Seventh grade students at The Wardlaw+Hartridge School in Edison recently spent four busy days learning about life in Colonial times during the annual class trip to Williamsburg, VA. Accompanied by chaperones Nancy Duddy, Mike Howell, Elizabeth Martin and Hugh Duddy, the seventh graders enjoyed a variety of interesting experiences.
After strolling through the historic stores, which line the Duke of Gloucester Street in Williamsburg, students watched a military inspection led by fife and drums. They also went to the Governor’s Palace. A visit to the Great Hopes Plantation gave the students a glimpse into the lives of slaves on a plantation.
"It was quite interesting seeing what life was like back then," Naischa Puri of Edison said. "What seemed so shocking to us was the norm for them. It was very cool to see the architecture and learn about their ability to make good use of their resources."
The students also visited several traders in Williamsburg including the wig maker, shoemaker, blacksmith and cabinetmaker.
"I found it interesting that the blacksmith shop was owned by the government," David Ezra Flatau-Jones of Scotch Plains said. "This was something that I didn't think would happen because the government taking over a private business is not very common in the US today."
Evening activities included programs covering African-American music and Colonial dance.