American History Unravelled – The Historic Jamestown
May 3, 2019
Jamestown is the oldest permanent settlement established by the English in America, even before Plymouth Rock had the Mayflower. The town is deeply related with American history. The most prominent attractions that can be visited in the town are all connected to its history. Found on 2110 Jamestown Road, the Jamestown Settlement is a fairly new landmark which was opened in 2006 to recognise the 400th anniversary of the town’s Founding Day. Other than a modern theater, galleries, atrium, cafés, and souvenir shops, the facilities in the Jamestown Settlement also include a 36,000 square foot education wing along with classrooms.
The Jamestown Settlement
is a proud location bearing numerous galleries detailing the town history. One
of the highlights is a film entitled “1607: A Nation Takes Root”
provides a historical overview of how the society and cultures of the Powhatan
Indians, English settlers, and African culture became the roots of present-day
Virginia. Many significant cultural artifacts are also proudly displayed, such
as furniture, portraits, documents, decorative and ceremonial objects.
One of the indoor
exhibits features an authentic reconstruction of a Powhatan Indian village
which was modeled after a real site that was found nearest to Jamestown during
the 17th century. Visitors can have a narrative tour of the exhibit as
historians explain and demonstrate the everyday life of the Powhatan Indians
such as how they cooked and prepared food, made pottery and tools, weave
fibers, and processed animal hides.
Within the Jamestown
Settlement, tourists can also view the Jamestown Riverfront Discovery Area and
Ships where the replicas of the three ships that transported the English
settlers – Godspeed, Discovery, and Susan
Constant, are docked and can be boarded. Sometimes, historians
and experts would hold demonstrations on the replica ships about cargo
handling, sail making, navigation, and piloting.
Another famous historical
site is James
which is meant to serve as a representation of a military settlement with a
commercial touch during 1610-1614. It is complete with an Anglican Church,
dwellings, storehouses, a merchant’s office, and the house of governor. Historians
explain to visitors the various trades in the exhibit, such as how the
blacksmiths created and repaired metal things in their forges. In another place
near the bulwarks, guides demonstrate how the muskets were fired. Other
occasional demonstrations presented include growing tobacco and food crops,
producing wood crops, and period-style cooking processes.
destination along the Colonial Parkway is the Jamestown Rediscovery. This is
the site of the original settlement where visitors could have a tour of the
archaeology museum and the excavation sites. The goal of this landmark is to
bring back the experience of what life might have been like in James Fort
during the 17th century. The site is managed by the National Park Service and
Preservation of Virginia.
Guided with park rangers,
visitors can also choose to have a walking tour around the site where they can
have a picnic by the riverside or watch the natural wildlife in several of
their walking trails. The Jamestown Rediscovery program also allows tourists to
view the archaeological site and the Archaearium museum, which houses the
millions of artifacts recovered from the site.