Colonial Williamsburg

Rachel Spinella
Features Editor

PC: Rachel Spinella

Almost three centuries ago, the city of Williamsburg, the original capital of Jamestown was founded in 1699. The city was named in honor of the reigning monarch at the time, King William III. Prior to its founding, it was once a part of a Native American tribe known as the Powhatan Confederacy. The Powhatan Confederacy was most notably known as the tribe where the famous Native American princess Pocahontas was born into.

Williamsburg is where, “fundamental concepts of our republic, along with a responsible leadership, a sense of public service, self-government and individual liberty were nurtured under the leadership of patriots like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, George Mason and Peyton Randolph.” 

The city has seen it’s fair share of history, from when it was first founded in the late 1600s to the American Civil War and as living museum today. Besides some of the founding fathers were known to have been connected to the famous historical plantation. Other notable guests of Williamsburg included Dr. Goodwin and the Rockefellers. 

For the first two periods, Goodwin was a rector at Williamsburg’s Bruton Parish Church in the year of 1903. Having been born in 1869, in the city of Richmond, he became educated at Roanoke College, the University of Richmond, the Virginia Theological Seminary and the University of Virginia. 

Goodwin was known to have helped harmonize the congregation and eventually he would establish leadership of a flagging campaign, in order to restore the 1711 church building. The church restoration would be completed in 1907, just in time for the 300th anniversary of the founding of America’s Anglican (Episocal) Church in nearby Jamestown, VA. 

Following this, in 1924, he approached the famous oil businessman and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller with the idea of restoring other parts of Williamsburg. To which Rockefeller came to agree and in secrecy, he began “purchasing run down properties using Goodwin as his agent.” 

According to Wikipedia, Rockefeller is widely considered the wealthiest American of all time as well as the richest person in modern history. In 1870, Rockefeller had founded his company known as Standard Oil Company as well as remained its largest shareholder. 

Today, Colonial Williamsburg is a tourist attraction for many people all across the country to attend and experience a walk back in time. The tourist attraction is best known for its life-like tours, where family and friends can meet makers and apprentices dressed in colonial outfits to get the real life experience. Not only can you learn more history about the town itself, but there are also ghost tours that you can attend at night, if you dare! 

In Virginia, the most haunted place known in the state is Gettysburg, due to the American Civil War. Colonial Williamsburg is no different in that regard, but there has also been bloodshed between the colonists and the Native Americans, witches being burned at the stake and epidemics, that have plagued the city in the past. 

If you are ever in Colonial Williamsburg be sure to check out the tours and if you’re brave enough to stay out past dark and walk across the old town, then join the nightly ghost tours for a good scare! 



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