Colonial Williamsburg


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I run a museum that is preparing to do a multimillion dollar expansion. I always combine museum visits in my trips but this year I figured out a way to incorporate woodworking :) My wife and I are going to Colonial Williamsburg at the end of May. I have to give Shannon Rogers credit for some extra inspiration after watching videos from his trips there. I plan to stay about 10 days so we can include Jamestown, Monticello, Mount Vernon, and a couple of the Smithsonians.  Colonial and Revolutionary periods are my favorite time in history so I'm extra stoked!

Obviously I want to spend extended time in the Hay shop and caprpenter shop, gunsmith and blacksmith, too. I really want to spend time looking at the furniture in all the sites I mentioned above. 

So, what else do I not want to miss from a woodworking (or other) perspective?

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FYI if you have any detailed questions about Colonial Williamsburg, George Wilson is a prolific poster on SMC, he was a master musical instrument maker and master toolmaker there for about 40 years.  His work was/is outstanding and his breadth and depth of knowledge about these subjects and CW is astounding.  

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Not woodworking advice, but when in Williamsburg you need to go to Pierce's Open Pit Barbecue on Rochambeau Road.  Also, get a sandwich at The Cheese Shop on Duke of Gloucester Street.  Try the house sauce on your sandwich. 

Have fun!

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15 hours ago, wdwerker said:

Plotting a bussmans holiday huh ?

I spent a week in DC and there were Smithsonian museums I missed. Good luck choosing .

Yeah, wdwerker, you'd think I would have enough of museums, huh?  It's the curse of a history lover :)  I know this is going to be the first of several trips over the next couple of years so I figure this trip will focus around the The Mall.  

7 hours ago, Orbb said:

Not woodworking advice, but when in Williamsburg you need to go to Pierce's Open Pit Barbecue on Rochambeau Road.  Also, get a sandwich at The Cheese Shop on Duke of Gloucester Street.  Try the house sauce on your sandwich. 

Have fun!

Love me some BBQ so thanks for the tip!

14 hours ago, Llama said:

I think you have the wood taken care of... If you are into Civil War sites, you should look into Pamplin Historical Park... http://pamplinpark.org

 

Llama, I've lived in the South my entire life so it's actually the War of Northern Aggression - LOL.

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There was an SR-71 in Huntsville, Ala at the Air and Space Museum the last time that I was there.  Just in case someone can't get to DC to look at that one, maybe they are closer to Huntsville.

 

There's a lot to see in Colonial Williamsburg too. I could only spend a couple of days there, so didn't see a lot of the good stuff. My wife won't put up with the woodworking shop tours, so we split up while I was doing that.

 

Charley

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Poplar Forest in Bedford VA would also be a good stop, although pretty far from Williamsburg. It is about an hour from Monticello and is Jeffersons second home. They are redoing the house to period and are leaving the guest room studs to show how the house was constructed. Jeffersons room is trimmed out entirely by a popular tree that was there when he lived there that fell a couple years ago. They are doing the entire restoration, inside at least, with the tools available at the time. 

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When my wife and I were traveling more often, we would pick a destination, and then I would get a compass and draw progressively larger circles around the area. This was free styling as opposed to cruising or group travel, usually involving a rental car. I was reminded of this by Andrew1's post. He mentioned Poplar Forest and located it in Bedford, VA.  There is a Bedford, VA and there is a Bedford county. I was going to recommend the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford (town), VA. I then looked on a map and saw that they are not in the same area. Using the compass method, there is Appamattox and multiple other American history sites in the area. Have fun planning your trip.

On the aviation topic, I consider myself as fan. We have Wright-Patterson museum on the travel list. Anyone been there that can share?

PROV163, What museum are you affiliated with?

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This is a good book to give an overall view of the restoration, and where things are, in Colonial Williamsburg:

https://www.amazon.com/Williamsburg-Before-After-Virginias-Colonial/dp/0879350776   It would be good to have some sort of feel for what you will see ahead of time, and to get some idea of how Duke of Gloucester street is laid out.  There's a good chance you can find a good used one cheap on ebay.

Any tour of the Mall should include a trip through the Capital Building to start with.  It will give you a totally different feeling about it every time you see it on TV from then on.  Try to get into the first tour in the morning, and cut out once you get into the Hall of Statues, and see what it's about.  By then you will have seen what's worth seeing there.

https://www.nps.gov/nama/planyourvisit/index.htm

It's two miles from the Capital to the Washington Monument, so unless you are used to covering a lot of ground on foot, one might get worn out before you see much that's far apart.  Air and Space is great, but American History, and Natural History should be ranked to be seen before Air and Space, in my opinion.

My Wife and I spent many weekends there when we were dating, and I've since taken Boy Scout Troops there countless times.  It can waste a lot of time finding some place to get lunch, depending on what's closed to be worked on, or at least a choice that you might like without spending a lot of time, so we always pack lunches.

