The Changing Face of Virginia: I love Virginia history!
This installment of The Changing Face of Virginia series is written by high school student and Blanton Scholar, Caroline Morse. Caroline tells the story of how she first fell in love with Virginia history. Do you remember a similar moment?
The Virginia Historical Society will hold the High School Historians Forum (formerly the Wyndham B. Blanton Scholars Forum) from July 20–23, 2011! If you are interested in participating in the Forum, you can apply online. Applications must be received no later than June 10. All rising juniors and seniors from Virginia are encouraged to apply.
~Jennifer Rohrbaugh Nesossis, Programs Officer
In my opinion, one of the most important places to live during one’s lifetime is Virginia. A part of the original thirteen states, Virginia is filled with rich history including the birthplace of our nation’s first successful settlement, Jamestown, and home to the capital of the confederacy during the Civil War. This state tells a story within itself.
Growing up in Virginia, I was exposed to the beginning of U.S. history because Virginia is where it all started. I remember taking multiple field trips my 4th grade year to Williamsburg and Jamestown to learn about the life of colonists, and their role in shaping Virginia. I use to wonder why ladies dressed in big, heavy dresses with bonnets, while men wore long socks and a vest as I walked down the cobblestone streets in Williamsburg. I was fascinated with the deer-skin homes of the Indian tribes and the sound of the cannons shot every 30 minutes. And who could forget the famous Indian princess statue. “If you touch Pocahontas, you’ll always have good luck,” I remember my teacher telling me in Jamestown.
My desire to learn the state’s history only increased when I had to create a scrapbook all about Virginia. It included all of the state-born presidents, my visit to Monticello, and a personalized autograph from Congressman Randy Forbes, just to name a few.However, my favorite event during my 4th grade year was Colonial Craft Day. I dressed up as a chandler from Colonial Williamsburg, and was taught how to make candles and soaps by hand!Also, as part of the program, I learned to dance to “The Virginia Reel” with my fellow classmates. What an amazing experience! “I love Colonial Craft Day so much. I hope it never stops,” I wrote in my scrapbook the following day.
All of these events enhanced my love for history and it would not be possible if I did not live in Virginia. The opportunities I have been granted because of my residency in this state have been eye-opening. Being able to actually visualize the Virginian Colonial period in a United States history book, rather than just read the words within the text, allows me to have a different perspective than someone who has never seen the history within Virginia. Being able to experience these historical events as a child has intensified my love for history, specifically Virginia during the 1700s. My attitude towards living in this state can be summarized by the last verse of a poem entitled Virginia Our Home. “There’s a lot to see in Virginia and much to appreciate. So come lets hear and understand the wonders of our state.”
Jennifer Nesossis is the programs officer at the Virginia Historical Society.