Sunday, October 27, 2013

Colonial Williamsburg in October -- Day 1

If you've read our previous posts about Colonial Williamsburg, you already know we like to visit in the spring, and you already know we like to enjoy the sites and people of CW in the company of good friends. Although it isn't spring, we were confident October would still be pleasant, and this time half of the Agnew family agreed to join us for a three-and-a-half-day tour of the town.

This photo of four lovely young ladies is out of order with the chronological progression of our day, but it gives you a good introduction to the younger generation of our group. You might recognize the setting as the garden behind the Wythe House.

We arrived on a Tuesday near lunchtime and after completing a few stops outside of CW, we purchased passes and concert tickets for later in the week, and had time for a stroll on Duke of Gloucester Street in our "modern" attire. Wednesday was our first full day in costume, and we started the day in the Palace gardens followed by a tour of the house. This attractive desk in the receiving area just inside the entrance makes one want to pen a letter. As I enlarged the photo above to examine the document most prominent, I could almost read enough to understand its purpose -- almost. If it's sitting out again the next time I'm in the Palace, I'll have to zoom in as close as possible to get a better shot. A railing prevents one from access to all corners of the room, but I think I can improve on this picture.

This room in the Palace is just outside the ballroom and is the perfect place to address any deficiencies in one's wig before making your appearance for the evening. I'd never paid much attention to this room in the past, but I'll have to watch for changes in the items on display here in the future.

This small building attached to the Robert Carter House by this covered walkway is the McKenzie Apothecary.  The railing design is eye-catching and yet looks fairly easy to duplicate. Combine that with the dormer on the front of the roof, the external chimney, the short staircase rising to the walkway, the multiple rooflines, the brick foundation for the walkway, and several other features you can't see in this view, and you've got a very special little structure.

This basket weaver was hard at work behind the Wythe House gardens producing sturdy and functional white oak baskets of all sizes. The scraps on the ground indicate there is sometimes a good bit of waste in the process of preparing a piece of wood for use in a basket.

Although it was the beginning of October, the weather was warm and dry, and the Wythe House gardens hadn't given up for the winter yet.

Our day included a visit with Michael in the Millinery where he was as happy as always to show us his recent projects. The white riding habit in the foreground with the blue waistcoat was constructed with a familiar tailor's style, while the red and green coat just in front of him is constructed with features more familiar to a mantua maker. I was impressed with the striped velvet under the white coat, and could imagine myself in a suit made from that fabric.

A visit to the silversmith is always interesting, although this apprentice was busy enough with other questions that I didn't have opportunity to ask my own.  Maybe next time.

We were happy to join the Agnew ladies on their inaugural visit to R. Charleton's Coffehouse.  Unfortunately, the cups are always too small and the time allowed too short.  I guess that means one simply needs to come back frequently.

We also stopped to see how construction of George Washington's tent was progressing (more on this project in a future post), and found Mark Hutter, the head tailor, taking a break outside the building.  This was one of the few times we've seen Mr. Hutter attired in something other than 18th century clothing, and he was kind enough to entertain our questions and share stories with us.  The tent project has been consuming most of his time for months, and he expects to have it completed by the middle of November.

Our evening ended with a Williamsburg dessert tradition: "Death by Chocolate" from The Trellis Restaurant. After introducing the Agnew ladies to this delight, they agreed that it was worthy of repeating.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hope everyone survived the chocolate. :) Looks like another fun adventure in Williamsburg.

Victoria

Mr. Riggenbach said...

Victoria: despite the name, we've yet to suffer a fatality from the Death by Chocolate, although that may be because we always share a serving between at least two people!

The Whitakers said...

I Love going on vacation with you all when you go to Williamsburg! Thanks for posting the pictures. Your dresses are beautiful. Love, the Whitakers :)

Tara Janelle said...

Sounds like a lovely trip!!! It makes me all homesick for Williamsburg again!

Kathryn Grace said...

I think that henceforth it should be illegal for you to go to Williamsburg without us.

Lily the Persevering One - always the last one out of costume… ;-)