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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
 
 

Williamsburg Virginia Historical Markers

 
Wren Building west entrance image, Touch for more information
By Bernard Fisher, July 20, 2013
Wren Building west entrance
Virginia, Williamsburg — Alumni of the College of William and MaryProminent in Establishing the American Union
Richard Bland, student in 1725, the first to announce in a formal pamphlet that England and the American colonies were co-ordinate kingdoms under a common crown, 1764. Dabney Carr, student in 1762, patron of the resolutions in 1775 . . . — Map (db m66922) HM
Virginia, Williamsburg — Battle of WilliamsburgThe Bloody Ravine — 1862 Peninsula Campaign
A critical part of the Battle of Williamsburg took place here on May 5, 1862. Union troops occupied the ridge to your right across present-day U.S. Route 60. The Confederate line of redoubts stood to your left on the ridge to the west. Felled timber . . . — Map (db m10368) HM
Virginia, Williamsburg — Battle of WilliamsburgEmory’s Failed Advance — 1862 Peninsula Campaign
As the May 5, 1862, Battle of Williamsburg raged along the Bloody Ravine and in front of Fort Magruder, the Union commander sought to turn the flank of the Confederate defenses. Gen. Joseph Hooker was convinced that the right flank was unoccupied . . . — Map (db m77991) HM
Virginia, Williamsburg — Charlton's Coffeehouse
Constructed as a store and residence in 1750, the building was converted into a coffeehouse and operated by Richard Charlton in the mid 1760s. In October 1765, the coffeehouse was the scene of resistance to the British Parliament's Stamp Act. — Map (db m60299) HM
Virginia, Williamsburg — College Camp1775-1781
On this site in September 1775 Colonel Patrick Henry established camp grounds for Virginia troops who were to rendezvous and train at Williamsburg. Several Virginia regiments left here in 1776 and 1777 to join General George Washington’s army in the . . . — Map (db m18179) HM
Virginia, Williamsburg — Defending the PeninsulaAvenue of Attack — 1862 Peninsula Campaign
When Virginia seceded on April 17, 1861, Union and Confederate leaders alike saw the Peninsula as an avenue of attack against Richmond. Federal ships on the James and York rivers could guard an army’s flanks and escort supply vessels upstream. Fort . . . — Map (db m77989) HM
Virginia, Williamsburg — Engagement at Spencer's OrdinaryJune 26, 1781
In the summer of 1781, thousands of troops crisscrossed the James City County countryside, foraging for food and strategically moving toward Yorktown. Although neither side knew the other’s strength, Lafayette saw an opportunity to attack. British . . . — Map (db m127273) HM
Virginia, Williamsburg — W-40 — First Balloon Flight in Virginia
On May 7, 1801, J. S. Watson, a student at William and Mary, wrote a letter detailing attempts at flying hot air balloons on the Court House Green. The third balloon, decorated with sixteen stars, one for each of the existing states, and fueled with . . . — Map (db m16852) HM
Virginia, Williamsburg — Fort MagruderAn Ugly Place to Have to Attack — 1862 Peninsula Campaign
Here are the remains of Fort Magruder, an earthen redoubt built in 1861 at the center of the Confederate defensive line. The “Williamsburg Line” stretched between the James and York rivers and consisted of fourteen forts, commonly called . . . — Map (db m10371) HM
Virginia, Williamsburg — Fort Magruder
This large redoubt was the center of a defensive line crossing the Peninsula. These earthworks, constructed by the command of General John B. Magruder, were a part of the system of fortifications designed to protect Richmond. Here on May 5, 1862. . . . — Map (db m10572) HM
Virginia, Williamsburg — George Wythe House and Gardens
This mid-eighteenth century building was the home of George Wythe, tutor and friend of Jefferson. Wythe was the first professor of law at an American college, and first Virginian signer of the Declaration of Independence. Washington used the house . . . — Map (db m60248) HM
Virginia, Williamsburg — Great Neck
When Richard Brewster, gentleman, patented some 500 acres in this area on February 6, 1637 it was described as "the great Neck alias the barren neck". Cleared land then, the forest has since grown back. — Map (db m25816) HM
Virginia, Williamsburg — In Gallia Nati Mortui in Virginia1781 - 1931
Here are inscribed the names of those soldiers of France who died within these walls and in other hospitals of Williamsburg of wounds received during the Siege of Yorktown Regiment d’Agenois Aimont, Jean Francois • Allard. Andre • . . . — Map (db m66932) HM WM
Virginia, Williamsburg — W-229 — Indian School at the College of William & Mary
Using funds from the estate of British scientist Robert Boyle, the College of William & Mary established a school to educate young Indian men in 1697, just four years after the college’s founding. To encourage enrollment, in 1711 Lt. Gov. Alexander . . . — Map (db m18164) HM
Virginia, Williamsburg — James Anderson's Armoury
James Anderson, Blacksmith and Public Armourer, conducted his business on this site between 1770 and 1798. During the Revolutionary War, the Armoury employed as many as forty workmen -- blacksmiths, gunsmiths, tinsmiths, nailers, and gunstockers -- . . . — Map (db m60415) HM
Virginia, Williamsburg — Jamestown SettlementRededicated April 24, 2007
Jamestown Yorktown Foundation Commonwealth of Virginia, Timothy M. Kaine, Governor

