Colonial Virginia

Coffee Houses: A Tradition Dating to Colonial Times

With steaming cups in hand, today's Fredericksburg area coffee shops continue a tradition which dates back three centuries to the founding of the town.

Walk in gentlemen, rest at your ease,
Pay for what you call for, and call for what you please.

This verse hung over the doorway of The Coffee House in colonial Fredericksburg.  Read on for details of the Old Town's revolutionary brew of politics and polite society.

Coffee Houses: A Tradition Dating to Colonial Times

With steaming cups in hand, today's Fredericksburg area coffee shops continue a tradition which dates back three centuries to the founding of the town.

Walk in gentlemen, rest at your ease,
Pay for what you call for, and call for what you please.

This verse hung over the doorway of The Coffee House in old Fredericksburg. Located in the first Market House/Town Hall on Caroline Street near William, it was here that 18th- and 19th-century Fredericksburgers sipped their favorite brew and pondered questions from the political to the classical.

Houses Virginians Have Loved

By Agnes Rothery

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Old house lovers, rejoice! This classic from the 1950s gives a friendly tour of some of Virginia's most historic houses, many of which were built in the Georgian style.

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Home Building and Woodworking in Colonial America

By C. Keith Wilbur

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Tells how different styles of colonial buildings were constructed using hewn logs, hand tools, and wooden pegs. Many detailed illustrations of tools and methods of construction

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Williamsburg: Decorating with Style

By Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

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"In the first decorating book from America's favorite colonial restoration, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and bestselling author Tricia Foley give hundreds of ideas for bringing the glories of 18th-century design into today's homes. 200 color photos." (Catalog summary)

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Furniture of Williamsburg and Eastern Virginia, 1710-1790

By Wallace B. Gusler

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"Furniture of Williamsburg and Eastern Virginia, 1710–1790, originally published in 1979 by the Virginia Museum, has been considered a milestone in southern furniture research." (Colonial Williamsburg Foundation)

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Landon Carter's Uneasy Kingdom: Revolution and Rebellion on a Virginia Plantation

By Rhys Isaac

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The Pulitzer Prize-winning historian tells the tale of the Rappahannock River plantation owner with excerpts from his diaries. The incongruity of Carter's support of the American Revolution and the rebellious attitudes of his own slaves makes for thought-provoking reading.

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The Potters

By Leonard Everett Fisher

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Traces the early history of pottery in Colonial America with descriptions of the clay used, techniques of making and decorating pots, and a listing of some of the famous potters of the time.
Part of the Colonial Craftsmen series.

Suggested for ages 8 - 12

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A Brief and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia

By Thomas Hariot

The Second Part
CONCERNING SUCH COMMODITIES AS VIRGINIA
IS KNOWN TO YIELD FOR FOOD AND THE SUSTENANCE
OF LIFE, CUSTOMARILY EATEN BY THE NATIVES
AND USED BY US WHILE WE WERE THERE

FIRST, CONCERNING SUCH AS ARE SOWN AND FARMED.
Pagatowr is a kind of grain. It is called maize in the West Indies; Englishmen name it Guinea wheat or Turkey wheat, after the countries from which a similar grain has been brought. This grain is about the size of our ordinary English peas and, while similar to them in form and shape, differs in color, some grains being white, some red, some yellow, and some blue. All of them yield a very white and sweet flour which makes excellent bread. We made malt from the grain while we were in Virginia and brewed as good an ale of it as could be desired. It also could be used, with the addition of hops, to produce a good beer. The grain increases on a marvelous scale-a thousand times, fifteen hundred, and in some cases two thousand fold. There are three sorts, of which two are ripe in ten, eleven, and, at the most, twelve weeks, when their stalks are about six or seven feet in height. The third one ripens in fourteen weeks and is ten feet high. Its stalks bear one, two, three, or four heads, and every head contains five, six, or seven hundred grains, as near as I can say. The inhabitants not only use it for bread but also make food of these grains. They either parch them, boiling them whole until they break, or boil the flour with water into a pap.