Craftsmen

Colonial Virginia

What was it like to live long ago when Virginia belonged to England? When there were no cars, no computers, no hospitals and no public schools?

Without cars, trains or airplanes, people traveled by boat, horseback or on foot by "shank's mare". The reason so many colonial towns were located next to rivers is that often the roads were terrible seas of mud. It was so much easier to travel on the rivers!

Hands-on Colonial Crafts

Chances are if you are studying colonial times, your teacher will assign a hands-on project. You could make a model of the Jamestown Fort or a copy of the Declaration of Independence-but why not try a craft that the colonists themselves would have done?

Every colonial family except for the very rich had to be able to make their own soap, candles, furniture, cloth, baskets, toys, and musical instruments. Below is one practical craft to try. Scroll down and check our lists of books and Web sites for more ideas.

On the Road to Lake Anna

Lake Anna State Park is a favorite local destination for campers, boaters, and families who just want to spend a summer day at the lakeside beach. For most of us, the way to the lake runs down Lawyers Road. These days, there’s not much to take in with the view from this one-lane road, which passes through as quiet a stretch of Spotsylvania countryside as remains in the 21st century. But in centuries past, the western part of the county was the scene for tribal wars, slave labor, religious awakenings, whiskey barrel politics, gold mining, and Civil War armies on the march.

Colonial Craftsmen and the Beginnings of American Industry

By Edwin Tunis

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An excellent source for learning a lot about hard-working craftsmen of early America.

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Colonial Crafts

By Bobbie Kalman

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Readers will find out how the artisans learned their trades through many years of apprenticeship, as their masters did before them.

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Tools and Gadgets

By Bobbie Kalman

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Learn how to identify mystifying gadgets used in the past by farmers, millers, woodworkers, metalworkers, printers, and doctors.

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Early Artisans

By Bobbie Kalman

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An introduction to crafts in the 18th and 19th centuries, Early Artisans features the craftspeople who made the items the early settlers could not make for themselves. Furniture, barrels, and shoes for people and horses were among the items
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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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Building Early American Furniture

By Joseph W. Daniele

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From the Early American Society series.  Another volume owed by the CRRL is Building Colonial Furnishings, Miniatures, and Folk Art.

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