Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Our Tuesday itinerary led us to Historic Jamestown. Most people are aware of the Pilgrims, however, well before them in 1607 there were 104 Englishmen who settled down along the banks of Virginia’s James River and established America’s first permanent English colony. They settled in Indian Territory called Werowocomoco and the chief of this region was Powhatan. His daughter was the well-known Pocahontas.

We arrived at the Jamestown Settlement Museum which also has an outdoor living museum. This museum has a hands-on touchy feely aspect to some of the displays. For example, touch and feel a bone fish hook, freshwater pearls, bone-tipped arrow shaft, tanned dear hide, and Kuba cloth. The known phrase you learn something everyday rang true for me when I used a Mariner’s Astrolabe.

When the 104 Englishmen departed London on December 20, 1606 they used the Astrolabe to locate the North Star and from this locator they knew their longitude and latitude of their ship. If you look at an outlined map of their journey from when they departed London they almost made a “U-shape” journey to the land of present day Virginia. I had to ask why they didn’t just sail straight across the Atlantic Ocean. They followed the tailwinds of the Atlantic!

We cannot forget about the Virginia Indians who made this their home for thousands of years before the Englishmen arrived on this land. Archaeologists have found clues that they have been in this region for at least 10,000 years. As you leave the museum and go outside you follow a path to the Powhatan Indian Village. From the current members of the Powhatan Indian tribe the homes were called Yehakins and the shapes of the homes were an oval shape.

Following the path we arrived at the waterfront and the three reconstructed ships the Englishmen used to make their journey in 1607. The three were named Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery.

This same path led us to James Fort. Along this path we saw a canoe being made of either Cyprus or tulip poplar wood. There was also a vegetable garden of corn, bean, and squash. How brilliant the Indians were to grow them together. When the three vegetables grow they all support and help each other! I was told by our guide the squash helped the animals stay away, the corn took out the nitrogen out of the soil, and the beans put back the nitrogen the corn took away.

Our last destination on the path led us to James Fort that represents the time period of 1610-1614. A church with a thatched-roof, blacksmith, carpenter, and a demonstration of the musket was shown.

Tomorrow we will end our adventure on America’s Historic Triangle and visit Yorktown. Please visit for more information.

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