Historic Landmarks in Pre-Revolutionary Virginia
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Historic Landmarks in Pre-Revolutionary Virginia

The Colonial atmosphere is at its strongest in Williamsburg, once the capital of Virginia and now possessing in that part of town known as Colonial Williamsburg, a carefully, lovingly restored evocation of 18th century life in America. To visit these towns and such plantations as Mount Vernon, Ash Lawn-Highland and Monticello - as many thousands of Washingtonians and visitors to Washington do each year - is to get caught up in the atmosphere of the 18th century world of a proud, independent people who would defy a king and his army rather than pay an unfair tax.

A drive West and South of Washington into Virginia can also lead back into the heart of pre-Revolutionary America, to a string of places associated with high points in American History from the earliest settlements through the days of the American Revolution and the drama of the Civil War. Alexandria, Fredericksburg, Charlottesville, Richmond, Williamsburg, Jamestown, Yorktown were all towns of the Old Dominion of Virginia, the oldest settled in America, when Washington was still part orchard and part swamp.  

To visit these towns and such plantations as Mount Vernon, Ash Lawn-Highland and Monticello - as many thousands of Washingtonians and visitors to Washington do each year - is to get caught up in the atmosphere of the 18th century world of a proud, independent people who would defy a king and his army rather than pay an unfair tax.

The Colonial atmosphere is at its strongest in Williamsburg, once the capital of Virginia and now possessing in that part of town known as Colonial Williamsburg, a carefully, lovingly restored evocation of 18th century life in America. Today horses and carriages trot down its streets carrying people in jeans and sweat shirts with cameras in their hands, rather than men and women in the more elaborate dress of two hundred years ago, but the buildings they pass still appear as they were when they were built. Colonial Williamsburg has become a living, working museum of American life before the Revolution. Huge injections of Rockefeller money have made it all possible. It was John D. Rockefeller, Jr. who began taking an interest in Williamsburg in the 1920s, and the Rockefeller estate still funds the work there.  

Although Richmond, which took over from Williamsburg as capital of Virginia in 1780, is also an old town, it contains more relics of the Civil War period than any other, for this was Robert E. Lee's town, a fact which the visitor is not allowed to forget. Lee's House on Franklin Street is one of the city's important shrines, and there is a Museum of the Confederacy and the Richmond Battlefield National Park to be seen as well. There are reminders of earlier days, of course, most notably the stately Capitol Building, which Virginians consider the most beautiful in the United States. It was designed by Thomas Jefferson whose name prevails in this part of Virginia, as it does in Washington, for the lovely Monticello plantation was his, the University of Virginia at Charlottesville was founded by him, and he designed and built Ash Lawn-Highland, President Monroe's Home, also near Charlottesville.  

Old Capitol Building in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Image source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e8/Old_Capitol_Building_-_Williamsburg.png

Colonial atmosphere in a store of Williamsburg, Virginia.

Image source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/47/Colonial_Williamsburg_Store_Interior_DSCN7245.JPG

Entrance of Capitol, Williamsburg, Virginia.

Image source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/dd/Colonial_Williamsburg_Capitol.jpg

Bruton parish Church in Williamsburg, Va.

Image source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/ac/Bruton_Parish_Postcard.jpg

Governor's Palace in Williamsburg, Va.

Image source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3c/Backpalace_Williamsburg_Virginia_crop.jpg

Virginia State Capitol in Richmond, Va. designed by Thomas Jefferson.

Image source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fa/Va_Capitol.jpg

Chimborazo Civil War Medical Museum, Richmond Battlefield National Park. 

Image source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/65/Chimborazo_Museum_VA_NPS.jpg

Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's Home in Charlottesville, Va.

Image source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/5a/Monticello_reflected.JPG

Ash Lawn-Highland, President Monroe's Home, in Albemarle County near Charlottesville, Va.

Image source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6a/AshLawnHighland.jpg

Mount Vernon, George Washington's Home near Alexandria, Va.

Image source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b7/MTVernonseenfromtheriver.jpg

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Comments (7)

Very educational and very well explained details of historic landmarks including great images that enhances your article dear Francois, thank your dear friend and have a great day.

Virginia has some neat landmarks!

I am thrilled to have come across this well presented article on Virginia landmarks.Thank you for all you research.

Thank you for your kind comments.

Thanks for this history of Virginia and United States landmarks, very interesting as usual and also not too far from my residence.

And yet another great post!

Nicely done and Williamsburg is a place we'll be visiting in the near future.

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