Did you know that the ladies of Williamsburg were not considered "handsome" in 1777?
Heartbreaking, but true -- at least according to Ebenezer Hazard. He was a New York bookseller who wrote about his experience here while visiting.
In a retrospective piece, Hazard's reflections made the front page of the Publick Observer in April, 1966.
Here's some of what Hazard wrote about our fair town.
The Church at Williamsburg is a small neat brick building with a steeple. There is a very good organ in it, he reported.
The assembly was large and plainly dressed. His Excellency Patrick Henry, Esqr., the governor, was present. He appears to be between 40 and 50 years of age and is very swarthy.
The governor's pew is elegant and elevated above the rest. A silk curtain hangs on each side. In the front there is a canopy supported by two gilt pillars.
The kicker was Hazard's final observation -- "The ladies here are not handsome."
We're certain that if he was visiting here today, he would think differently.
The front page of the Publick Observer also featured a story regarding the longevity of Colonial Williamsburg's original 18th-century buildings.
The article expounded on how many CW structures had survived over time and had been preserved. Some of the structures highlighted included the George Wythe House, The Ludwell-Paradise House, the Courthouse and the Powder Magazine.
The Ludwell-Paradise House, by the way, was the first property John D. Rockefeller Jr. purchased to begin his restoration of the town.
With spring just around the corner, the Publick Observer advertised the events of Garden Week.
That tradition is still observed here every year. In spring 1966, several prominent area homes were featured, including the Bracken House. The Bracken house was named for the Rev. John Bracken, rector of Bruton Parish Church for 45 years.
Also on the tour were the Powell-Waller House, James Anderson House, Elizabeth Carlos House, Marot's Ordinary and the Elizabeth Reynolds House.
As an added treat, tour-goers were allowed to tour the President's House at the College of William & Mary for free.
That house, which was built from 1732-1733, has served as the residence of every college president beginning with Rev. Dr. James Blair through current president, Timothy Sullivan. In 1966, Davis Paschall occupied the home.
It was expected that all the homes on the tour would be decked out in beautiful flora of the season.
A newsbrief that appeared in the Publick Observer regarding the St. George Tucker House may come in handy in a trivia contest.
Did you know that the St. George Tucker House was the first house here to have a bathtub with running hot water?
Tucker supposedly rigged the house with pipes from a well to a dairy house. That's where a huge copper vessel allowed the Tuckers to enjoy hot baths.
Another historic claim by the St. George Tucker House: It was the first house in Virginia to celebrate with a Christmas tree.
First Colony residents may appreciate the advertisement that ran about the development of their community, which is located off John Tyler Highway.
The advertisement lauded views of the James River and Lake Pasbehegh. Pasbehegh is the 40-acre freshwater lake located within the area. The ad piqued interest by advertising more than three miles of shoreline to enjoy.
For Phase I of the project, with 68 homes, prices started at $3,500 and five-year financing was available.
More from "Observer" pages:
Cultural opportunities included the play, The Miser by Henry Fielding. It was presented by the Colonial Williamsburg Players at the Williamsburg Conference Center.
Wedgewood Dinner Theatre featured The Fantastiks, which ran nearly to the end of the month. That was followed by Mr. Roberts.
And, here is a real bargain. An advertisement for The Virginia Gazette said subscriptions were available for $3.50.
Those were the days
A look at the town nearly 40 years ago
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