By Sam Burnham
The recent trip to Virginia gave me many ideas for stories to share here. I think there are many ideas that go with our small town theory we've been discussing and we'll get to that soon. But Before we do, I'd like to focus on one of the more beautiful sites I encountered along the way.
In the South, the great houses are a thing of legend. In all likelihood, this particular home was the first among them. Completed in 1722. the Governor's Palace in Williamsburg served as the the seat of power and the home of the king's designated colonial governor of Virginia. The governor that is discussed the most in the Revolutionary City was the final royal governor, John Murray, fourth Earl of Dunmore typically called Lord Dunmore.
The original structure was destroyed by fire in 1781, just months after the capital was moved to Richmond. John D. Rockefeller made the commitment to restore the city as a historic landmark and the Governor's Palace was reconstructed using plans discovered at Monticello. Thomas Jefferson had drawn up detailed plans on the structure while planning some renovations during his tenure as governor. While the plans were not used by Jefferson himself, they proved invaluable to the reconstruction effort.
The color in the gardens is beautiful even during the onset of fall. There's a resident cat, "Sir Thomas Grey" who roams the gardens much like his predecessors would have. Among the other life are squirrels and more than a few birds.
While such rooms and gardens are not practical in most of our homes today, this was not an ordinary home. This is a gem from yet another bygone era. An fitting reproduction of an elegant home of yesteryear and a recommended stop for anyone finding themselves in the area.
It would be appropriate to take a minute to mention that an honest treatment of Georgia history gives a nod to Virginia as many people left that state to relocate in the expanding lands an economy that we call home.
That being said, an understanding of early Virginia history can help us understand Georgia a little better.
Looking at the early Virginians, we see people who clung to faith and guns. They were people who lived off the land. They were people who stabilized a colony by restructuring it to have families as the basic building blocks. These were people who lived where they worked. They were people who lived in small communities. These were people much like we talk about often, especially recently.
Theres also big differences between Virginia and Georgia. But I'll leave that for another time...
Historian, self-proclaimed gentleman, agrarian-at-heart, & curator extraordinaire