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April 23, 2010
We took a trip to Jamestown on a lovely day in April 2010. My son, my granddaughter and my hubby came with me. Jamestown was the first permanent English settlement in the USA. There are two sections here. One is the replica of the original colony which is what is here on this site and one is the archeological site which you can also visit for another fee of course). The archeological site is a bit older, showing brick foundations, where they began to build more permanent accommodations. This colony is where Pocahontas and John Smith met and better bonds between t he natives and the English happened. Early on there were a lot of hardships and losses. Natives taught farming and other skills to the settlers and when they started to grow tobacco, they thrived better. Here's the most crude accommodations of the times of the US, show though how it might have been like then. You will get to see a small Indian village and the small enclosed settlement area as well as the three ships (replicas of course) called the Susan Constant, the Godspeed and the Discovery. There is now a new museum inside as well. There's a bit of walking but it's not so huge it will take that long. Allow maybe 2 hours outside and anywhere from one to two hours inside depending on how dedicated you are to reading everything. There is a gift shop (actually three I think One upstairs and the same one or a separate one right under it and one in the front), a estaurant inside, bathrooms and water fountains. There are benches along the Indian village and a couple near the ships, but none were noted inside the fort structure. The Indian village consists of maybe half dozen "tented" structures where you'll mainly see skins and animal parts (horns, shells, pelts etc). You may see two or three people doing things like smoking skins, making nets or cooking and showing you how they did those things. On the ships, you can go on and below them and see the very tight quarters. Guides are on hand to answer questions and tell you how large the ships were, how many people and what sort of supplies or skills the people had. Going toward the fort area, you'll see a place where boats were made and then inside the fort/settlement, you will see how they fired weapons, where they went to church, and how they lived. You will see a gun being fired, someone making pottery, a blacksmith and the weapons master.... then as you leave, you can go back to where you came in, and go through the museum, which gives some artifacts and a lot more general knowledge about natives and life in the 15th and 16th centuries. It a nice history lesson.
From Left to right: 1) Fountain at the Entrance 2) Entrance 3) Tower 1957 commemorates the 350th anniversary of Jamestown 4) a bridged area alongside the Native area; showcases trees and plants of the area 4) a Powahtan shelter
From Left to right: 1) a cast member showing kids how to do something (not sure but think she's making netting material 2) a cast member drying animal skins 3) my granddaughter inside the doorway of a Powahtan shelter 4) showing the buildings of the Powhatan
From Left to right: 1) A cast member smoking skins 2) a place where they may have filleted fish, made nets or used for a work station 3) inside an abode; skins/pelts of m many different animals 4) The Susan Constant 5) the Susan Constant (closer)
From Left to right: 1) Rigging 2) The Discovery and the Godspeed from the Susan Constant 3) The Susan Constant from the Godspeed 3) Another view of the Discovery and the Godspeed (left) 4) Aboard the Discovery (actor telling us about the ship)
From Left to right: 1) An Actor aboard the Discover 2) Annie steering the ship 3) a bunk inside one of the ships 4) A wider view of the quarters aboard the ship
From Left to right: 1) A ship's canon 2) a closer view of the ships cannon 3) An actor splitting wood
From Left to right: 1) The Wall of the settlement 2) chickens 3) chickens and a rooster 4) Entrance of the settlement/gate 5) Blacksmith Shop
From Left to right: 1) Street view/buildings inside the settlement 2) Inside the settlement/street view 3) a house 4) Large house (church possibly I forget)
From Left to right: 1) Inside the armory; an actor telling about the weapons and Armour 2) Arms 3) Armour 4) an Actor firing a musket 5) FIRE! (Loud)
From Left to right: 1) I think this actress is making pottery/grinding color 2) a Canon 3) a bird in flight 4) leaving the settlement (nice view of the ships) 5) Annie tries on a helmet and armor.
Informative or interesting links:
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There are two Jamestowns and this confused me at first. All of the photos in the left column, the top two photos in the center column and the top two photos in the right column are all from the Jamestown settlement that was recreated to resemble the original settlement. The bottom postcard in the center column (Statue of Captain John Smith) and the bottom postcard in the right column (Graveyard) are from the original settlement. This is being excavated. Some foundations were recreated and some originals can be seen. 90% of the original settlement is gone. At the recreated site, a short distance away, we saw replicas of the 3 original ships that sailed to Virginia from England in December 20, 1606, landing May 14, 1607. The Susan Constant (116' long), the Godspeed (68' long) and the Discovery (49' long). These ships carried 104 colonists (men and boys) as well as crew members. According to the lady aboard the replica of the Godspeed, the passengers on that ship were forced to lay down or crouch for the entire trip. They had to use pots to go to the bathroom and were not allowed on deck at all. If they were sick, too bad. There was one cook with tiny little space to cook and people were crammed aboard. The stench must've been awful. Total trip took 146 days. Imagine laying down, eating and sleeping and peeing in a pot for that long and NO bath! Average size of European at that time at 5'7" and the bunks were made that size so if you were taller....too bad! A famous name you may of heard of was Captain John Smith, born in 1579 and died June 21, 1631. His was buried in London. A famous Indian was known to John Smith.... Pocahontas, the Powhatan daughter of the tribal leader. The colony predates Plymouth Rock landing by 13 years. Other things we saw was a replica of the Powhatan village, a glass blowers shop, the colony and it's fence and we saw how they dried fish etc.
Prices for the Museum/replica settlement were $10.75 for each adult. See the website for current prices now, as well as hours of operation. The museum and gift shops are indoors. Bathroom located only inside the main building. There are water fountains available outdoors. There is a lot of walking, so bring comfortable shoes and lots of water in the summer. There is one coke machine as you enter the parking area to the old settlement. There is an outdoor place to get a little something, but there really isn't a restaurant to speak of. Both places are right next to each other. The drive from the nearest restaurant and restrooms is about 20 minutes or more . . . each way, so I recommend you eat and go potty before you leave. Gift shop prices are high as all gift shops are. At the old Jamestown site, there is one small concession stand that closes early and only one small men's/ladies room that closes way earlier than the park. So just a warning. Cost to the Original settlement is NOT included in the price of the replica. It's an extra $6 per adult ticket. Hours of operation: 9 AM to 5 PM for both parks. Everything including bathrooms closes. The old settlement lets you leave by dusk even if longer but you have to be in the gate before 5 PM.
Left to right: Ambler Manor House Ruins (built in 1750's and burned in 2 wars and after a third fire in 1895, was abandoned), Militia, Replicas of the 3 original Ships that came to Jamestown: The Susan Constant, the Godspeed and the Discovery, Women Baking and Jamestown Church, which was built in 1907 to commemorate the 300th anniversary of Jamestown. The church was placed on the ORIGINAL Jamestown settlement site; all other photos here are at the "recreated" site.
Left to Right: Memorial cross that marks the earliest known burial ground of the English at Jamestown, Statue of Captain John Smith who was President of the Council of Jamestown. The Statue is placed on the ORIGINAL Jamestown settlement site and finally Blacksmith.
Left to right: Middle ship the Godspeed, the largest ship the Susan Constant, the smallest ship the Discovery, three ships, and building a really small ship; a canoe.
Left to right: a house, an Indian Hut, an Indian Hut with corn growing outside, Indian Tikis and a window to a building.
Top: Jamestown Brick-approximate date-1607-1676 These two pieces of Brick were found near the excavation site, but outside the encased area. However, there some brick replicas In the Newtown area so this could be part of that. But since they were in the ground and near the excavation site, I hope that they are indeed original fragments. Who'll carbon date them for me?
Informative or interesting links: