On December 21, 1781, the Governor’s Palace in Williamsburg, Virginia, burned to the ground, killing many wounded soldiers recovering there from wounds sustained during the famous Yorktown campaign. The people of Virginia decided not to rebuild the structure, but rather to cover over the spot. The outer buildings of the old palace would remain where they stood until the Civil War, when they too would be demolished.
The memory of the once great structure would be lost until the 1920s, when the task of recreating Colonial Williamsburg was undertaken. Today, the Governor’s Palace is one of the most visited buildings in Colonial Williamsburg.
During the archaeological dig at the site of the Governor’s Palace, the remains of the men crushed by the weight of the collapsing building were discovered in the basement.
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