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April 28, 2006

CW donors add another carriage to Foundation's collections

Colonial Williamsburg has received a second carriage from donors James and Maureen Gorman of Cumberland Foreside, Maine, who donated a reproduction of the Carter carriage to the Foundation’s Coach and Livestock Department in 2001.

“We are doubly fortunate to have through the generosity of Jim and Maureen Gorman these wonderful carriages,” said Colonial Williamsburg President Colin G. Campbell. “They add such an important dimension to the guest experience, whether on a ride through the Historic Area or as an integral part of the Revolutionary City program.”

According to Richard Nicoll, director of the Coach and Livestock Department, “The red and brown carriage with gold trim is a replica of an 18th-century coach that we found in Piacenza, Italy. It is being used as a coach for Lord Dunmore, the last royal governor in Virginia. We do know Lord Dunmore owned a coach here in Williamsburg so that is why we built it.”

This now brings to eight the number of carriages rolling throughout the Historic Area.

The Gormans, who are Raleigh Tavern Society members, are long-standing supporters of Colonial Williamsburg. Their generous gifts to the Foundation have supported the annual fund, the acquisition of furnishings for the St. George Tucker House and the restoration of the Timson House.

James Gorman is a part owner of L.L. Bean and the grandson of Leon Leonwood Bean, who founded the L.L. Bean mail order retail clothing and outdoor equipment business in 1912.

A year in the making, the new carriage was built by a coach maker in Vienna, Austria. The buckles and door handles for the project came from Colonial Williamsburg’s Geddy Foundry. The team at the Geddy Foundry, consisting of master founder Doc Hassell and journeymen founders Mike Noftsger, Roger Hohensee and Suzie Dye helped to create authentic pieces for the new carriage.

The shop made two handles and 14 buckles for the carriage. Hassell said the pattern for the buckles was taken from artifacts that Colonial Williamsburg archeologists found. The handles were inspired by those found at the shop of Elkanah Deane, an 18th-century coach maker.

The crest of Lord Dunmore that graces both doors was reproduced and hand painted by Phil Moore of Colonial Williamsburg’s Sign Studio. “It was one of the biggest things I have done in the last few years,” he said. According to Moore, there were only a few broken plates, paint faded with time that still had the crest of Lord Dunmore. “That is one of the few times the coat of arms has been reproduced in color.”

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