewalk sale this weekend, September 14-16! The sale runs Friday through Sunday during store hours.

Click here to visit the Merchants Square website.

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VA residents can pay for a day and Get the Rest of the Year Free at Colonial Williamsburg

While Williamsburg area residents have their Good Neighbor Pass program that doesn’t apply to folks who live outside of the area.

Colonial Williamsburg now invites Virginia residents and those over 50 who live anywhere in the nation to pay for a day and receive unlimited admission to the Revolutionary City and the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg through the end of 2012.

This limited-time promotion gives Virginia residents and anyone over 50 the opportunity to experience Colonial Williamsburg’s seasonal offerings again and again. This special pass can be purchased for $39.95 for adults and $20.95 for children ages six – 12 through Oct. 31. Proof of residence and eligibility required.

“The Revolutionary City is absolutely stunning in the fall and holidays, and we are thrilled to give Virginia residents and seniors an opportunity to enjoy it through both seasons for one low price,” said Skip Ferebee, Colonial Williamsburg’s director of admission sales and consumer development.

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Revolutionary City Starts Fall Program Series in Colonial Williamsburg

imageThe Revolutionary City, embracing all of Virginia’s restored 18th-century capital city, offers Colonial Williamsburg guests new interactive and immersive experiences throughout the day that are inviting, compelling and provocative. New program schedules — fashioned for autumn — begin Labor Day, Sept. 3 and run through Nov. 21.

Throughout the course of each day, Revolution in the Streets programming provides guests opportunities to meet and get to know townspeople, to learn about the challenges that they must confront, the choices that they must make in the face of war and a transition from monarchy to republic and a new nation. In The Revolutionary City’s historic sites, Revolutionary Stories illuminate in depth the issues and characters that make up The Revolutionary City and bring together historic trades, on-the-street presentations, African American and Native American programs, military programs and other activities.

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Friends Enjoy Full Fun at Half Price @ Colonial Williamsburg

Special “Bring a Friend” Ticket Offers Admission to Special Summer Programs, Trade Shops,

Exhibition Buildings and Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg 

Colonial Williamsburg annual pass, collegiate pass and Good Neighbor pass members can “Bring a Friend” for 50 percent off the price of a single day ticket, providing access to all museums and exhibition sites for up to 20 friends at half price.

The “Bring a Friend” ticket offer is exclusive to Colonial Williamsburg pass members and is available until Aug. 31, 2012.

The regular full price of a single day ticket is $39.95 for adults and $20.95 for youth. “Bring a Friend” tickets are valid for one day and may be purchased at the Colonial Williamsburg Regional Visitor Center.

The summer season includes programs only offered during the summer months, including the alternate reality game, RevQuest: The Lion and the Unicorn, a spy game that engages families with text messaging, clues and the chance to save the Revolution. 

This offer is not available for online purchase. Pass members must present an active pass when making a purchase and are limited to the purchase of 20 per household.

For more information, call 1-800-HISTORY, visit the Colonial Williamsburg Regional Visitor Center, 101-A Visitor Center Dr., Williamsburg, or online at www.colonialwilliamsburg.com.

The sorry fate of tech pioneer Halsey Minor and historic VA estate Carter’s Grove

carters grove williamsburgSad story in the The Washington Post  today on the “fate” of Carter’s Grove,

For 260 years, it steadfastly survived looting, flood, hurricane, earthquake, a Hollywood crew filming a now-forgotten Cary Grant movie, and a marauding Revolutionary War colonel who billeted his Redcoats there and, legend has it, rode a horse up the main staircase, hacking the grand railing with his sword along the way. A 1928 renovation diminished the Palladian perfection of its exterior, but still, it endured.

Carter’s Grove may have finally met its ruin, however, in the unlikely form of Halsey Minor, a brash 40-something technology investor living in San Francisco.