Parking can be a problem depending on  a number of things so sometimes you might as well say it's impossible to drive from one museum to another.  I'd park somewhere that you want to end up, and grab one of the buses.  It costs a buck a trip if you pay with cash and wont' use it enough to buy a card.  http://nationalmall.dccirculator.com/

Trying to get Monticello, Poplar Forest, and anything other than Williamsburg and the National Mall will take too much time from a one week tour.

I work on museum houses for a living.  While doing research about Cypress shingles, that we put on a house about a year ago, I realized that the 88 original building in Williamsburg were still there at the beginning of the restoration, only because they still had the original Cypress shingles on them.  The oldest buildings because they also had steep roofs.

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Rex, I run a museum of biblical history based on archaeology. We are one of only 7 museums in the world to have a long term collection of artifacts from the Israeli government. We're the fourth in the US and have the largest collection by far. It's cool working with stuff that goes back to the Stone Age all the way up to the Early Umayyad period. We're getting ready to do a multimillion dollar expansion which will be a Sea of Galilee about 3 acres in size, including the surrounding countryside and replicas of archaeological city sites. Pretty cool place to work. 

Tom, that's a cool story. We have a friend who works for a Senator so I think we can get a private tour. I know there's a lot to do and this will just be a first of other trips to come. I'll check on the book. Thanks for the advice. 

I think I've decided to add a few days on this trip to ride back along the Blue Ridge Parkway. 

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Prov 163

Tell your boss your gonna need two weeks instead. ☺

Been to Willimsburg several times though not in the last 10 years.  It is like Disney World for history buffs.  I'd pick a few key "rides".  Then allow more time for those exhibits.  

There is also a museum building on the grounds.  This has a collection of period furniture that does not fit in the houses.  

Don't forget to bring a quantity of business cards.  Showing your credentials might get you some special attention.

Apropos of nothing, I happened to be in Utah when the Dead Sea Scrolls toured.  Very cool to see.

 

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7 hours ago, Bankstick said:

prov163, where exactly is this museum?  Interested as I am close to the GA state line in SE TN.

LaGrange Ga, about an hour southwest of ATL. Where in TN do you live?

 

7 hours ago, Mark J said:

Prov 163

Tell your boss your gonna need two weeks instead. ☺

Been to Willimsburg several times though not in the last 10 years.  It is like Disney World for history buffs.  I'd pick a few key "rides".  Then allow more time for those exhibits.  

There is also a museum building on the grounds.  This has a collection of period furniture that does not fit in the houses.  

Don't forget to bring a quantity of business cards.  Showing your credentials might get you some special attention.

Apropos of nothing, I happened to be in Utah when the Dead Sea Scrolls toured.  Very cool to see.

 

Yeah, I'm gonna be in heaven. I love the Colonial/Revolutionary era and I can't imagine a time when understanding the essential goals of the Founding Fathers was more important :) 

The Dead Sea Scrolls are cool. I spent some time recently with Dr. Charlesworth, one of the world's leading experts on the Scrolls. Great guy. Qumran is a pretty cool site itself. While I'm in DC I will have a private tour of the Museum of the Bible which opens in November. I love manuscripts and they have some amazing ones. 

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On 1/29/2017 at 9:14 PM, prov163 said:

Rex, I run a museum of biblical history based on archaeology. We are one of only 7 museums in the world to have a long term collection of artifacts from the Israeli government. We're the fourth in the US and have the largest collection by far. It's cool working with stuff that goes back to the Stone Age all the way up to the Early Umayyad period. We're getting ready to do a multimillion dollar expansion which will be a Sea of Galilee about 3 acres in size, including the surrounding countryside and replicas of archaeological city sites. Pretty cool place to work. 

Tom, that's a cool story. We have a friend who works for a Senator so I think we can get a private tour. I know there's a lot to do and this will just be a first of other trips to come. I'll check on the book. Thanks for the advice. 

I think I've decided to add a few days on this trip to ride back along the Blue Ridge Parkway. 

The Blue Ridge Parkway starts just below Shenandoah Park.  A drive down through Shenandoah Park on Skyline Drive rates higher to me than the Parkway.  You can continue on down the Parkway once South of Shenandoah, or catch I64 just South of Shenandoah Park, and stop at Monticello on your way back South if 95 or 85 works to get you back home.  If you do go back that way, catch 288 to bypass Richmond on the way to 95.  85 branches off of 95 just below Petersburg to head to Atlanta.

I'm a 9th generation Virginia boy, and know it like the back of my hand.  I don't think there is a trail in Shenandoah Park that I haven't hiked.  It has some of the best short hikes on the East Coast.  Also, I went to school at William and Mary my first year in college in '68-69, so know Williamsburg pretty good too.

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57 minutes ago, Bankstick said:

Five miles from Exit 27!

I'm so old I remember when there wasn't an exit 27 - LOL.  As a teenager I worked at the Krystal there at 25th and Keith Street.  Cleveland has certainly grown over the years.

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