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A Link among the Days: The Life and Times of the Reverend Doctor William Archer Rutherfood

A Link among the Days: The Life and Times of the Reverend Doctor William Archer Rutherfood

by Dennis Montgomery

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Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
There was a time not too long ago, when the dusty main street of Williamsburg, Va., boasted the Toot-N-Kum-In filling station instead of the Raleigh Tavern. The transformation of the former capital of Virginia from a decaying roadside nowhere to the meticulously restored Colonial destination it is today was the work of W.A.R. Goodwin, a man with a vision and a knack for cajoling the wealthiest men in the U.S. to help. When he became rector of the city's Bruton parish in 1903, Williamsburg's remaining colonial buildings had nearly all fallen into disrepair. After successfully returning Bruton Parish Church to its elegant 18th-century state, Goodwin began working with the William and Mary College in the mid-1920s to restore Williamsburg's main Duke of Gloucester Street. The revenue from visitors helped endow the college as well as rescue some fine 18th-century structures. Goodwin knew where the money was, and his astute wooing of Henry Ford and John D. Rockefeller Jr. led to the latter initially pledging $3 million, then continuing his support through the Depression and up to the reverend's death in 1939, when Montgomery's biography unfortunately ends. Tidewater readers may not need that final chapter to explain how Colonial Williamsburg was finally completed and how its groundbreaking method of presenting history was developed, but readers from outside the area will find this portrayal unsatisfying. Drawing on Goodwin's papers, files and personal photos, Montgomery has written a book of regional interest that could have drawn a wider audience. (Oct.)

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Dietz Press
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6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.10(d)

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