This plaque marks the rededication of Jamestown Settlement on the eve of the Jamestown Quadricentennial and upon the occasion of its 50th anniversary and . . . — Map (db m98077) HM

Virginia, Williamsburg — Mill Dam
The mound of earth in front of you was probably part of the dam for William Parks' paper mill. His mill was the first in Virginia for making paper and operated six years or more beginning 1744. Parks established the first permanent press in Virginia . . . — Map (db m25813) HM
Virginia, Williamsburg — Norborne Berkeley, Baron de BotetourtGovernor of the Colony of Virginia 1768-1770
Respected Friend of the Students and Faculty of the College Gordon S. Kray "73, Sculptor This statue, a re-creation of the original marble by Richard Haward (1728-1800) that stood here from 1801 until 1958, was given to the College of . . . — Map (db m62563) HM
Virginia, Williamsburg — Pasteur & Galt Apothecary Shop
William Pasteur and John Minson Galt traveled to England to study medicine before returning to Williamsburg to practice. They were partners in this apothecary shop from 1775 to 1778. In addition to dispensing drugs, they provided surgical, midwifery . . . — Map (db m60297) HM
Virginia, Williamsburg — Peyton Randolph House
For more than fifty years this was the home of Peyton Randolph (1721-1775), who served the Colony of Virginia in many of its highest governmental offices and became the first president of the Continental Congress. His father, Sir John Randolph, the . . . — Map (db m60247) HM
Virginia, Williamsburg — Presbyterian Meetinghouse
After receiving permission from the county court, a small group of Presbyterians began worshipping here in 1765. Besides Bruton Parish Church, this meetinghouse was the only authorized place of worship in Williamsburg before the American Revolution. . . . — Map (db m79237) HM
Virginia, Williamsburg — Princess Anne Port
This site was used from 1699 when Governor Nicholson designated it as one of two ports for Williamsburg, the colonial capital of Virginia. This port was used primarily for the export of tobacco, the basis of Virginia's economy, and also as a . . . — Map (db m76543) HM
Virginia, Williamsburg — Priorities of the College of William and Mary
Chartered February 8, 1693, by King William and Queen Mary. Main buildings designed by Sir Christopher Wren. First college in the United States in its antecedents, which go back to the college proposed at Henrico (1619). Second to Harvard . . . — Map (db m66923) HM
Virginia, Williamsburg — Quarterpath RoadHistoric Avenue — 1862 Peninsula Campaign
On the other side of the parapet is Quarterpath Road, a historic roadbed that for centuries linked Williamsburg to Allen’s Wharf on the James River. It runs behind the Confederate fortifications here, gaining additional importance during the Battle . . . — Map (db m10532) HM
Virginia, Williamsburg — Redoubt 1Engineers Debate the Williamsburg Line — 1862 Peninsula Campaign
Because Lt. Col. Benjamin S. Ewell had made little progress on the Williamsburg defenses by late June 1861, Gen. John B. Magruder, commanding the Army of the Peninsula, replaced him with Gen. Lafayette McLaws. Capt. Alfred L. Rives, acting chief of . . . — Map (db m77990) HM
Virginia, Williamsburg — Sir Christopher Wren BuildingErected 1695-1699
This first building at the College of William and Mary is the oldest college building in the United States. According to an 18th-century author, it was "first modeled by Sir Christopher Wren, adapted to the Nature of the Country by the Gentlemen . . . — Map (db m79288) HM
Virginia, Williamsburg — Site of First Baptist Church
In the last quarter of the eighteenth century, two black preachers, first Moses, then Gowan Pamphlet, began holding religious services out of doors for free blacks and slaves in the Williamsburg area. Although identified as an organized Baptist . . . — Map (db m55352) HM
Virginia, Williamsburg — Site of the First Theatre
William Levingston, merchant of New Kent County, built the first theatre in English America on this site c. 1716. For three decades companies of actors entertained audiences at the "Play House" with latest successes from the London Stage. In 1745 . . . — Map (db m60249) HM
Virginia, Williamsburg — The Capitol
The historic site was the seat of Virginia's colonial government for 75 years. Here in May, 1765, Patrick Henry denounced the Stamp Act and on May 15, 1776, a Virginia Convention unanimously proposed that the Continental Congress "declare the United . . . — Map (db m60412) HM
Virginia, Williamsburg — The Christopher Wren Building1695-1931
