Colonial Houses: Returning to the Past Will Cost You
It’s a lovely time of year on the East Coast. In the north, there’s not yet much hint of spring, while in the south, some days are reaching up to the very warm ranges. Daffodils peek out here and there and even the grass is starting to grow again.
Soon it will be time for spring break, or a road trip, or a change in scenery. My thoughts turn to Colonial Williamsburg, the purveyor of reproduction Colonial life, the Disney World of the educated classes. Workshops, taverns, meeting houses, the court house, the Governor’s Palace and the House of Burgesses await. Period reenacts pass on the street, offering up a “Good day” and turn of the calf. Horse-drawn carriages click-clack down lovely lanes with fields of sheep or oxen nearby.
I love the pedestrian area where darting, excited children would have a hard time coming to any kind of harm, except perhaps, stepping in a pile of horse poo. Our leashed dogs even enjoy strolling down the Duke of Gloucester main drag where William & Mary students jog in the early morning or late afternoon hours and where plenty of pedestrians give our little guys a pat on the head.
Their adoring public.
So I thought back to years ago, when we were just a couple coming here, and then when we grew to a family of three. Our eight-year-old son, newly home from Russia, loved to dress up in Revolutionary costume and walk the streets, popping in to see the handset inky type of the Colonial printing press, experiencing the banging of the blacksmith shop with its red-hot fire and smoky billows, or a master woodworker crafting a new piece of furniture further down the road, explaining the types of trees available in the eighteenth century.
As the family grew, we brought his brother, then his two sisters. The preteens learned to cut silhouette portraits of Colonial figures, bow and dance to a harpsichord, and carry on genteel conversations during the Colonial Williamsburg homeschooling presentations offered. We stayed in nearby hotels or apartments for rent, but never went back to the Colonial houses onsite which were located right in the historic district.
Now I wondered if any could hold a family of six? Looking them up online, I noted which possessed poster beds, trundle beds, cozy fireplaces which a staff member would come and lay and light for you. The period reproductions, sitting rooms, bedrooms and baths gave a certain added panache to a Colonial visit. Some were former kitchens of larger homes, or tenement houses, or offices back in the day.
Twenty-six choices in all, I locate a few that might serve our tribe of a family. All require a phone call and I brace myself for the prices which are not listed online. How much could a tiny house cost? It was not like this was the Ritz-Carlton, just a fun overnight get-away.
Au contraire. A Colonial house stay will cost you. I recall that two or three people lodging in the historic district of the Williamsburg wonderland was expensive years ago, but now… with inflation… and six persons… you would not be paying eighteenth century tavern, four-strangers-to-a-flea-infested-bed prices.
The first inquiry resulted in a Colonial tariff of $578 + applicable taxes, a little snug accommodation, the second, more spacious was $797 + applicable taxes. In other words, just make it a cool thousand, once all of the add-ons are added on. Not to mention that this was only for one night, check-in in the afternoon, check-out in the morning, less than twenty-four hours of ambience, along with the fact that admission to Colonial Williamsburg sites is not included. No period costumes. No food and beverages.
So almost double all of the costs for one night. This is kind of a like a homeschooler’s equivalent of prom costs.
Hmmm…. It’s not like we would be buying season passes to an amusement park instead. Maybe driving lessons? Maybe meals out as a family? Maybe a real get-away for a several days?
Pricey for a nod to past, these Colonial houses. But a nice dream, nonetheless.
————Tags: Colonial Williamsburg lodgings, Colonial Williamsburg visit, cost of history, family vacation in historic setting, reproduction historic homes, staying in an historic home, staying in Williamsburg Colonial houses, Williamsburg Virginia