Everyone is gathering for several days of lectures on this year’s topic: “Highways and Horses: Travel & Transport by Horse-drawn Vehicles.”I tried to get this update posted on Wednesday evening, but the Internet connection kept kicking me off. So here I am, on Thursday morning, doing a quick post while everyone enjoys a continental breakfast in the break/trade fair room. Looking around, we have a nice variety of vendors this year: hats, antiques, harness, books and prints, wicker, antique toys, coaching vacations, and more hats.

Williamsburg welcomed everyone yesterday with a beautiful sunny day.

the governor’s palace at Colonial Williamsburg

Mr. Jefferson and Mr. Page riding down Williamsburg’s main street, Duke of Gloucester

The wheelwrights moved last summer into their new facility … Elkanah Deane’s shop. While I was there, the wheelwrights were installing an iron tire on a newly built wheel for a shop-built wheelbarrow. One of them explained to visitors that the shop builds wagons, wheels and, at this time of year especially, wheelbarrows (one reason being that they’re smaller and can be painted indoors).

the newly finished wheel, in the shop, awaiting its iron tire

a small fire was started (which felt nice in the chilly weather!), the iron tire placed on top, and then more wood on top of that, so that the tire could expand slightly while buried inside a nice hot fire for about 10 minutes

when it was hot, the iron tire was placed on the wheel and pounded into place …

… while water was poured on it to cool it down and shrink it into place on the wheel

vehicles and firewood at the back of the wheelwrights’ shop