Jamestown is America’s first permanent English colony, founded in 1607. There are re-creations of how life was during these early days. We drove along the Colonial parkway which is a beautiful road leading to Jamestown.
Our first stop was the pier where there are the three re-creations of the Susan Constant, Godspeed and Discovery ships which brought the English colonists to Virginia in 1607.
Looking out the portholes
Barrels on the ship. I would hope some had wine or whiskey. I would have wanted some on the journey.
Not only can you board and tour each ship but there are very informative guides discussing the four-and-a-half-month voyage from England. There are also periodic demonstrations of 17th-century piloting and navigation. After listening to all the stories about what the passengers and crew must have endured, it would have been hard for me to make the journey. If by chance I did make it, it would have been ONE WAY. I can’t imagine getting back on the ship. The conditions sounded hideous. Makes traveling these days a breeze.
The ships carried 105 passengers and 39 crew members. It was a business venture sponsored by the Virginia Company of London through a charter granted by James I. Captain Christopher Newport lead the crossing, dropped off the Colonists, explored up the River and ended up settling at Jamestown. Only two months later, Captain Newton returned to London with loaded wood and other natural resources for sale in English markets.
Next we explored the Powhatan Indian village which is re-created based on archaeological findings at another site once inhabited by Paspahegh Indians, the Powhatan tribal group closest to Jamestown, and by descriptions recorded by English colonists. There are historical interpreters discussing and also demonstrating the Powhatan way of life. There’s no shortage of animal hides hanging around. They also grow and prepare food, make tools, Canoes and pottery.
Because they lacked certain instruments, the Powhatans would burn a tree to get it down then use a fire method to make canoes by softening the wood enough to hull it.
Grinding the Maiz (corn)
Since we needed to get lunch and be back in Williamsburg by 3pm, we made a quick overview of the museum located at the entrance Jamestown. It’s worth another look the next time we’re in the area. I enjoyed reading the “what was happening elsewhere” which is a list of what was happening in England/Europe while the Colonialists were traveling to the New World. Always good to get the global perspective when learning about US History.
If you’re interested in the details of visiting Jamestown, visit there website here.