Friday, July 5, 2013

Williamsburg with Mom~The Wythe House

By the time Mom and I had finished our lunch at the tavern the rain had stopped.  Across the street were a couple of destinations that we hadn't got to earlier so we thought we'd visit those next.  The above picture is of the inside of a shop that was supposed to be the Post Office.  We enjoyed some browsing and picked out a few things to buy.
Outside of the post office I posed for a picture.  The gate leads to a path that goes around back and below the post office to the bindery and printing shop.
A bridge we had to cross on the path.
The Bindery.  This interpreter didn't seem that great to us, so we didn't pick up on a lot of information while we were here, but it was neat to see some of the tools they used to print and bind books.  There was a list on the wall of the books that were legal to print at that time too.  They weren't allowed to print just anything!
Those tools above the fireplace were heated and then rolled onto leather book covers to imprint a design into them. 
For our last Williamsburg adventure we decided to go try to tour the Wythe House.  Mom and I share a love for touring historic homes.  There are several that can be toured here.  On our walk to get to it we passed these three "matching" buildings.
Aren't they cute? 
I stole this picture from the Williamsburg website to show you the front of the Wythe House since I didn't get a picture of it.
Here is Mom going up the steps to the front entrance during our tour.  There was a lot of information on this tour about Mr. Wythe (pronounced 'with') himself.  George Wythe was one of the most influential men in the Revolutionary era.  He was a prominent attorney, an avid scientist, first law professor in the U.S. when he joined the faculty at the College of William and Mary, teacher and mentor to Thomas Jefferson, delegate to the Continental Congress and Virginia's first signer of the Declaration of Independence.  I had no idea this house belonged to such an important man before we toured it.  It made the tour very interesting.
The hall and entry.
 The dining room on the right.  We were told that green was very popular for dining rooms.
A sitting room on the left.  This room would have been used to receive guests.  Pictured here was our tour guide, who did a great job.
This hole cut into the shutter had a unique purpose.  Mr. Wythe invented a device that was placed in the hole with the shutters drawn, making the room dark.  The device worked like a microscope but projected the image on to the wall so that a large group of people could see it.
The upstairs hall.
Children's bedroom, for guests (nieces and nephews), as the Wythes had no chidlren.
The adult guest room.

The master bedroom.
A surprise!  Mr. Wythe was at home!  We got to talk with him and ask him questions.
A microscope.
This room had the other hole in a shutter.  There are just the two in the house.
Downstairs again, this was where Mr. Wythe did his work.
See the preserved specimens on top of the glass case?  I like how great men in this era were thnkers, broadly interested in learning on many subjects, not limited to one profession.
I loved all of the little details of the items laid out on his desk.
An extra room downstairs that would probably have been used for sleeping in the hottest months of the year.
A peek out to the garden.
Last, we exited through the rear entrance to the garden and grounds.  This is the view of the back of the house.
At the end of the brick-lined path is this vine-covered, three-way arch.

This is the view of the back of the house from the arch.
Here are part of the garden and outbuildings, which include: smokehouse, kitchen, laundry, poultry house, lumber house, well, dovecote, and stable.
The dovecote.
Spring blooms.
Beautiful flowering trees were the last thing we enjoyed as we bid farewell to Williamsburg.  Such an amazing place to visit!

1 comment:

Jennie and Julie said...

This post too was really fun to read through. You either learned more than I did and listened better, or you remember the info better, probably both. I have several comments:
1)Stole the photo? I don't think so. It really did help to see the whole front of the Wythe House. It is brick, and I was wondering if you remember if it is original or restored? I'm thinking it was one of the few that was original?
2) I was totally impressed with how vivid the colors were that were used in this house. Such colorful rooms, and even in the wallpaper. I don't remember noticing it that much when we were there. I don't altogether like it, i.e. I wouldn't do the same, but it does make for some colorful photos. I prefer the beautiful cream colored trim that ties it all together. In his downstairs office the seat covers are hysterical.
3) Looking back at a photo of 'Mr Wythe' makes me remember how dumb I felt right then, with no intelligent questions to ask him.
4) I didn't at all remember how many outbuildings there were, let alone what all their functions were. It was really a big place for a home in the 'city' and just for two people. I guess it was in deference to his importance.

This post was chock full of good information. Thanks