Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Day II: Christmas in Colonial Williamsburg, 2014

Tuesday, December 30, 2014
Isabella reporting,

While everyone hopes for a white Christmas (or at least a Camelot-version of a white Christmas, with snow appearing in the morning and disappearing by nightfall), this year in Colonial Williamsburg the temperatures did not cooperate. Christmas Eve was warm and rainy, a typical December day in Tidewater Virginia.

But while the rain didn't dampen holiday spirits, it did keep most visitors indoors, leaving these three 18th c. gentlemen, left, to carry on their conversation in peace in the middle of an empty Duke of Gloucester Street.

Here are two more decorated houses, both featuring apples. The doorway, right, also includes more local elements, including pinecones and the dried magnolia leaves. (As always, click on the images to enlarge them for detail.)

The wreath on the house, lower left, includes apples and red strawflowers, but there's another uniquely Virginian element as well. Those are the fossilized shells, Chesapecten jeffersonius, from the nearby James River. Chesapecten fossils were first noted by the 17th c. settlers at Jamestown, and officially given their scientific name in 1824 in honor of President Thomas Jefferson. Chesapecten fossils were also the first North American fossil to be depicted in a European scientific publication, Historiae Conchyliorum, published in 1687 by Martin Lister – all of which makes this a thoroughly historical Christmas decoration.


racheltey.com said...

Hope I'm not too late to wish you Merry Christmas. Am a silent admirer of your blog and a bit of a history nut. I hope you don't mind that I nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blog award. Details here: http://racheltey.com/2014/12/30/very-inspiring-blogger-award/

Happy new year in advance :)

Karen Anne said...

That photo got me to wondering when umbrellas came into general use. If one believes the web, in England it was in the 1700s for widespread use, in some other places much earlier.

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