Historic Virginia and Washington, D.C.

 

Mid-May is a great time f the year to visit our nation's historic sites in Virginia.  The weather is cool and the school kids haven't started their summer vacations.  We flew to Richmond and drove to Williamsburg.  Five original plantations are preserved along the route and are open to the public.  James Monroe, James Madison, John Tyler, and Benjamin Harrison all lived on this relatively short highway.  We spent a day each at Jamestown, Yorktown, and Williamsburg, then stopped for a few hours at Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson.  We spent some time in Washington D.C. as part of a Houston World Affairs Council group visiting some think tanks and the State Department.  We had one day on our own and managed to wear ourselves out hiking to all the monuments, doing the complete loop around the tidal basin

 

Plantations

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The Shirley Plantation is one of the best preserved.

The Berkeley Plantation has a rich history.  This is where "Taps" was composed.

President William Henry Harrison lived here.

I'll bet you thought the first thanksgiving was in new England.

 

Jamestown

 

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Archaeologists have been digging in Jamestown for about 15 years.  A staff member gave us a briefing.

Over a million artifacts have been discovered so far.

Here is a monument to Captain John Smith.

A statue of Pocahontas is not far away.

This church wall is all that remains of the original settlement.

Yorktown

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The Yorktown battlefield is very well preserved.  Howitzers, mortars and canons were all used by Washington's army.

The earthworks and redoubts from the battle are still in place.

Re-enactors tell the story f life in the colony.  Here is a field hospital.  Better not to sick or injured.

Prices are always lower at the commissary.

A re-enactor shows us how to fire a musket.

 

 

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The colony's main crop was tobacco

Yorktown has a nice white sand beach well utilized by the locals.

A monument to the victory at Yorktown was build 100 years after the battle.

Here is more info on the monument if you are interested.

The local residents  keep their houses well-maintained.

Williamsburg

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All of the goods produced in Williamsburg are utilized in the historic preservation.  Here is a wheelwright at work.

Blacksmithing is another lost art.  Here two strong men pound out some hot iron.

Brick makers seemed to have one of the easier tasks in the colony.

Another lost art - barrel-making.  This woman and her husband are the resident coopers.

The mandatory stock photo.

Next time you have $500 you don't know what to do with, spend a night at the Williamsburg Inn.

 

Richmond

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The state capitol in Richmond is an architectural gem.  It was designed by Thomas Jefferson.

George Washington and his horse capture the setting sun.

This baroque building behind the capitol is reputed to have a fine view of the city.  It was closed when we tried to get in.

One of many monuments on the capitol lawn is this tribute to the civil rights movement.

I always thought Edgar Allen Poe was from Baltimore.

 

Monticello

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Jefferson designed his residence to fit his lifestyle.  He was a scientific tinkerer.

There is an extensive garden along side the house.

The Levy family was very important to Monticello.  They owned and preserved the house for 90 years following the death of Jefferson.

The garden has an almost infinite variety of plants.

 

Washington, D.C.

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The WW II memorial is relatively new.  Several states pay veterans to visit.

This hard to find monuments honors all the signers of the Declaration of Independence. 

The Washington monument as seen from behind the reflecting pool.

Ross Perot didn't like the Vietnam Memorial so he paid for this alternative one.

The soldiers at the Korean War Memorial have a ghost-like quality.

 

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Another relatively new memorial is this one dedicated to FDR.  It is interesting and moving.

The Jefferson memorial is in keeping with his architectural style.

A statue of Jefferson rises in the center of his monument.

The Hirschhorn Garden museum has some strange pieces of sculpture.

As part of the HWAC tour we visited the offices of CSIS and goat a briefing on security isues.