Hello Friends and Family,

1984 Williamsburg, Part 5

Link to the web version by clicking here.

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

First up today is the Coke-Garrett House. Through the centuries, this property has been inhabited by a baker, a barber, a silversmith and tavern keeper, a doctor, a diplomat, and three former college presidents. Today, the house is the official residence of the president of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

In another building, we enjoyed a tour complete with a tour guide. Note the goodies on the table — it made us think we might be able to share them — but no such luck.

This is another beautiful Christmas display — this one using simple flowers and greenery. It certainly enhances this fancy stairway and foyer.

My mom starred in this photo as she looked closely at the myriad ornaments decorating the tree. I love the popcorn string and the red bead garland — remembering that this time period was way before electric lights could be used for decoration.

Next up are the slave quarters. Even as Colonial Williamsburg has decorated the town with festive holiday decorations, they have touched on the reality of those days — that human beings, most of African birth or ancestry, were enslaved and forced to work with no pay, primitive shelter, and meager food.

I applaud the fact that CW has not sugar-coated this reality of master and slave. It is something that America still has not fully come to grips with.

The joy of the season is evidenced by carolers strolling the streets and occasionally stopping to share songs with folks inside and outside.

Here we see the Williamsburg Inn. According to their website, "Representing the height of luxury in Historic Williamsburg, the iconic Williamsburg Inn has been re-imagined to bring you the best of the old world and the new. The only Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star rated resort in the Historic Triangle. Staying true to its impressive Regency style, culinary options have been elevated to suit today’s evolved tastes. You’ll also enjoy stunning views of our legendary Golden Horseshoe Golf Course while you enjoy our newly expanded outdoor spaces and redesigned signature-themed suites."

I checked — rooms run $549 per night for two people. That is a bit much for this retired person.

Here is another beautifully decorated interior arch. I love these designs — maybe we should bring them back and forget about the lights, glass balls, and other modern decorations.

This property is Carter's Grove, also known as Carter's Grove Plantation. The plantation was built for Carter Burwell, grandson of Robert "King" Carter, and was completed in 1755. It was probably named for both the prominent and wealthy Carter family and nearby Grove Creek.

After hundreds of years of multiple owners and generations of families and the death of the last resident in 1964, Carter's Grove was added to Colonial Williamsburg Foundation's properties through a gift from the Rockefeller Foundation in 1969. Carter's Grove was open to tourists for many years but closed its doors to the public in 2003 while CW redefined its mission and role.

In late 2006, the property was offered for sale under specific restrictive conditions, including a conservation easement. It is now again in private hands.

Ho, ho, ho! Here's wishing you a Merry Christmas — even if it is still in the sweltering heat of summer. I hope you enjoyed your visit to Colonial Williamsburg.

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com