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June 2, 2009

Bassett Hall tells the story of CW's Restoration

"That the Future May Learn from the Past” offers insight into one of Colonial Williamsburg’s original “founding fathers” – Dr. William Archer Rutherfoord Goodwin – this summer Wednesdays from June 17-Aug. 26. This drop-in program is held 10 a.m. to noon at the Bassett Hall garden.

Museum interpreter Ed Way portrays the man who helped John D. Rockefeller Jr. restore Williamsburg. Join Goodwin as he reflects on the Restoration of Colonial Williamsburg, his association with Rockefeller and his own fascinating life and career at Bruton Parish Church, the College of William and Mary and in the Williamsburg community.

Goodwin feared that scores of structures that had figured in the life of the colony and the founding of the nation would soon disappear forever. Rockefeller and Goodwin began a modest project to preserve a few of the more important buildings. Eventually, the work progressed and expanded to include a major portion of the colonial town, encompassing approximately 85 percent of the 18th-century capital's original area.

In the preservation of the setting of Virginia’s 18th-century capital, Rockefeller and Goodwin saw an opportunity to ensure that the courageous ideals of the patriots who helped create the American democratic system live on for future generations.

Families visiting Bassett Hall this summer can enjoy Abby’s Art from 10 a.m. to noon Thursdays June 18-Aug. 27 at the guest cottage. Guests can tour the Williamsburg home of the Rockefellers and admire the variety of folk art Abby Aldrich Rockefeller chose for this special house. Visitors are invited to create their own stenciled piece of folk art done on paper with color pencils, to take home.

A Colonial Williamsburg admissions ticket or Good Neighbor Card provides access to these programs.

A two-story 18th-century frame house near Colonial Williamsburg's Capitol, Bassett Hall is set on a 585-acre tract of woodlands. In addition to the home, the property includes a teahouse and three original outbuildings: a smokehouse, kitchen and dairy.

Bassett Hall is located at 522 E. Francis St. and is open 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

Established in 1926, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational institution that preserves and operates the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia as a town-sized living history museum, telling the inspirational stories of our nation’s founding men and women. Within the restored and reconstructed buildings, historic interpreters, attired as colonial men and women from slaves to shopkeepers to soldiers, relate stories of colonial Virginia society and culture – stories of our journey to become Americans – while historic trades people research, demonstrate and preserve the 18th-century world of work and industry. As Colonial Williamsburg interprets life in the time of the American Revolution guests interact with history through “Revolutionary City®” – a dramatic live street theater presentation.

Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s Web site at

Media Contact:
Penna Rogers
(757) 220-7121