Meet Samantha Forsyth, aka the Samantha of “Samantha Lane” in Roper Park
Posted on November 1, 2019 9:00 AM by Mary Cheston
There are probably very few people who are as enthusiastic about Williamsburg and all it has to offer than Samantha Forsyth. Samantha is a resident of the Federal Towns townhomes here in New Town and an attorney in the New Town offices of Kaufman & Canoles.
Samantha first visited Williamsburg the summer after 5th grade as part of a camping trip with her parents. The Forsyths were traveling from Calgary, Canada and exploring historical sites across the United States, and came to Colonial Williamsburg after visiting Gettysburg. Williamsburg became a vacation spot for many future summers allowing the family to absorb the historic atmosphere in combination with, of course, Busch Gardens. Samantha’s parents eventually bought property in New Town and then Governor’s Land, and currently spend half of their time in the area. They developed close friendships and business relationships with the principals of Twiddy Realty, and are actively involved with William & Mary.
While their love of history drew the Forsyths to Williamsburg, Samantha found something else – a “welcoming, small and high caliber” college that became her first choice when it came time to apply to college. She attended William & Mary as an international student, graduating in 2015, and then decided to pursue a law degree. After considering several schools, Samantha “just kinda knew” that she couldn’t match the warm and engaged educational community she had found at William & Mary. So William & Mary Law School became her home for the next 3 years.
When law school was over, Samantha expected to move on and explore new places. She had enjoyed a variety of internships and work in Canada and throughout Virginia, so 7 years here seemed like plenty. Once again fate intervened and she was offered a business law position at Kaufman & Canoles, which currently offers her exposure to many different practice areas. Samantha loves her work and the benefits of Williamsburg, which is “nestled away” from urban environments, yet enjoys proximity to the beach as well as Washington, D.C.
The biggest adjustments for this “Canadian Williamsburgite” are definitely the humidity and our political system - how American elections have become so polarized and how the government is grappling with issues that Canada resolved years ago. Samantha explained, “In Canada, I think people share the same fundamental values and want the same things – access to healthcare, a strong educational system, etc. – we may just differ on how to achieve these outcomes.”
While Samantha was a college student, her local “go to” family was the Youngbloods and McCarthys. She would frequently tease Mike Youngblood that since she was surrounded by New Town streets named after women, when would someone name a street after her? So when Roper Park was being designed, Mike Youngblood rolled out the plans for “Samantha Lane.” It was “a surprise and an honor” to be included in this development, she said. Even more so, because she shares this honor with her grandmother (see the related story on Shirley Park.)