On the next day of our trip, we drove over to Yorktown. So our first day was Colonial Williamsburg, then we jumped back in time to Jamestown, and next forward in time to Yorktown. Our first stop was the Yorktown Battlefield national park. When I had last visited this area, the weather had made it such that we missed the battlefield. This time it was a little better, although pretty hot. But not to worry, the NPS has organized a driving tour of the battlefield, meaning that you can spend most of your time in your air-conditioned car.

We started at the visitor’s center, where there is a small museum display of artifacts related to the battle. Then we walked outside to view the area where the British had their main fortifications. We also walked to the Yorktown Victory Monument. From there we drove to the original allied (American/French) lines, and then on to the second set of allied lines that were closer to the British position. The tour continued with a visit to the Moore House, where surrender negotiations were held. Finally we saw the field area where the British surrendered.

The “Lafayette Cannon”
Yorktown Battlefield

Yorktown Battlefield

Yorktown Battlefield

Display of Washington’s field tent. Some pieces of the tent are original, others are reproduction.
Yorktown Battlefield

“The Fox” cannon at the British fortifications
Yorktown Battlefield

Yorktown Battlefield

Yorktown Battlefield

Yorktown Battlefield

Yorktown Victory Monument. I’m sensing a theme between this monument and the one at Jamestown.
Yorktown Battlefield

Yorktown Battlefield

First allied siege line
Yorktown Battlefield

Yorktown Battlefield

Mike checking things out. The white structure you can see in the background is the Yorktown National Cemetery Lodge, which is part of a Civil War era burial ground.
Yorktown Battlefield

Recreated earthen-works representing “Redoubt 10,” a British fortification that was captured so as to complete the second allied siege line
Yorktown Battlefield

Yorktown Battlefield

Taking in the view from “Redoubt 9,” which neighbored Redoubt 10 and was also captured as part of the same offensive
Yorktown Battlefield

Yorktown Battlefield

The Moore House
Yorktown Battlefield

The room in the Moore House where the British surrender is believed to have been negotiated on October 18, 1781
Yorktown Battlefield

The field where the British surrendered
Yorktown Battlefield

Last batch of photos from the DeWitt Wallace Museum, some highlights from “Changing Keys:
Keyboard Instruments for America, 1700–1830.” It was cool to see so many instruments together. Usually exhibits only have a fraction of the collection on that was on display here. Spinets, harpsichords, pianos, even an organ!

DeWitt Wallace Museum

DeWitt Wallace Museum

DeWitt Wallace Museum

DeWitt Wallace Museum

DeWitt Wallace Museum

DeWitt Wallace Museum

DeWitt Wallace Museum

Here is another dress from the DeWitt Wallace Museum.

DeWitt Wallace Museum

DeWitt Wallace Museum

DeWitt Wallace Museum

DeWitt Wallace Museum

DeWitt Wallace Museum

DeWitt Wallace Museum

DeWitt Wallace Museum

DeWitt Wallace Museum

DeWitt Wallace Museum

DeWitt Wallace Museum

After we had finished exploring Jamestown, we returned to Colonial Williamsburg to tour the DeWitt Wallace Museum, which is open later than the other parts of the historic area.

There are often garments on display, such as this gown in the main highlights exhibition.

DeWitt Wallace Museum

DeWitt Wallace Museum

DeWitt Wallace Museum

DeWitt Wallace Museum

DeWitt Wallace Museum

DeWitt Wallace Museum

DeWitt Wallace Museum

After visiting Historic Jamestowne, we also stopped at the Jamestown Settlement next door, which is a different museum owned by the Commonwealth of Virginia. Although not located on the actual Jamestown fort site, this museum has an extensive collection of 17th C artifacts on display, an outdoor recreation of a Powhatan village and the fort, and replicas of the three English ships that originally landed at Jamestown.

Jamestown Settlement

Watching a demonstration of preparing a deerskin for tanning
Jamestown Settlement

Recreated Powhatan buildings
Jamestown Settlement

An interpreter showing how to make a canoe by hollowing out a tree trunk using fire
Jamestown Settlement

A replica of the Susan Constant, the largest of the three ships. The smaller two are the Godspeed and Discovery.
Jamestown Settlement

Jamestown Settlement

Mike tests out one of the ship bunks
Jamestown Settlement

Jamestown Settlement

Jamestown Settlement

Jamestown Settlement

Tobacco field outside the recreated fort
Jamestown Settlement

Recreated fort building
Jamestown Settlement

How the Jamestown church might have looked
Jamestown Settlement

It was warm that day, so this chicken decided to find a shady spot…in an oven
Jamestown Settlement

This doesn’t quite fit…
Jamestown Settlement

After spending a day in Colonial Williamsburg, the next day we drove down to the Jamestown area to get a taste of 17th C history. We started at Historic Jamestowne, a site jointly run by the National Park Service and Preservation Virginia. The NPS is responsible for the parkland comprising the original Jamestown island, while Preservation Virginia is responsible for the archeological digs happening in the old fort area and for the Archaearium museum, which houses a number of the pieces that have been excavated.

