It seems to me that today was the first time I started to put the 'story' together. Maybe it was because we took advantage of a Ranger talk.
- Jamestown, established in 1607 was the first permanent settlement in America. Roanoke Island was settled 20 years before in 1587, but it became known as the Lost Colony when all residents mysteriously perished.
- In 1619, Jamestown created the first representative assembly in American with the election of 20 representatives who met in the Jamestown church to decide on "...just laws for the happy guiding and governing of the people..."
- Also in 1619, the first Africans arrived, having been intercepted from a ship near Mexico. Originally all were free then, but by 1660, some were enslaved and working the cash crop, "golden Weed" -- tobacco.
It is always good to get an informative and energetic Ranger. It was well worth the hour he spent with us.
In the left half of the map we saw where village was laid out with Swann's Tavern and the row house.
National Park Service Map
After an archaeological dig in the 1930's, evidence was found that laid out some of the buildings foundations of the village. Historians decided to recreate a brick wall just above ground level of some buildings to show where they once stood.
After the Ranger talk we wandered over past the Memorial church and the old Triangle fort for some shade.
Statue of John Smith looking out to the James RiverThe Memorial Church building is the site of a current archaeological dig, so people could only look into the church from the front door.
Statue of Pocahontas near the Triangle FortThe long poles in the ground show the outline of where the walls of the fort once stood.
After lunch, we checked out the Vorhees Archaetorium and Archaetorium Museum. It is a little mind boggling to learn that close to 1.5 million artifacts have been dug out of the ground in the area. The Archaetorium/Museum sits on top of the a portion of the Statehouse, which was built when the church became too small to hold the representatives and settlers interested in viewing the proceedings.
Inside the museum there were over 4,000 artifacts discovered over the last 20 years at Jamestown. The museum was built in 2006 and opened in time for the visit of Queen Elisabeth in 2007 commemorating the 400 years anniversary.
As with most of these great museums and historical sites, it is a challenge to absorb it all. We had more of an appreciation for the significance and the story behind the history of the area from our history.
Truth be told, this was our third visit to Jamestown. We first visited in the 1990's when we lived in Fairfax VA. Then we came again in 2015. Each time we learn and remember more. Each time there are more discoveries to see and the property looks a little different.
Thanks for joining us today on the Roadrunner Chronicles!