Learning About History
My daughters were ten and fifteen the first time we went to Williamsburg, Virginia. That was seventeen years ago. It was on that trip that my youngest daughter, Kelly, developed a love of history. She always wanted to go back and a few weeks ago that wish came true. This time she had her two daughters, my granddaughters.
Our first stop at Colonial Williamsburg was the visitor center. After looking at our options for the day we decided with two small children it was best for us to take a self-guided tour. This gave us the freedom to tour at our own pace and stop and rest when tired or eat when hungry.
One of my favorite parts of the day was talking to the actors dressed in period costumes. They each had different jobs and roles to play, which gave us a glimpse into what life and customs were like during the Revolutionary War. Although life was hard, they still made time for fun and games. Some of the toys and games the children played with were marbles, whirligigs, and cornhusk dolls. They also played games we play today such as tag and hopscotch.
While touring the grounds, my granddaughter, Clara, became especially excited when she saw the animals, including horses and sheep. When we first saw the sheep they were grazing in a pasture beside the road. The shepherdess herding them said we shouldn’t pet them unless they walked up to us. One sheep in particular must have felt really comfortable because he walked right up to Clara. She was thrilled to pet a sheep.
After that we saw a Patriot giving his dog treats. The Patriot’s name was Adam and his dog’s name was Liberty. I’d never seen a dog quite like Liberty and asked Adam what kind of dog she was. He explained she was a French Sheep Dog, which was the same breed Thomas Jefferson gave to George Washington as a gift. This gesture would be similar to giving away a sports car today.
We enjoyed our day at Williamsburg and wished we could have stayed longer, but by early afternoon the girls were tired. We were disappointed we didn’t have time to go to Jamestown or Yorktown on this trip, but Kelly plans to go back when the girls are a little older. Hopefully, they will develop a love of history just like their mom. I’m glad we have places like Williamsburg where our young people can learn firsthand the truth about the history of our country and the price of freedom.
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