The Campaign for History and Citizenship
Jeanne Asplundh (third from left) made her first gift to Colonial Williamsburg in 1980. A history buff with a background in education and a passion for spinning and needlework, she was a perfect match for the Foundation’s mission—and her 34 years of giving are only part of her Colonial Williamsburg story.
The first project that captured her attention was rebuilding the Foundation’s flock of Leicester Longwool sheep. Her generous donations and her enthusiastic commitment were vital to the effort, and today, the well-loved flock flourishes in the Revolutionary City’s pastures.
Over the years, Mrs. Asplundh’s gifts have ranged from tool reproduction funds for the Historic Trades to ongoing support of the Coach & Livestock division—as well as 15 years of volunteer work, demonstrating spinning in the Geddy House and needlework at the Millinery Shop.
With her skill on the spinning wheel and extensive knowledge about the 18th century, Mrs. Asplundh feels at home in front of an audience of visitors. “I really enjoy those moments where you can see the lightbulb come on as a child understands something new. The spinning is just the starting point: from there, I can talk about history and culture and etiquette and the way the things people did fit together with the stories they told.”
Today, Mrs. Asplundh’s hands-on involvement continues to leave a mark on Colonial Williamsburg. Wool grown from her flock and spun on her wheel is sold in Historic Area shops, and she remains a dedicated donor society member. Most recently, she provided a named endowment for the millinery trade, ensuring its presence in the Revolutionary City in perpetuity.
The opportunity to educate remains the driving force behind Mrs. Asplundh’s generosity—whether through the programs her gifts make possible, or the lessons she shares as a volunteer. “When I’m in the Geddy House or the millinery, I don’t know where the time goes because I am so thoroughly enjoying spinning and teaching,” she says. “It’s something I never get tired of doing.”