 

After considering Minor’s moral failings against the Mayses, the unpaid roofers, Colonial Williamsburg, his own lawyers, Carter’s Grove, and, implicitly, all of Virginia and humanity, [federal bankruptcy judge Stephen C.] St. John gave Minor 48 hours to pay the Mayses. If Minor didn’t produce the money, St. John vowed to “re-devote my life to attempting to figure out how to remind Mr. Minor that you don’t invoke this Court’s protection and authority with the cavalier attitude he is now displaying.”

Minor sent a check, and on March 15, St. John had everyone wait while the caretaker and Minor’s lawyers took the check to a bank near the Norfolk courthouse to make sure it cleared.

Read the rest here.

Kathleen S. Kilpatrick, director of the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, takes exception to our article’s description of the current condition of Carter’s Grove.  
She writes in an e-mail: 
Carter’s Grove is a national treasure worthy of the attention of The Washington Post. This masterwork of architecture, and National Historic Landmark property of historic and archeological significance as well, deserves more careful treatment than it has had at the hand of its current owner and, regrettably, from the author of your article. While the piece certainly made for dramatic reading, it did a disservice to Carter’s Grove by painting a dark and inaccurate picture of a house in ruin. 
The mansion has indeed suffered neglect and deterioration in very recent years due largely to the owner’s failure to repair an aging roof after purchase despite full knowledge that such repairs were needed and a commensurate reduction in the purchase price to reflect the cost of those repairs. Nonetheless, Carter’s Grove is no fragile museum piece, but a robust building. It is precisely because of the care with which it was maintained by Colonial Williamsburg, combined with its method of construction and the craftsmanship, that Carter’s Grove has withstood the test of time; it is, as they say, a building with “good bones.” 
Thus, Carter’s Grove can rebound from this sad chapter in its long history, and is in fact doing so right now thanks to the continued financial commitment of Colonial Williamsburg and the commitment of the recently appointed Chapter 11 trustee to work with qualified professionals to identify and make repairs to restore Carter’s Grove to its historic condition.

LAW HISTORIAN NEXT SPEAKER IN COLONIAL WILLIAMSBURG’S FRIDAY EVENING LECTURE SERIES

Colonial Williamsburg continues its Friday Evening Lecture series at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, April 20 in the Visitor Center Theater, 101-A Visitor Center Dr., Williamsburg.

Warren Billings, a visiting professor at the College of William and Mary School of Law, delivers a lecture titled “Of Quill Pens and Foolscap: Writing Early Virginia History.”

Prior to this talk, Billings will be at the WILLIAMSBURG Booksellers located in Colonial Williamsburg’s Visitor Center from 3:30 p.m. – 5 p.m. to sign copies of his books. They include “The Little Parliament: The Virginia General Assembly in the Seventeenth Century” and “Sir William Berkeley and the Forging of Colonial Virginia.” Both are available for purchase, for $30 and $24.95 respectively.

Billings is a historian of colonial Virginia and Louisiana law. He chaired Preservation Virginia’s Jamestown Rediscovery Advisory Board from 1994 – 2008, was a member of Preservation Virginia’s Board of Trustees from 2002 – 2008 and was re-appointed in 2011. He served on the federal Jamestown 400th Commemoration Commission from 2003 – 2008, the Board of Directors of the Louisiana State Museum from 1989 – 2004 and was historian of the Supreme Court of Louisiana from 1982 – 2005. In 2002, he was Visiting Williams Professor of Law at the University of Richmond.

A past fellow of the American Bar Foundation and a former Virginia Historical Society Mellon Research Fellow, Billings received the Virginia Historical Society’s Richard Slattern Award for Excellence in Virginia Biography in 2005. He also lectures frequently on subjects relating to colonial Virginia and early Louisiana.

The event is free and open to the public.

Colonial Williamsburg’s 66th Garden Symposium

Whether you garden for flowers or food, there will be plenty of “food for thought” at Colonial Williamsburg’s 66th Garden Symposium, “Beautiful Gardens: Bountiful Options,” on April 15-16. Participants discover alternative plant choices and techniques that will help grow gardens that are both beautiful and productive.

Guest speakers and Colonial Williamsburg landscape staff will offer a bounty of tips and ideas to make the best use of time and space in the garden and include:

· Rosalind Creasy, garden and food writer, photographer, landscape designer and author, discusses “Edible Landscaping: The New American Garden.”

