Wednesday, April 11, 2018

J is for Jamestown

Jamestown is a historic site in eastern Virginia, part of the Historic Triangle of Jamestown, Yorktown, and Williamsburg.  It consists of two parts:  Historic Jamestowne, run by the National Park Service, home to the ruins of the first permanent English settlement in North America.  Think Pocahontas and John Smith.  The nearby Jamestown Settlement is a living-history museum with recreations of the James Fort and the Powhatan Indian village.

We first visited Jamestown on a school field trip in 2003 and during the years that we lived in Virginia the first time (2003-2007), we visited several times both with school groups and as a family.  It's a great place for kids to roam and learn from the historical interpreters.  We visited the Powhatan Indian village where the students were shown how small fires were built in a cut-down tree trunk and then shells were used to scoop out the charcoal.  Hey presto, a canoe!

Taken on a return trip to Jamestown in 2006 - the kids loved the canoe-making process

The James Fort is full of soldiers who showed us how to fire a musket and colonists' wives who taught us how to whip up corn cakes from a corn cake batter which was then fried and sampled (I'm SO glad I'm not living in this era - the corn cakes were awful).  The wattle and daub construction of the buildings (woven walls coated with clay, sand, and straw) was really interesting as were the displays of the tobacco, beaver furs, and sassafras.  A short walk from the Fort is the dock for the ships that brought the colonist to Virginia, the now-recreated Discovery, Godspeed, and Susan Constant.

A not-to-be missed site on your trip to Virginia.

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