Williamsburg, Virginia is an indescribable place because it has evolved into a town that encompasses tourists, residents, and college students. These different groups of people create a climate where the young and old must come together to live in peace. Williamsburg has gone through many changes over the years and the most recent was the Restoration after 1927. During the restoration, there were historic landmarks that were restored and historic land that was acquired. One of historic piece of land that was acquired was the Kingsmill Plantation. This land was developed into a resort, golf course, and a private residential community. The specific piece of the Kingsmill land that is of most interest today is Kingsmill on the James. Through interviews and research this project will illustrate how the gated community affects the greater community of Williamsburg.

Research Questions:

1. Why was this gated community created?

2. Who resides in Kingsmill on the James?

3. What is its allure?

4. Is the perception about life in gated communities accurate based on the residents?

5. How does Kingsmill affect the greater community of Williamsburg? Do the residents have more clout than the other residents of Williamsburg?

In order to answer these questions, I will obtain current research pertaining to gated communities and why they are created. Once acquiring that research, I will pursue information in regards to the amount of authority Kingsmill has on Williamsburg based on its presence in the newspaper and other publication. Although there are interviews obtained by other Williamsburg Documentary students, I will interview residents of Kingsmill on the James as well as the employees to understand why they chose Kingsmill.  In addition to interviewing current residents, I will interview residents outside of Kingsmill to understand how the greater community perceives it. Through obtaining the different perspectives it will create a realistic picture.

I will use qualitative methodologies through collected interviews. The interviews that will be conducted will focus on the homeowners of Kingsmill and there will be two potential subjects. Prior to interviewing the subject I will inform them of the informed consent and what this project entails. Since there are possible risks with interviewing Kingsmill employees I may not interview any or will omit their identity. After compiling research, I will share the results through mail in order for them to see that there story is of importance. Each interview will have a list of questions that I will present to them. Some of the questions will include: Why did you move to Kingsmill? How long have you reside here? What makes Kingsmill different to the rest of the communities in Williamsburg? On the other hand, the employees will be asked questions regarding their experience with Kingsmill residents.

While conducting the research, there are numerous challenges that I anticipate with obtaining access onto Kingsmill. Since it is a gated community, people are not able to wonder onto the property and speak casually with its residents. I will be forced to figure out how to contact the staff of Kingsmill and gain access.

This study will help understand what is the purpose of gated communities in the “safe” town of Williamsburg. Also, do the people in these gated communities have the power to promote more change in comparison to the other Williamsburg community?




The Williamsburg Documentary Project (WDP) strives to collect and preserve the rich past of Williamsburg, Virginia. By conducting oral history interviews, building physical and digital archives, and creating online exhibits, the WDP interprets Williamsburg’s recent past. The WDP works towards developing a better understanding of Williamsburg by bringing together individuals, local groups, Colonial Williamsburg, and the College of William & Mary.

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