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photoLith Dec 24, 2017 5:13 PM

The Birth of America, Colonial Virginia
About a month ago I finally went to the Historic Triangle of Virginia, where I have wanted to go basically my whole life. So heres about 170 photos from about 5 days of visiting many of the oldest buildings in North America.

I started out in Fredricksburg, Virginia at the 1770's Kenmore Plantation, which was built by George Washington for her sister.
Fredricksburg, early Federal building.
1770s Shelton Cottage, Fredricksburg.
Overlooking Fredricksburg from the 1771 Chatham Manor
1771 Chatham Manor, Fredricksburg.
Chatham Manor from the back side.
Fredricksburg Colonial era house.
Some abandoned houses east of Fredricksburg, I was amazed by how many abandoned farms and houses there were in this part of Virginia.
Church near Bowling Green
Bowling Green
Downtown Bowling Green
1830 Caroline County Courthouse in Bowling Green
1670 Old Mansion, Bowling Green
1735 Hanover County Courthouse in Hanover, about 15 miles north of Richmond.
Just east of Hanover
Land upon the 1723 Shirley Plantation, unfortunately the Plantation was closed when I went, but it is one of the prettiest and oldest in the state.
1750 Berkley Plantation
1731 Westover Church
Finally got to Williamsburg, this is the 1930s reconstruction of the 1706 Governors Palace. Williamsburg became the capitol of Virginia in 1699 after Jamestown, which was established in 1607.
The 1677 Burton Parish Church in Williamsburg
1930's reconstruction of the 1753 Capitol in Williamsburg
1748 Secretary's Office, Williamsburg, where all the legal documents and deeds were kept.
Inside the 1677 Bruton Parish Church in Williamsburg
Grave inside the church
Overlooking the James River, just downstream from Jamestown, it was a pretty moving experience seeing this river for the first time and knowing that the Susan Constance, et al sailed up this river in 1607.
Heading to Jamestown the next morning from Williamsburg
Finally at Jamestown, the first successful English Colony in the New World in 1607, this is the reconstructed (1907) backside of the mid 1600s church.
1699 grave in the churchyard.
The only remaining above ground colonial structure at Yamestown, the circa 1639 bell tower of the Jamestown Church.
The foundations were found a few years back for the second church at Jamestown, dating from 1608. It was in this church that John Rolfe and Pocahontas were married in, in 1614.
Statue of John Smith, the first governor of Virginia.
The in situ bell tower for the mid 1600's church.
Archaeological dig ongoing inside the 1907 reconstructed church. Some of the bricks in this photo on the floor are in situ and original to the early churches that inhabited this site.
On to the Archearium, wherein all the finds were found at Jamestown and most are from the early years of the fort. This is a very rare quarts arrowhead found in a well at James Fort from about 1610 or so.
The object on the right was used to clear ear wax.
Teething stick with Bermuda coral at the tip.
Little placard, proving without a doubt that Bill Kelso, the guy who found the fort in 1994 after all had believed it to be washed away, was in fact Jamestown.
Catholic crosses found at Jamestown, which would have been rare seeing as the colony was English and most English were part of the Church of England, which broke away from the Pope due to Henry the 8th.
Remains of Jamestown, outside the fort from the mid 1600's or so.
Leaving Jamestown to cross the James River on the ferry.
Jamestown from the ferry.
The abandoned 1727 Mellville House in Surry County.
1682 St. Lukes Church in Isle of Wight County, this church is completely original and little has changed since it was built in 1682.
The oldest working organ in America, built in 1630 inside St. Lukes.
This church is identical to Jamestowns 1907 reconstructed church as they just copied St. Lukes for the reconstruction.
Inside St. Lukes, the only difference is that the church originally wouldnt have had exposed wooden beams on the ceiling, it would have been white plaster.
Back in Smithfield
This is the 1665 Bacons Castle, one of the only examples and the best example of Jacobean architecture in the Western Hemisphere.
The left side of the structure is the Jacobean section, the right side was built in the 1850's.
Taking the ferry back across the James River to go back to Williamsburg
1750 Powhatan Plantation, which is inside an ugly modern gated community. Many of the historic mansions I wanted to see were gated off in these huge developments, kinda pissed me off, this was one of the only ones where the people at the gate were cool and let me go in.
This is the Wren Building at the College of William and Mary, which was built from 1695 to 1700 and may have been designed by Christopher Wren, who was the architect behind St. Pauls Cathedral in London, among many other famous buildings. The college was founded in 1693, it the second oldest school of higher education in America.
Backside of the Wren Building
Back at Colonial Williamsburg, my motel was only about a mile away so each night I ended back here taking photos.
The next day I took the Colonial Parkway, which was absolutely gorgeous to Yorktown.
Tributary leading to the York River.
Battlefield at Yorktown
Driving around the Yorktown National Battlefield
British guns surrendered to Washingtons army and commemorated after the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown.
Bridge over the York River to Gloucester Point.
1691 Sessions Pope Shield House in Yorktown
The Nelson House on the right of the Sessions House. The Nelson House was built in 1730 and is a very fine example of Georgian architecture. The side of the house still has a couple canonballs lodged in the side from the Battle of Yorktown.
The Yorktown Victory Monument, erected in 1881.
The Nelson House again.
The Nelson House and its stately Georgian gardens.
The 1725 Moore House where Cornwallis formally surrendered after the Siege and Battle of Yorktown in 1781.
Grave located at the 1697 Grace Church in Yorktown
Looking out towards the Chesapeake Bay from Yorktown
The 1775 Digges House in Yorktown
Back at Williamsburg again, the beautiful door to the 1677 Bruton Parish Church
Colonial Williamsburg
Exterior of the reconstructed Virginia Capitol building.
The 1733 Hickory Neck Church in Toano.
Inside the church, which looks nothing like it would have during colonial times.
A horribly stinky paper Mill in the town of West Point in King William County.
Downtown West Point.
1714 Christ Church in Middlesex
Interior of the church, which is similar to how it would have appeared when first built, note how the ceiling is white plaster, unlike how the St. Lukes Church appears today, the ceiling in this church is how St. Lukes ceiling would have looked without the exposed timbers.
Graves located in the floor of the church.
The completely original 1715 Lower Chapel in Middlesex County.
All of these colonial churches are covered in graffiti dating from the 1700's to the early 1900s.
This was one of the most unique churches I have ever seen and all the pews and everything inside and outside is original to the structure. This is the 1735 Christ Church in Lancaster County.
1738 Stratford Hall, where Robert E. Lee was born and is where the Lee Family lived.
Slave quarters located on the grounds of Stratford Hall
Looking out over the Potomac River from George Washingtons birthplace in Westmoreland County.
The 1930's reconstruction of Washingtons Birthplace, wherein the house originally dated to the 1730's.
The last photo I took on this trip, an abandoned possibly 18th century house located next to a Sheetz in King George, King George County.

