Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Great Hopes Plantation - A Colonial Virginia Farm

A short distance from the visitor's center we walked to the entrance of Great Hopes Plantation.  This is the part of Williamsburg that shows what the people who lived out of town would have lived like.  It is a working farm.

We learned that the term "oxen" is actually earned.  These were just cows until they were trained to the point of usefulness to be called oxen.
It was neat to see how everything was made with the resources that they had available in the surrounding woods.
A water trough.
The kitchen, which is also where the family would have lived until they became prosperous enough to build a house.  There isn't a house on the plantation right now.  There are plans to build one.
Mortar and pestle, for grinding.  Below is the smokehouse.
This next structure is where the slaves would have lived and worked.
I thought it was so interesting to see how they would have built the buildings.
This is the garden that was behind the slaves' quarters.  We were fascinated with the fencing and design.
Inside the slaves' quarters.
Talking with an interpreter about what children would have spent their time doing: work.  No one ate who didn't work.  The women didn't stay in the kitchen cooking and minding small children, they went out into the fields as well. 
This fence is specially designed to be too high for horses to jump, too strong for oxen to push over and tight enough to keep in small animals such as sheep and pigs.  We went and pushed on it to see how sturdy it was.  This picture doesn't show it's unique design very well, but it was impressive.
The barn.
Inside the barn.
Tobacco leaves drying.
And, of course, the hen yard.
Also on the plantation, the carpenters for Williamsburg do their work.  This man is taking a giant tree trunk and using a very sharp hand ax to make it into a square.
The long square then is taken over here to be cut into thin boards by this...
...large two-man saw.  The "man" on the bottom is Sam.  All of what is built in Williamsburg does actually come from these carpenters who get their building materials in this way.  A very slow process.  

Next, another short walk to go to town to see city life!

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