Colonial Williamsburg®

What's New on The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation's Official History and Citizenship Website

What’s New

By Karen Gonzalez

The date: June 12, 1783.

The place: Williamsburg, Va.

Imagine that your child suddenly develops a high fever. Rumors of another smallpox epidemic are whispered in the streets and your neighbor also has a fever. What do you do? If word gets out that you have a sick child, you and your family may …

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Your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you; the color of the Historic Area is changing. Specifically, exterior paint colors are being re-examined with the aid of new technology. Gone are the familiar greens and blues of the Colonial Revival. Taking their place are earthy ochres, rusty reds, and creamy whites.

This week on the podcast, …

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By Toni Guagenti

Pirates and witches and ghosts, oh my!

In Revolutionary City, any time of year brings a thrilling tale of pirates on the prowl, witches on trial and ghosts on the loose.

Nightly events highlight all three for visitors who dare to find out more about Revolutionary War-era Virginia, and why life for colonists was rife …

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By Ben Swenson

Here’s a stumper for you: Why is Colonial Williamsburg’s Magazine shaped like an octagon?

Answer? Nobody is 100 percent sure. There are good guesses, but Alexander Spotswood, lieutenant governor of Virginia from 1710 to 1722 and likely architect of the Magazine, never wrote down his muse.

In the late 19th century, the Magazine …

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The first cushaws of the season have now been harvested.


Robert Beverly, who recorded observations of those fruits and vegetables known to the indigenous people before the English arrived in his seminal work The History and Present State of Virginia, first published in 1705, included this description: ‚ÄúTheir cushaws are a kind of pompion, …

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By John Watson

Lou Dolive inventories the pipes

The first step: Inventory the pipes and determine what is missing. For this, we turned to veteran organ-pipe maker Louis Dolive.

Lou unfolded the pipes enough to line them up and take stock. Sixty-five metal pipes were missing entirely. At first, it appeared touch-and-go whether we would be …

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