Williamsburg Trip: Historic Jamestowne

After spending a day in Colonial Williamsburg, the next day we drove down to the Jamestown area to get a taste of 17th C history. We started at Historic Jamestowne, a site jointly run by the National Park Service and Preservation Virginia. The NPS is responsible for the parkland comprising the original Jamestown island, while Preservation Virginia is responsible for the archeological digs happening in the old fort area and for the Archaearium museum, which houses a number of the pieces that have been excavated.

This park/museum has entirely changed since the last time I visited Jamestown, in grade school. The actual site of the original fort was not uncovered until the mid-1990s, and the Archaearium was not opened until several years later. It is amazing to think that despite knowing that the 1607 settlement was somewhere in a small, identifiable part of the island, the precise location of the fort was not found until nearly 400 years later. When the Virginia capital was moved to Williamsburg in 1698, the Jamestown city was slowly abandoned and left to nature. It became woodland and farmland.

Historic Jamestowne

Jamestown monument
Historic Jamestowne

Late 17th c church tower, all that remains of Jamestown’s church. They are working on stabilizing it, as bricks have come loose. It is one of the oldest English-built structures surviving in the US.
Historic Jamestowne

Interior of the 1907 church that was later built adjacent to the church tower
Historic Jamestowne

Historic Jamestowne

Historic Jamestowne

Modern mock-up meant to represent one of the barracks buildings in the Jamestown fort
Historic Jamestowne

Historic Jamestowne

Statue of John Smith
Historic Jamestowne

View of the river from inside the fort, with crosses marking burial shafts that have been discovered through excavation
Historic Jamestowne

Historic Jamestowne

Foundations of the 17th C Virginia Statehouse (outside the original fort)
Historic Jamestowne

Historic Jamestowne

Historic Jamestowne

Re-created foundations marking the location of buildings outside the fort, where people lived as the city grew in the 1600s (“New Towne”)
Historic Jamestowne

Historic Jamestowne

View of the parkland surrounding the fort site
Historic Jamestowne

Historic Jamestowne

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