Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Historic Jamestowne

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The next homeschool field trip destination was Historic Jamestowne in Virginia. Our nephew B hitched a ride in our Mothership, and was quite pleased with his luck.

Historic Jamestowne is the site of the first permanent English settlement in America. The site is jointly administered by the National Park Service and The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation on behalf of Preservation Virginia.

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Admission to Historic Jamestowne was free for my sister's family, as they are military. The Captain and I only had to pay for two adults as children fifteen and younger were free. What a good year for us all to come! (Hours here.)

There was a lot of information at the visitor center, and a short (maybe 20 minutes?) educational film about the history of Jamestowne. Even the six year old really enjoyed it!

After the visitor center you walk out to the historic site where everything happened. Where Captain John Smith, Pocahontas, and John Rolfe actually walked.

Last year we visited the Jamestown Settlement (nearby) where you also learn a lot at the visitor center, then head out to a living history area. I think the kids got a more out of the Jamestown Settlement, especially being able to visit the Powhatan Village, and climb on board replicas of Susan Constant and Discovery.

But we all enjoyed Historic Jamestowne, also. We first walked all around the Old Towne, where the site of the 1607 James Fort, the remains of of the 1600's Church Tower, and the 1907 Memorial Church is located.

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It was a beautiful day to enjoy walking around the site of the original 1607 settlement. You can read more about the history here.

We visited Historic Jamestowne Saturday afternoon. It was a quiet time to visit, however, no guided tours were offered. Also, we had purchased some Junior Ranger Programs, but didn't realize we didn't have enough time to complete them and get the patches. Fortunately the little kids didn't understand enough about the program, and were probably equally happy with the lemonade juice pouches back in the motorhome. The gift shop closed at 4:30, the grounds at dusk, and at least two hours were required for the Junior Ranger booklets. Oops!

The Historic Jamestowne archaeologists are currently digging outside the western palisade of James Fort, near where the remains of Captain Bartholomew Gosnold, a principal promoter and vice admiral leader of the Jamestown colony, were found. No digging was going on this Saturday. (Dig update.)

The site of the first landing. 1607. Four hundred and seven years ago.

The historians are learning more about Jamestowne's sad past. After winter of 1609, only 60 of the original 214 settlers at Jamestown survived the "starving time".

At the Nathalie P. and Alan M. Voorhees Archaearium, you can learn more. There was one exhibit with human remains some of our little ones didn't visit. The story of Jane, particularly, was quite disturbing.

Ambler Mansion ruins and recreated foundations outline excavated structures in New Towne.


Make sure to keep your eyes open for deer, turtles, and other wildlife in the park!


And if you were extra lucky you may have seen this beautiful rig in there, too:)


  1. Taitaapa olla meilla jonkun hetken retkikohde. Meilla nimittain tytot tykkaavat Pocahontas elokuvista niin ykkosesta kuin kakkosesta. Vaikka olen kertonutkin etta nama ihmiset ovat oikeasti olleet olemassa niin se ei ole tainnut oikein viela menna tajuntaan. :) Upea tuo teidan Mothership! Ma haaveilen kanssa motorhome:sta...... maybe one day.

  2. Wow! I don't think I realized how huge the Mothership is!! We went to Jamestown settlement in 2005 and really enjoyed it. I would love to go back again and spend a week or two visiting all the interesting places in VA.

  3. We are looking forward to the day when we can plan an "east coast tour" to hit several of these places. Beautiful pictures of the day!

  4. Beautiful pictures of your day! We are dreaming of the day when we can do an "east coast tour"with the kids and hit a number of these sights!

  5. Ina, Williamsburg VA alue on tosi kiva, sieltä löytyy niin paljon tekemistä. Nämä historialliset Williamsburg, Jamestown ja Yorktown, mutta myös Busch Gardens, Great Wolf Lodge jne. Suosittelen!!

    Sharron, on the outside the Mothership is so huge, but when we are all in it, it's not so big anymore:)

    Gayly, the Williamsburg area has so much to see! I recommend at least a week there. I do hope your travels will bring you to the east coast someday, and maybe our paths will cross! I'm not actually sure where you are, but we keep talking about heading west, too.