George Wythe House, Williamsburg

4.8
#8 of 11 in Historic Sites in Williamsburg
The Wythe House is a historic house on the Palace Green in Colonial Williamsburg, in Williamsburg, Virginia, USA. Built in the 1750s, it was the home of George Wythe, signer of the Declaration of Independence and father of American jurisprudence. The property was declared a National Historic Landmark on April 15, 1970.
The Wythe House once belonged to George Wythe's father-in-law, Richard Taliaferro. The house was constructed between 1752 and 1754 and was conceived as a whole with no additions made to the rectangular two story structure. The house was built during a period of time when the Governor's Palace was being renovated.
The house remained as the sole household of Taliaferro when his daughter Elizabeth married George Wythe in 1755. The couple received the house as a wedding present from Taliafero and they received a life tenancy upon his death in 1779. Elizabeth lived here until her death in 1787, and George moved to Richmond, Virginia in 1791 to serve as a judge.
The house served as headquarters for General George Washington - September 14 to 17, and 22 to 28, 1781 - prior to the Siege of Yorktown.
The house saw several subsequent owners. In 1926 the Reverend Dr. W.A.R. Goodwin, Rector of adjoining Bruton Parish Church, established his offices on the second floor after the Parish acquired the building for church use. Dr. Goodwin is known as the "Father of Colonial Williamsburg." Colonial Williamburg officially obtained the property in 1938, and in 1939 the interior was restored to the form and appearance the Wythe family would have known.
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George Wythe House Reviews
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141 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • We chatted with a young teen girl who was charming and knowledgeable beyond her years. Nice how 'the other half' [now the 1%] lived  more »
  • We are on a family trip and went to this House. It was very nice, with docents to explain the various rooms and how the people lived at the time Very good history. It makes one wish all students could...  more »
Google
  • The guides in the house were full of information and very friendly, but to get them to spill the info you had to ask questions or in some way engage them. The seemed to,really enjoy sharing. Each room should have either an information sheet or a costumed guide with a specific minimal bit of info to be given, preferably in a narrative format from one who,lives or works in the house. The best tours are when the guides are actually in character. Years ago the Wythe House tour I went on had people playing parts as the family members and slaves. As you moved from room to room you over heard conversations about an upcoming event from each of their viewpoints. Truly brought history to life.
  • To think you are walking on the same floors that George Washington did and touching the same handrail on the stairs. Very moving for a history fan!

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