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Williamsburg

Mount Trashmore Park

Colonial Williamsburg is a living-history museum and private foundation representing the historic district of the city of Williamsburg, Virginia, USA. The 301-acre (122 ha) Historic Area includes buildings dating from 1699 to 1780 which made colonial Virginia's capital, as well as Colonial Revival and more recent reconstructions.

Early in the 20th century, the restoration and re-creation of Colonial Williamsburg, one of the largest such projects in the nation, was championed by W. A. R. Goodwin and the patriarch of the Rockefeller family, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., along with his wife, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, to celebrate the patriots and the early history of the United States.

Today it is a major tourist attraction for the Williamsburg area, and is part of the Historic Triangle of Virginia area, which includes Jamestown and Yorktown, linked by the Colonial Parkway. The site has been used for conferences by world leaders and heads of state, including U.S. Presidents. In 1983, the United States hosted the first World Economic Conference at Colonial Williamsburg. The Historic area is located immediately east of The College of William & Mary.

The motto of Colonial Williamsburg is "The future may learn from the past". The Historic Area is an interpretation of a Colonial American city, with exhibits including dozens of authentic or re-created colonial houses and relating to American Revolutionary War history.

Description:
Colonial Williamsburg is a combination of a historical landmark and a living history museum. Many of the missing Colonial structures were reconstructed on their original sites during the 1930s. Others were restored to estimates of 18th-century appearance, with traces of later buildings and improvements removed. Dependency structures and animals add to the ambience. Most buildings are open for tourists, with the exception of buildings serving as residences for Colonial Williamsburg employees.

Notable structures include the Capitol and the Governor's Palace, each re-created and landscaped as to what is known of their late 18th-century condition, as well as Bruton Parish Church and the Raleigh Tavern.The Wren Building on the campus of William and Mary was one of the first buildings to be restored.

Outlying lands and landscaping:

Beginning in the earliest periods of the Restoration, Colonial Williamsburg acquired acreage in Williamburg and the two counties which adjoin it, notably to the north and east of the Historic District. One of the major considerations was a desire to preserve natural views and facilitate the effort to allow a visitor to experience as much of the late 18th-century experience as possible with regard to the surrounding environment. This was described as a "rural, wooded sense of arrival" along corridors to the foundation's Historic Area.

The entrance roadways to the Historic Area were planned with great care. The Colonial Parkway was planned and is maintained to reduce modern intrusions. Near the principal planned roadway approach to Colonial Williamsburg, similar design priorities were employed for the relocated U.S. Route 60 near the intersection of Bypass Road and North Henry Street. Prior to the restoration, U.S. Route 60 ran right down Duke of Gloucester Street through town.

Colonial Williamsburg today:
Colonial Williamsburg is an open-air assemblage of buildings populated with historical reenactors whose job it is to explain and demonstrate aspects of daily life in the past. The reenactors (or interpreters) work, dress, and talk as they would have in colonial times.

While there are many living history museums (such as Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts or Castell Henllys in the UK), Colonial Williamsburg is unusual for having been constructed from a living town whose inhabitants and post-Colonial-era buildings were removed.

Many times there are reenactments by historical interpreters in period costumes representing Colonial Willamsburg as can be seen in these multiple videos. In addition to simple period reenactment, there are times where Colonial Williamsburg may have certain themes, including the founding of Williamsburg, occupation by British forces, or visits from Colonial leaders of the day, including General George Washington.

Educational outreach:
In the 1990s Colonial Williamsburg implemented the Teaching Institute in Early American History, and Electronic Field Trips. Designed for elementary and middle/high school teachers, the Institute offers workshops for educators to meet with historians, character interpreters, and to prepare instructional materials for use in the classroom.

In 2007 Colonial Williamsburg launched www.iCitizenForum.com. A mix of historical documents and user-generated content such as blogs, videos, and message boards, the site aims to prompt discussion about the roles, rights, and responsibilities of citizens in a democracy.

Preservation of the Founding Fathers' ideals in light of recent world events is a special focus of the site.CW has hired former NBC journalist Lloyd Dobyns to produce podcasts for the museum where he usually interviews various staff members about their particular specialty