  • Wesley Greene, gardener, Historic Trades, Colonial Williamsburg, and author, “Vegetable Gardening, The Colonial Williamsburg Way,” discusses “Gardening Under Cover.” 
  • Lee Reich, author, lecturer and consultant, “Luscious Landscaping with Fruiting Trees, Shrubs and Vines.”
  • Ethne Clarke, editor-in-chief, Organic Gardening, “The Purest of Human Pleasures.”
  • Kerry Mendez, garden consultant, designer and writer, “EXTREMELY Low-maintenance, Bountiful Gardens.”
  • Don Haynie, garden lecturer, “Herbs in the Landscape.”

Other concurrent sessions feature:

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Colonial Williamsburg Cleans Out The Attic

Tools, machines and antique artifacts from Colonial Williamsburg went on the auction block in Indianapolis, Ind., on Friday, March 23 and Saturday, March 24.

“It is unusual. These items are from a very highly respected institution. It is a great opportunity for those interested. The items have been in storage for a lot of years,” said Martin Donnelly, owner of Live Free or Die Auctions, which will conduct the sale at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center.

Many of the items to be sold have been stored at Colonial Williamsburg, a historic district in Williamsburg, Va., since 1935. Most of them date from the 19th Century and are not consistent with the Colonial Period, which is why they are up for bid. “There has already been a tremendous amount of interest from people who are aware we have these things. (Some people) have admired and looked at them for years. Each item will have the logo of Colonial Williamsburg on it,” Donnelly said.

The hand tools and shop accessories were once used in the shops at Colonial Williamsburg but have been replaced with functional period reproduction tools, a practice consistent with modern curatorial practices. “The tools will go to collectors. Using the tools in the shops degrades them, and the mission of Colonial Williamsburg is preservation,” Donnelly said.

All of the proceeds from the sale will benefit the collections acquisition fund of Colonial Williamsburg.

One of the highlights of the auction will come from Lot 500, an ivory-tipped cabinet maker’s plough plane, which is expected to bring $5,000 to $10,000, Donnelly said.

This high-quality 1880s tool, made by Sandusky Tool Co., was used by woodworkers to cut grooves for panels on cabinets, he explained. It has brass wheels and arms, which are ivory-tipped.

“It was top of the line and would have cost several months’ wages,” Donnelly said.

Other impressive items are watchmaker and clockmaker tools.

“They have visual appeal and are not readily available. These items are in nearly new condition despite being over 100 years old,” Donnelly stated.

Donnelly predicted that rare planes by Stanley Rule and Level Co., the largest toolmaker in the U.S., will be in high demand due to their superior condition and the added value of having been stored in the attic of the State Capitol Building.

More info here

Discount Admission for First Responders @ Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg salutes first responders and their families with a very special offer: pay for a day and come back all year. Beginning March 16 through June 10, any member of law enforcement, fire and rescue, EMS technicians, 911 dispatchers, emergency management employees, as well as active duty military, guard and reserve personnel and their families can purchase a single day ticket at $39.95 for an adult and $20.95 for youth ages six to 12 and visit the rest of the year through Dec. 31 for free.  Children under six are free.

This special discounted pass for first responders is part of Colonial Williamsburg’s Salute to First Responders program. First responders simply go to the Colonial Williamsburg Regional Visitor Center to purchase the pass or it may be purchased online at www.colonialwilliamsburg.com/salute. Direct dependents of first responders also are entitled to the Salute program. First Responders must present proof of status as a First Responder at the time of purchase or at the time of redemption if purchased online.  The first responder must accompany minor dependents.

“Colonial Williamsburg recognizes the heroes who are on the front lines,” said Skip Ferebee, Colonial Williamsburg’s director of admission sales and consumer development. “The Foundation wants to thank dedicated emergency service personnel who protect their communities across the state 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

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2012 Sneak Preview for Annual Pass Members @ Colonial Williamsburg VA

Saturday, March 31, 10 a.m. at the Kimball Theatre

MARK YOUR CALENDARS!

