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

What’s New

I am happy to announce that Emily Nelson has joined us as Garden Apprentice.  She has traveled from the far western territory known to the natives as Idaho where she completed an academic course in the Natural Sciences and now resides, with her family, in the city of Williamsburg.

Emily Nelson

We were first introduced …

Continue Reading »

By Karen Gonzalez

When it comes to 18th-century characters in Williamsburg, few men could boast a more fascinating life than Peter Pelham.

Peter Pelham wore a lot of hats

Born in London on Dec. 9 — 293 years ago — Pelham did a variety of …

Continue Reading »

Illuminations were common in the 18th-century to celebrate special events.

On Dec. 9, 16 and 23 from 5:30 p.m. – 6 p.m., Market Square and the surrounding buildings will be lit with candles and cressets.

The event includes a narrative, the firing of muskets and music performed by the Colonial Williamsburg Fifes and Drums.

More information can be …

Continue Reading »

First there’s entertainment. Then comes the Colonial Williamsburg Fifes and Drums.

And then,  the Grand Illumination. Thousands of people came Sunday to see the kickoff to the holiday season.

If you couldn’t be in the Historic Area, here’s are the sights and sounds of the evening. And if you were able to come, here’s a happy memory.

Continue Reading »

All together now!

“Hark how all the Welkin rings, Glory to the King of….” Hold on. What in the world is a Welkin ring, and what’s it doing in a Christmas carol?

It’s not just the lyrics that have changed since the 18th century. The music is different, too.

So as you find yourself thinking about your seasonal …

Continue Reading »

By Bill Sullivan

“An illumination in the 18th century was somebody putting a candle in the cupola of the Palace…. Things have gotten brighter and brighter and brighter.” 

–Bill White, Royce R. & Kathryn M. Baker Vice President of Productions, Publications, and Learning Ventures


There didn’t used to be fireworks — certainly not the spectacular kind you’ll …

Continue Reading »

Switch to our mobile site