Colonial Williamsburg’s Great Hopes Plantation

09/03/2009  | 
educational travel

Taking your class on a study visit to Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area will educate and delight your students. Here, they can interact with Williamsburg’s citizens including shopkeepers, free and enslaved blacks, traditional families, and legendary political icons such as Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry. They will learn about living in a British colony through an array of stories portrayed in the daily outdoor street theater, Revolutionary City®, and also through the exploration of colonial trades with a number of skilled artisans. The drama of the 18th century unfolds before your class as the events leading to the American Revolution are brought to life.

But what about the people who didn’t live in the city? What was their life like? A visit to Great Hopes Plantation can provide your class with insight into the “middling sort.”   This colonial farm plantation is certainly worth the trip. Great Hopes is a working plantation complete with pigs and chickens, herb and vegetable gardens, tobacco fields and smokehouses, and laborers working to construct additional buildings or process fibers. Representative of the type of agricultural properties travelers would pass as they ventured across Virginia, it includes early American structures that do not have the British style and refinement found along the Duke of Gloucester Street. The people who lived on these plantations made most of what they needed, dug wells for their water, and lived a predominately self-sufficient lifestyle.

As your group tours Great Hopes, your students will become immersed in a truly interactive experience. They can assist in watering the gardens and gathering vegetables. Many of the children who lived on these plantations in colonial times were required to assist in the day’s chores. It was more productive and economical for them to work the farm than to attend class and receive and education.

Colonial Williamsburg’s knowledgeable and experienced team can assist you in planning your study visit to Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area and help you maximize your budget. Options include guided and self-guided tours, restaurant and historic tavern dining, and on-site lodging accommodations.

For more information, visit us at or call 800-400-2863 to reserve your class’ s trip to 18th-century Williamsburg.
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