city in SE Va.: colonial capital of Va., now restored to its 18th-cent. appearance
Origin of Williamsburgafter King William III
An independent city of southeast Virginia northwest of Newport News. Settled c. 1632, it was the capital of Virginia from 1699 to 1779 but declined after the capital was moved to Richmond. In 1926 a large-scale restoration project, financed mainly by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., was begun, in which some 700 modern buildings were removed, 83 colonial buildings were renovated, and more than 400 buildings were reconstructed on their original sites. The city is now a popular tourist center and the seat of William and Mary College (established 1693).