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December 19, 2008

New "Pigs to Pork" program debuts at Great Hopes Plantation

Colonial Williamsburg’s Great Hopes Plantation offers a new family-friendly program 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 27. “Pigs to Pork” will provide guests an opportunity to experience meat preservation and preparation in a rural 18th-century setting while emphasizing life and survival on the land and the work and lives of enslaved African Americans.

Historians will demonstrate meat cutting, salting, lard rendering, curing, grinding sausage and cooking, as conducted in a rural environment. Completion of a new smokehouse at Great Hopes Plantation this past May allows staff to cure and smoke meat provided by pigs raised on site. The Ossabaw hogs used in “Pigs to Pork” are an 18th-century breed that bears little resemblance to modern farm-raised hogs, but are similar in size and form to wild pigs.

During “Pigs to Pork,” adult and juvenile interpreters also demonstrate typical winter activities on a small family farm, such as candlemaking and preparing the gardens for the winter.

Great Hopes Plantation is an exhibition site that provides guests the opportunity to see the development of a small family farm, portraying living conditions for the vast majority of colonial Virginians living in the Tidewater region. Beginning with a kitchen and slave house, Historic Trades carpenters have built additional structures consistent with a small family farm: a tobacco barn, a corn house, a well and lastly the smokehouse. Still to be constructed is a modest plantation house.

Great Hopes Plantation is located between the Visitor Center and the Historic Area and provides guests the opportunity to venture into the Historic Area through a pastoral setting in much the same manner as 18th-century Virginians.

Established in 1926, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational institution that preserves and operates the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia as a town-sized living history museum, telling the inspirational stories of our nation’s founding men and women. Within the restored and reconstructed buildings, historic interpreters, attired as colonial men and women from slaves to shopkeepers to soldiers, relate stories of colonial Virginia society and culture – stories of our journey to become Americans – while historic trades people research, demonstrate and preserve the 18th-century world of work and industry. As Colonial Williamsburg interprets life in the time of the American Revolution for its guests, it also invites them to interact with history. “Revolutionary City®” – a dramatic live street theater presentation, is a 2008 Rand McNally Best-of-the-Road™ Editor’s Pick. Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s Web site at

Media Contact:
Jim Bradley
(757) 220-7281