As The Omni Homestead Resort celebrates its 250th anniversary this year, I wondered, “what else was founded in 1766?” After all, if The Homestead is serving cake every day this year and has its own “250” Ale crafted by Heritage Brewing, perhaps others are shaking a tail feather, too?
FOUNDED IN 1766:
- Pittsylvania County, Virginia (November 6, 1766, from Halifax County) – Virginia’s largest county
- The Virginia Gazette (1766-1776), the second of three such named newspapers in Williamsburg, VA
- James Mill Scottish Factor Store (1766) in Urbanna, VA is the current Urbanna Visitor’s Center, but was originally the store of James Mill, a Scot, who traded tobacco for cash or credit.
- The Gaming House (1766) in Smithfield, VA was just that – a gaming and counting house. It’s now the home of Anne of Smithfield, a ladies apparel boutique.
- Bassett Hall at Colonial Williamsburg was completed (1753-1766) and would later become a semi-annual vacation home for John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Bassett Hall was bequeathed to Colonial Williamsburg in 1979. A visit today yields a glimpse of the Rockefeller’s time there in the 1930s and 1940s.
ALSO OF NOTE IN 1766:
- The Stamp Act was repealed (March 18, 1766) – “no taxation without representation”
- The Leedstown Resolves (February 27, 1766) was a protest by Virginians against The Stamp Act. It was signed by notable political brothers Richard Henry Lee and Francis Lightfoot Lee (father of Robert E. Lee). Visit their home and Robert E. Lee’s birthplace, Stratford Hall, in Stratford, VA.
- The Declaratory Act took the place of The Stamp Act (March 18, 1766) – Parliament reserved the right to tax and make laws for the Colonies. This is one of the acts (perhaps lesser known) that ultimately led to the Revolutionary War.
Photo: Bassett Hall. Courtesy of Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.