Annual pass members are invited to an exclusive preview event at the Kimball Theatre. As an insider,* you’ll get a sneak peek at the exciting events and updates coming this spring and summer. Complimentary popcorn and beverage will be provided—along with a chance to win great prizes like a gift certificate to the Spa or a free carriage ride.

Find out about

  • Upcoming special events
  • What’s new in the Historic Area—including Anderson’s Blacksmith Shop and Public Armoury
  • And more!

Afterward, head into the Historic Area for the grand opening of Anderson’s Blacksmith Shop and Public Armoury and participate in a full range of new activities.

GET YOUR ANNUAL PASS TODAY!

This is the perfect time to become an Annual Pass member or Good Neighbor. You can even renew your current membership online.

*Must show a valid Colonial Williamsburg Annual, Good Neighbor, or Collegiate pass to attend.

Revolutionary City Opens Today in Colonial Williamsburg VA

The award-winning interactive outdoor drama, “The Revolutionary City" is returning to the streets of Colonial Williamsburg for its seventh season.

The award-winning interactive outdoor drama, “The Revolutionary City" is returning to the streets of Colonial Williamsburg for its seventh season.Three distinct episodes, presented seven days a week, are the Historic Area’s flagship presentations through late November.

The drama of the American Revolution unfolds before your eyes, as seen through the actions and interactions of costumed interpreters

One episode chronicles growing colonial unrest as loyal subjects turn against their king. Another reveals the human drama in war-torn Williamsburg and the challenges of creating a new self-governing society. The third acquaints guests with both well-known and obscure townspeople of 18th-century Williamsburg.

“Revolutionary Stories” provide background to scenes in the Revolutionary City and encourage guests to explore other sites in the Historic Area.

Admission to The Revolutionary City and its companion presentations is by Colonial Williamsburg admission ticket or Good Neighbor Card.

More info here

CW Historian To Appear on NBC Show

One week after Blair Underwood traced his roots through areas of Virginia, country superstar Reba McEntire will appear and trace her Virginia connections.

James Horn, a noted Colonial Williamsburg historian will be featured on this weeks Friday episode of the NBC show “Who Do You Think You Are?” as he helps singer and actress Reba McEntire learn about her family roots.

James Horn is vice president of research for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. He is the author of numerous books and articles on colonial America, most recently A Kingdom Strange: The Brief and Tragic History of the Lost Colony of Roanoke,  and A Land As God Made It: Jamestown and the Birth of America,, and is currently editing the writings of Captain John Smith for the Library of America series.

The episode will air Friday at 8 p.m. on NBC. Learn more about the program on the show’s website.

Perks for Presidents @ Colonial Williamsburg

colonial-williamsburg Colonial Williamsburg visitors have a chance to hobnob with the Founding Fathers (well, actors playing them) and take in special programs, including a fife-and-drum salute to the presidents and Q&As with some of them. The historic area is between Richmond and Norfolk, about 150 miles southeast of Washington.Washington, Jefferson and Madison will be chatting with guests at Colonial Williamsburg this Presidents Day weekend when presidents of all types — PTA, student council, book club, etc. — get free admission to the re-created 18th century Virginia attraction.

The deal:

Colonial Williamsburg visitors have a chance to hobnob with the Founding Fathers (well, actors playing them) and take in special programs, including a fife-and-drum salute to the presidents and Q&As with some of them. The historic area is between Richmond and Norfolk, about 150 miles southeast of Washington.
To score a single-day admission ticket, you have to show proof that you too are or were a president of some group or organization, either with a letter, website, card or other form of identification.

When:

The offer is good for free admission this Saturday through Monday, Feb 18-20, 2012
current or past presidents  save $22.95 for adults and $11.50 for children 6-12.

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Colonial Williamsburg Special $11 Admission…

Locals can buy their annual Good Neighbor passes for $10 but admission to out of state residents for Colonial Williamsburg will normally cost $23 for a one day pass. Here is a special for the next two days where you can purchase CW admission for $11 Buy it here

 

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