Friday, September 18, 2009

Historic Jamestowne

I have several posts about my trip, but my first will be about Jamestown, VA. When I was planning my trip to Norfolk, I googled a map to see how far the airport was from the hotel, etc.  What I found was that I would only be an hour from Yorktown, Colonial Williamsburg, and Jamestown. I have an affinity for these colonial settlements. Yorktown has a special place in my heart, thanks to Mary Landreth, one of my professors in college, who helped me love history.  I have always wanted to go to Williamsburg. It is a reenactment of colonial life, and everyone there is in character. I wanted to go to both of these places, but I knew I just didn't have enough time. However, Jamestown was doable. So, I made the plan to go to Jamestown while I was in Virginia. 

I know this sounds incredibly nerdy; it is, and it is okay. It's going to get worse. 
I promise.
I totally geeked out over Jamestown. Some of you are thinking, "Jamestown? Does that have something to do with American history?" Yes, indeed it does. It was the first colonial settlement in the New World. King James commissioned a group of adventurers onto a ship under the leadership of Captain John Smith to establish this colony. That is why the town is named after him. They also renamed the Powhatan River after him. It is now called the James River. Nice.
I got all teary-eyed seeing my history. I felt very young and very grateful. It was surreal and eerie to be walking on the same ground that those who first settled here walked upon. 400 years is a young age for a country, but it still seemed ancient to me. Here are some pictures I took while there.

There was this large cross to commemorate all those who gave up their lives to establish Jamestown. My favorite site was here where the first ship actually docked. They were able to run the ships right up to the shore to disembark. This sign is just in front of this part of the river.

Here is the spot. This was a very important moment for me, looking out on the water, imagining the ship docking and the weary men tumbling ashore.

I saw this lone flower growing right around that spot. I felt like it was a little gift from God. I know that sounds corny, but I really thought that.

These rocks were just picturesque and seemed appropriate for my imagination.

Of course, there is a statue of Pocahontas. The artist used poetic license in the sculpture--Pocahontas was between 10 and 12 years of age when the settlers arrived, and she was in no way romantically attached to John Smith. She saw him more as a white father.

And, the illustrious John Smith...he was a storyteller (an embellisher, to be sure), but he was a successful leader. He thought an awful lot of himself. You can almost see that in this sculpture. :) That smug look...

This is the church that was established there. It was Anglican, of course.

Here is the inside of the church. Sorry it's a bit blurry. It was so minimalistic and beautiful.

The fort here at Jamestown is slowly being uncovered. You can see the beginning of it here. It has been reconstructed as much as possible. You can see the James River as well.

Here are the reconstructed barracks. Homey, don't you think? They would normally have a thatched roof and would be enclosed. I don't know if they plan to do that with these or not.

There were several graves marked with crosses. I guess they were just unidentified settlers who probably died during what is called the "starving time". I didn't read all the plaques. Woops. For all I know, they could just be for decoration. :)

And the picture tour is now ending. Please do not exit the vehicle until we have made a complete stop. Thank you for joining me today.

More posts to come!!!


  1. great pictures! i think understanding and appreciating your own history is very important... and like i said, i think people on the east coast can easily take it for granted! so glad you got a chance to enjoy it :)

  2. I love this post! Being a history fanatic myself, I didn't think it was nerdy at all! Well, maybe it was.... :) I want to go there someday.

  3. I enjoyed seeing your pics after hearing you talk about it! We did not go here, we instead went close by to the settlement, I thought we were going to where you told us to go but when we got there I realized it was not the same. In the end it is all good because with your description I feel like I was there with you and now we have had a different experience and where we went had much more for the kids.
    It was so so good to see you!
    Love, Jo

  4. I would LOVE to go there! History is so fascinating to me....and, sorry about your credit card. That sounds like a nightmare. Is it resolved now?
    Glad you had a good time away!!

  5. I love the pics...especially the Cross and the church...beautiful!


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