Their Majesties King William & Queen Mary on February the eight, sixteen hundred and ninety-three, granted a charter establishing the College of William and Mary in Virginia “to the end that Church of Virginia may be furnished with a seminary . . . — Map (db m66929) HM
Virginia, Williamsburg — The College of William and Mary in Virginia
A charter was granted by King William and Queen Mary in 1693, by fostering “good arts and sciences,” and by educating the youth in “good letters and manners,” the College has maintained its original mission as “a place . . . — Map (db m18165) HM
Virginia, Williamsburg — The Governor's Palace & Gardens
The Governor's Palace was the home of five Royal Lieutenant-Governors, two Royal Governors, and the first two Governors of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson. An act by Virginia's General Assembly in 1706 authorized the . . . — Map (db m60245) HM
Virginia, Williamsburg — The Magazine and Guardhouse
Erected in 1715, the Magazine was colonial Virginia’s storehouse for guns, ammunition, and military supplies. The action of British Governor Dunmore on the night of April 20-21, 1775, in removing gunpowder belonging to the Colony, touched off the . . . — Map (db m61632) HM
Virginia, Williamsburg — The Old Capitol
Here Patrick Henry first kindled the flames of revolution by his resolutions and speech against the Stamp Act May 29-30, 1765. Here, March 12, 1773, Dabney Carr offered and the convention of Virginia unanimously adopted the resolutions to . . . — Map (db m59791) HM
Virginia, Williamsburg — The Palisades
For pro­tec­tion against the Indians, the set­tlers built a log pal­isade across the nar­rows of the penin­sula between the York and James rivers. This was about 1633. Middle Plantation (later Williamsburg) began as a set­tle­ment along this . . . — Map (db m25817) HM
Virginia, Williamsburg — The Public Gaol
This was Virginia's chief prison which housed debtors and criminals and served as the jail for the General Court in the nearby Capitol. Here Blackbeard's pirates, captured in 1718, were confined until the day of their hanging. Leg irons, an exercise . . . — Map (db m79241) HM
Virginia, Williamsburg — The Public Hospital of 1773DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum
In 1773, when Williamsburg's Public Hospital opened, it was the first facility in America dedicated solely to the care and treatment of the insane. The original building burned in 1885. Reconstructed by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in 1985, . . . — Map (db m61309) HM
Virginia, Williamsburg — The Raleigh Tavern
During Public Times Virginia leaders often met at the Raleigh, Williamsburg's most popular inn. Here in 1769 a group of burgesses adopted the proposal of George Mason for a boycott of British goods. Five years later Burgesses again met in the Apollo . . . — Map (db m60296) HM
Virginia, Williamsburg — The Secretary's Office
Officials decided to build the Secretary's Office in which to protect the public papers of the Virginia colony after a fire destroyed the first Capitol in 1747. Completed in 1748, the building was designed to be fireproof. This building also . . . — Map (db m60300) HM
Virginia, Williamsburg — Washington–Rochambeau Route
Generals Washington and Rochambeau and their staffs arrived in Williamsburg on September 14, 1781. Here they gathered their troops and supplies prior to laying siege to Cornwallis at Yorktown 12 miles away on September 28, 1781. The marking . . . — Map (db m10123) HM
Virginia, Williamsburg — Wetherburn's Tavern
This original eighteenth-century building, expanded to its present size after 1751, housed one of the best known taverns in Williamsburg. It bears the name of its builder and first owner, Henry Wetherburn, who previously operated the Raleigh Tavern . . . — Map (db m60414) HM
Virginia, Williamsburg — Williamsburg Confederate Monument
1861 – 1865 To the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors of Williamsburg and James City County. Right of Monument:“Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet, lest we forget – lest we forget!” Left of Monument:Erected by the . . . — Map (db m10563) HM
Virginia, Williamsburg — Williamsburg in the Civil WarGateway to Richmond — 1862 Peninsula Campaign
Williamsburg, once the capital of Virginia, declined after the American Revolution. By 1861, although many colonial structures still lined the streets, the Governor’s Palace and former capitol building lay in ruins. The College of William and Mary . . . — Map (db m77872) HM

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