This park/museum has entirely changed since the last time I visited Jamestown, in grade school. The actual site of the original fort was not uncovered until the mid-1990s, and the Archaearium was not opened until several years later. It is amazing to think that despite knowing that the 1607 settlement was somewhere in a small, identifiable part of the island, the precise location of the fort was not found until nearly 400 years later. When the Virginia capital was moved to Williamsburg in 1698, the Jamestown city was slowly abandoned and left to nature. It became woodland and farmland.

Historic Jamestowne

Jamestown monument
Historic Jamestowne

Late 17th c church tower, all that remains of Jamestown’s church. They are working on stabilizing it, as bricks have come loose. It is one of the oldest English-built structures surviving in the US.
Historic Jamestowne

Interior of the 1907 church that was later built adjacent to the church tower
Historic Jamestowne

Historic Jamestowne

Historic Jamestowne

Modern mock-up meant to represent one of the barracks buildings in the Jamestown fort
Historic Jamestowne

Historic Jamestowne

Statue of John Smith
Historic Jamestowne

View of the river from inside the fort, with crosses marking burial shafts that have been discovered through excavation
Historic Jamestowne

Historic Jamestowne

Foundations of the 17th C Virginia Statehouse (outside the original fort)
Historic Jamestowne

Historic Jamestowne

Historic Jamestowne

Re-created foundations marking the location of buildings outside the fort, where people lived as the city grew in the 1600s (“New Towne”)
Historic Jamestowne

Historic Jamestowne

View of the parkland surrounding the fort site
Historic Jamestowne

Historic Jamestowne

We did something different on this Williamsburg trip, and signed up for the “Bits and Bridles Tour,” which allowed us to go see behind the scenes in the Colonial Williamsburg Coach and Livestock Department. We learned about the period vehicles they use for living history demonstrations and guest carriage rides, walked through the modern stables, and learned about the historic breeds program. I recommend it to any history+animal lovers out there!

Colonial Williamsburg

Looking at the coaches and other vehicles
Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg

Photo of a photo of Lassie riding in one of the carriages
Colonial Williamsburg

A sidesaddle on display
Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg

Inspecting a bridle
Colonial Williamsburg

Here is a sequence of photos where Mike asks me to do “anime fingers,” but I get distracted by the horse…
Colonial Williamsburg

Horse comes over to see what’s up
Colonial Williamsburg

I realize that the horse is looking at me
Colonial Williamsburg

Which results in me cooing back
Colonial Williamsburg

Seeing the historic poultry breeds
Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg

The farrier area
Colonial Williamsburg

Here is a sampling of photos from the Colonial Williamsburg Trade Shops. We have the Margaret Hunter Millinery Shop, the printer’s, the spinning/weaving workshop, and the blacksmith’s shop.

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg

Mike and I did a long weekend trip to Williamsburg for our anniversary. There were some sites that Mike had never seen, and I hadn’t seen since grade school, that we wanted to check out. We spent the first full day in the Williamsburg historic area, looking at some of the houses we had never toured before and checking out the trades shops.

I have a lot of photos, so let’s start with the first site we saw, the George Wythe House, a mid-1700s structure at Colonial Williamsburg. George Wythe was a prominent attorney/politician, a law instructor to Thomas Jefferson, and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. The house was host to both Jefferson and George Washington, the latter when it was used as Washington’s headquarters just prior to the Battle of Yorktown.

We started with a self-guided exploration of the gardens, followed by a short tour of the house. The guides in the house were friendly and informative, and there was even some live music provided by a violinist! This was probably my favorite house of those we toured in Colonial Williamsburg.

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg

Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg

I have been making major progress on my Stephanie Brown/Robin IV cosplay. (Note, I have posted a number of these pictures on my twitter already.)

Today I sewed the dress, except for the sleeves and turtleneck.

Cutting out the fabric. I am using a double knit with a good weight to it. The pattern is McCall’s 6886, modified to raise the front neckline (to make a mock turtleneck). The pattern has some extra ease in it, so I went down a size.
Robin IV

After cutting out the front and back pieces, I did a hem using my cover stitch machine. I pressed up each lower edge with a fusible webbing, and then sewed it with a narrow two needle cover stitch. And I managed not to get into a fight with my machine, so that’s a win in my book.
Robin IV

After that I sewed the side and shoulder seams with my serger. This outfit is using all of my machines! (I also used my straight stitch machine on the leggings.)
Robin IV

Next I had to make the yellow “laces” that are on the front of the dress. I cut three 1/2″ x 2″ pieces of polar fleece, and then covered them in cotton sateen.
Robin IV

Then I sewed these three pieces down, along with the Robin logo patch that I had already purchased.
Robin IV

I still have to attach the mock turtleneck and work on the sleeves, then the dress will be done. After that, I have to make gloves and a cape. I have a pattern for gloves that I’ve used before, but I have to pattern the cape.

Plus there is still the belt. I mentioned previously that I had been using Sculpey to mold the raised details on the belt. I baked those, and did a lot of sanding. Folks recommend sanding Sculpey in water, to avoid getting the polymer dust airborne. You need to use wet/dry sandpaper, which is black instead of the normal brown/red color. I tried to be extra careful, and wore a particulate respirator mask in addition to doing the sanding in a bucket of water. It’s hard on your fingers, but the effort does result in a much smoother finish.
Robin IV

Then I painted the Sculpey yellow with acrylic paint. The bigger piece is going to be the belt buckle.
Robin IV

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