Monday, October 16th
This is probably the highlight of the week for me. Michael definitely said that it was his favorite part of the trip.
We have been studying the founding of Jamestown in our American History lessons, so the kids had a lot to relate to when we went to Jamestown.
Now, it was confusing to figure out WHERE we actually wanted to go. There are 2 places to visit: Historic Jamestowne is the actual site where Jamestown was located; and Jamestown Settlement is a museum and fort recreation of Jamestown.
We started with Historic Jamestowne because I figured if we went to the reproductions first we might not get them interested in the real thing. It was exciting to be there because in 1994, archeologists began finding artifacts of the real fort and have located all 3 sides of the fort. They are currently building a palisade over the original location of the Jamestown palisade (pictured above). There is also a church from the 1600s still on the site. They have built a wonderful museum full of original artifacts found on the site - there are thousands of them. And this museum is built on top of the remains of the original statehouse - and you can still see the original foundations in the floor of the museum. I purchased a great book written by the original archeologist who found proof of the original Jamestown Fort - I haven't had a chance to read it yet but I look forward to it.
The kids also got a chance to run and play along the river like I imagine kids did in the early days of Jamestown. I got Michael to slow down long enough to smile for this photo - at this point he was intrigued by every brick and stone he found that he thought might have been part of original Jamestown.
When we left the Historic Jamestown area, we went over to the Glasshouse. The kids were excited to see the glassblowing going on and it had been a long time since I had seen it myself. It was really interesting to see how they made items with such ease. I purchased a nice green vase for our house made there on the site!!
We then went over to the Jamestown Settlement. They had a nice cafe where we ate lunch. We then walked through a wonderful exhibit of Jamestown, the history of the peoples that lived there (Africans, Indians, English), their roots, and many other things that influenced the culture of Jamestown from the late 1500s until the early 1700s. What was wonderful about this exhibit, among everything else, is that this was the FIRST DAY it was open. It was a BRAND NEW exhibit. And to think we could have missed it if we had gone the day before.
We then walked through the reproduction of the Indian Village and the kids got to see the houses they lived in and how they lived. The path then led us down to the ship reproductions. There were only 2 ships there at the time because one had been sailed to Yorktown to be on hand for the celebration of the Victory at Yorktown later in the week. But, the kids were intrigued by the ships and how small they really were.
Finally, we spent some time in the reproduction of the Jamestown Fort. The kids got to walk through houses and see how they lived - and how the rich people had TWO rooms or a loft instead of just one room. We watched a demonstration of loading and firing a musket (Michael was intrigued but didn't like the sound) and got to model armor like the settlers wore at that time.
It was quite a full day and we ended it by riding the Jamestown Ferry over to Surry County and back, just for fun!
We tried to enjoy "local haunts" for meals during our trip - so dinner was at a local italian restaurant right down the road that was very nice!