Friday, May 8, 2009

A Visit to to Historic Jamestowne

Last week Preston and I were able to visit Historic Jamestowne, the original site of the first permanent settlement by the English in America. I love National Parks, something about visiting them gets me way too excited, like a child, and I just want to explore as much as I can. I feel safe at these places, and it's been sometime since I've visited a National Park, and over 10 years since I had been to Jamestowne

First we visited the glass making house, where the archaeological site is wonderfully preserved and reconstructed glass houses are being used to create famous Jamestowne glass. 

The settlement failed with making glass, they made small portions and decided to retire the glass making attempts quickly. We even took a look around at the cool items made at Jamestowne, but, the items were WAY to expensive. Seems they were just as expensive as when my dad went there back in the 70s with my mom - he could only afford a small glass coaster, which was the same for us, but we didn't purchase anything! We did take some pictures, and hung out on the beach for a few minutes. 

Preston and I on the beach near the glass house. Our attempt at a self-couple portrait :)

The beach at Jamestowne near the glass house

The two glass houses, both in use. The two guys, dressed in pseudo peasant period clothes, were smoking cigarettes and drinking soft drinks when we walked up. It took a few more tourists to show up before they started working and talking about their personal lives to each other while acting like we didn't exist. Regardless, they're cool "pods" and the process of glass blowing is really fascinating to watch. 

Next, we walked over to the site of the fort, after briefly exploring the museum, which is fairly updated. I was impressed with the section (albiet small) dedicated to the Native people of Virginia, they discussed their historical importance and their contemporary worlds and contemproary photographs. This section also shows some interesting artifacts that relatives of the Rolfe family claim were Pocahontas (like a pair of really sweet pearl earrings!).

We saw a lot of turtles - swamps surround the fort area. It is a beautiful location, a shame so many people had to die to make it work. 

They have been doing archaeological digs here for over a decade and have been finding impressive things. There is an entire museum on site dedicated to the remains and the archaeological finds. These are the same people seen in "Pocahontas Revealed" exploring the Powhatan village across the James River. It was very windy, and the students and staff weren't there for sometime, then when they came back they covered up and closed down shop. 

The old church at Jamestown, this church is still a holy spot, but, it ceased having a steady congregation after the capital was moved to Williamsburg due to the tough terrain people had to pass to go to it. It's a haunting place, they believe a knight is buried there. 

I'm sure you can guess who that is - yes, Pocahontas. She is right next to the church, and her presence is almost saint-like. The fascination and reverence that people hold towards her is remarkable, and you can see this by how many times her hands have been rubbed. A volunteer told me that community members want her remains brought back to Virginia. I didn't question it.

Graves of settlers who most likely died during the starvation time, a painful time when 80% of the population died at Jamestowne. They have the names of those they believe are buried here, and the crosses don't represent the amount in this presumed mass grave. There is a name on the list that is a surname of P's family, so it's triggered curiosity for us. 

Preston "modeling" (not really...) at one of the reconstructed living spaces in the fort. 

Captain John Smith, the man who started it all. He exaggerates, he makes a ton of money writing overinflated books about his life when he moves back to London, then dies a pathetic man. 

the end. 

1 comment:

  1. I always enjoy a walk around the museum, all the historical value makes me feed my knowledge and i feel that i grow up like a person. I like to try what i want to prove. this is when i buy viagra for my husband. whenever i have a doubt, i mus to satisfy my curiosity.