Little A Dec 24, 2017 5:22 PM

That was an amazing tour, photoLith! Great photos as always!

JMKeynes Dec 24, 2017 5:23 PM


geomorph Dec 24, 2017 6:23 PM

Fantastic tour! I never posted my Virginia Historic Triangle photos from 2008 but maybe I will in the future, this thread got me excited to look back on that trip! I did not see as much though, concentrated only on the cores of Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown.

photoLith Dec 24, 2017 6:32 PM

I was exhausted by the end of this trip, pretty much has no downtime in order to see as much as possible. And there's still loads and loads I didn't get to see.

Murphy de la Sucre Dec 25, 2017 12:46 AM

The "Overlooking Fredricksburg from the 1771 Chatham Manor" is the best. Perfect catch of a small town's skyline from a good angle. We need more of those for each town.

jg6544 Dec 25, 2017 3:57 AM

Amazing series. Thanks for taking and posting them!

mrnyc Dec 25, 2017 4:23 AM

wow this is stunningly beautiful — thanks!

i’ve always wanted to do a trip like this as well, but its just too much to see at once — i dk how you did it.

i would say 9118/9161 and 9122 are my favorite houses.

xzmattzx Dec 25, 2017 5:40 AM

Great pictures! It's amazing how much history there is in Virginia. It puts almost every other place in North America to shame. You didn't even show, although you likely covered, some of the little courthouse towns and other Presidential houses, like Charles City and William Tyler's house, or so much in Richmond, etc.

photoLith Dec 25, 2017 4:23 PM


Originally Posted by mrnyc (Post 8028789)
wow this is stunningly beautiful — thanks!

i’ve always wanted to do a trip like this as well, but its just too much to see at once — i dk how you did it.

i would say 9118/9161 and 9122 are my favorite houses.

By hardly sleeping and mapping out everything I wanted to see beforehand. Shot 2017-12-25 at 10.19.51 AM by photolitherland, on Flickr

cityskyscrapers Dec 25, 2017 5:00 PM

Great set of pictures illustrating part of USA's history. Thanks!

Docta_Love Dec 25, 2017 9:41 PM

Very cool

Dac150 Dec 27, 2017 11:30 PM

Really enjoyed viewing these … thank you for sharing. Impressive tour!

OhioGuy Dec 28, 2017 2:48 AM

Wow, very cool photos!

iamaberliner Dec 28, 2017 11:52 PM

nice buildings, nice colors, nice tour :violin:

EastSideHBG Dec 29, 2017 1:15 AM

Very cool!

ChrisLA Dec 30, 2017 10:09 PM

I felt like I just sat down and enjoyed a photography book on Colonial Virginia at a local bookstore. Awesome work, thanks for sharing.

ColDayMan Dec 31, 2017 10:36 PM

Excellent shots.

photoLith Jan 2, 2018 3:12 PM

Thanks for the compliments everyone.

Texan101 Jan 2, 2018 3:35 PM

Very nice set! Took me on a trip down memory lane. It's been over 15 years since I lived in Hampton Roads. I had completely forgotten about our Sunday trips driving on The Colonial Parkway and taking it in as the seasons changed. Glad to hear you finally got this trip crossed off your list. It's an area that's often forgotten by many and is really remarkable from a history perspective and not to mention natural.

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