Colonial Williamsburg is the private foundation representing the historic district of the city of Williamsburg, Virginia, USA. The district includes buildings dating from 1699 to 1780 which made colonial Virginia's capital. The capital straddled the boundary of the original shires of Virginia — James City Shire (now James City County), and Charles River Shire (now York County). For most of the 18th century, Williamsburg was the center of government, education and culture in the Colony of Virginia. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, James Monroe, James Madison, George Wythe, Peyton Randolph, and others molded democracy in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the United States here.
The motto of Colonial Williamsburg is "The future may learn from the past". The Historic Area is an interpretation of a Colonial American city, with exhibits including dozens of authentic or re-created colonial houses and relating to American Revolutionary War history. Prominent buildings include the Raleigh Tavern, the Capitol, The Governor's Palace (all reconstructed), and Bruton Parish Church (original). Rather than an effort to preserve antiquity, the combination of restoration and re-creation of the entire colonial town attempts to re-create the atmosphere and the ideals of 18th-century American people and revolutionary leaders. Interpreters work and dress as they did in the era, using colonial grammar and diction (although not colonial accents). http://www.colonialwilliamsburg.com/