Historic Jamestowne & Jamestown Settlement

After several hours of driving through traffic on I-95, we found ourselves at the Historic Jamestown Settlement in Virginia. We were relieved, but I'm sure not as relieved as those that made the 5-month long ocean crossing in 1607. Despite that, I still can't believe the traffic on I-95, on a weekend!

The location of Jamestown was selected by Captain Edward Maria Wingfield. Chosen because of it's position as being a prime defensible strategic point, it turned out to be a horrible spot for agriculture and the water too brackish. Times were extremely difficult back then.

Fort James, Historic Jamestown, VA, Virginia
Welcome to Fort James. The building to the left of the entrance is one of the oldest surviving buildings built by Europeans in the US.

church interior, Historic Jamestown, VA, Virginia
Actually, only the front entrance, which was the church tower, is from the original church tower built in 1639. The actual church partition (pictured here), which was built in 1617, was destroyed after abandonment mid 1700's. This part was rebuilt in 1907, over the 1617 foundations. Kind of confusing, I know. Basically, the front of the building is really, really old (for the United States of America).


Pictured here (on the left) is the interior of the original church tower, and my husband flirting with the docent. Above the doorway is the official Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom and Ireland.

church interior bricks, Historic Jamestown, VA, Virginia
You can view the original 1617 brick & cobblestone foundations inside the church structure.

church graveyard, Fort James, Historic Jamestown, VA, Virginia

Archaeological dig, Historic Jamestown, VA, Virginia
Since 2003, there has been an ongoing archeological dig at Jamestown. They have discovered graves, God Save the Queen lead tokens, pottery, building foundations....

archaeological dig, horse skeleton, Historic Jamestown, VA, Virginia
And most recently (end of June) the bones of a mature horse (an elder male), dating back to the 1650's.

John Smith statue, Historic Jamestown, VA, Virginia
John Smith, the colony's principal trader with Indians.

Fort James, canon, Historic Jamestown, VA, Virginia
The fort was built in a triangle with each corner armed with canons.

building structure, Fort James, Historic Jamestown, VA, Virginia

Statue of Pocahontas, Matoaka, Fort James, Historic Jamestown, VA, Virginia
Pocahontas (aka Matoaka, or Rebecca Rolfe, wife of John Rolfe)

miniature Fort James replica model, Fort James, Historic Jamestown, VA, Virginia Part of the fort is now submerged in water since the coastline has receded.

religious church memorial, Fort James, Historic Jamestown, VA, Virginia
Shrine dedicated to Reverend Robert Hunt, the first Anglican minister of the colony.

grave markers, Fort James, Historic Jamestown, VA, Virginia
1607 burials within the fort. During that time, also know as the "starving time", the colonists were instructed to conceal their numbers of dead from the local tribes. Only 38 of the original 104 settlers survived.

english flag, walls, Fort James, Historic Jamestown, VA, Virginia

ship landing, Fort James, Historic Jamestown, VA, Virginia
Site of the first landing... taken over by geese!

cross in front of Vorhees Archaearium museum, Fort James, Historic Jamestown, VA, Virginia
Memorial cross in front of the Archaearium Museum.


Foundations of the first statehouse.

skeleton with bullet, Fort James, Historic Jamestown, VA, Virginia
Skeleton of a young settler who died of a musket ball wound. It was interesting to see this in person after seeing it featured on the documentary Nightmare in Jamestown (which you can stream on Netflix).

cannibal, jane, skull, starving time, Fort James, Historic Jamestown, VA, Virginia
Meet "Jane", the skull of a teenage girl whose remains were found amongst butchered animal bones (dogs, horses) that date back to the "starving time". Forensic evidence on Jane's skull reflects how dire things were --the settlers resorted to cannibalism to stave off starvation.

starving time, bones, Fort James, Historic Jamestown, VA, Virginia
Butchered dog & horse remains. During the "starving time", the colonists resorted to eating their dogs, horses, cats and even rats and snakes.

tools, Fort James, Historic Jamestown, VA, Virginia
Tools

breastplate, sword, armor, Fort James, Historic Jamestown, VA, Virginia
Breastplate, broad sword, and basket hilt, amongst other pieces of weaponry.

Historic Jamestowne

Address: 1368 Colonial Parkway, Jamestown, VA 23081
Hours: 8.30am - 4.30pm
Fees: $14 (also covers Yorktown Battlefield)
Websites: historicjamestowne.org

Jamestown Settlement, a Living History Museum

After exploring Historic Jamestowne (the original site of the settlement), we visited a living history museum known as "Jamestown Settlement". It is just down the road from the actual, original settlement. It's a little confusing when researching places to visit but Historic Jamestowne and Jamestown Settlement are two different parks, thus there are separate entrance fees.

Fort James, Jamestown Settlement, living history museum, VA, Virginia
Entrance to Fort James.

Fort James, Jamestown Settlement, living history museum, VA, Virginia

Fort James, Jamestown Settlement, living history museum, VA, Virginia


I have the suspicion that this replica bed is probably more ornate and comfortable than what it really was like back then.

fireplace, interior, Fort James, Jamestown Settlement, living history museum, VA, Virginia

armor, Fort James, Jamestown Settlement, living history museum, VA, Virginia
Helmets and breastplates

church interior, Fort James, Jamestown Settlement, living history museum, VA, Virginia
Church, their most important structure. Only heathens didn't go to church everyday, often times twice a day. Sorry folks, no Sunday football.

rifles, armory, weapons, Fort James, Jamestown Settlement, living history museum, VA, Virginia

settler, doscent, Fort James, Jamestown Settlement, living history museum, VA, Virginia

ship, Jamestown Settlement, living history museum, VA, Virginia

ship interior, below deck, Jamestown Settlement, living history museum, VA, Virginia
Below deck

ship, Jamestown Settlement, living history museum, VA, Virginia

hut, powhatan village, native american, indian, Jamestown Settlement, living history museum, VA, Virginia
Powhatan's village

furs, animal skin, leather, powhatan village, interior, hut, Jamestown Settlement, living history museum, VA, Virginia

Jamestown Settlement

Address: 2110 Jamestown Road, Route 31 S., Williamsburg, 23185
Hours: 9am - 5pm
Fees: (13+) $16, (6-12) $7.50
Websites: historyisfun.org

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