A quick scenic drive along the Colonial Parkway past Williamsburg, Virginia lies Historic Jamestowne. The first permanent English settlement on America it was a start that was at best described as dangerous. Supplies were limited, numerous deadly attacks from area Native Americans wanting their land back, and starvation mixed with a little cannibalism.
Understandably very little is left of the original settlement, but there is an active archaeology dig going on and those that are working are more than happy to answer any questions you might have. I spent quite a bit of time speaking with a man on the burial practices during the time of the fort. One of the first man to be buried, Reverend Robert Hunt, there was buried naked in a shroud. A 17th century church tower still stands, tall and magnificent, as you pass through that tower it opens up into the only complete original building, the 1907 Jamestown Memorial Church. The only other original building is the Ambler Mansion built around 1750. It was burned down during the American Revolution, a second time during the Civil War. After the third time the mansion burned in 1895 it was never rebuilt. There are various ‘ruins’ modern brickwork laid out to mark the locations of the original buildings in the 1950’s.
Walking around this area was absolutely stunning for me. A gravel walkway leads through the ‘ruins’ of the original settlement. Small fences and pastoral like settings around the ruins just called out to me. I found the area peaceful and angelic. I tried but I just could not find any shots to convey that absolute beauty of this place.
Nearby is the Jamestowne settlement, a museum of sorts with lots of interesting history and replicas of three ships that you can board and explore, and a life-size replica of a Powhatan Indian Village. Our family did not visit the settlement but other family members did and spent the entire day there with nothing but positive reviews.
Next week we explore downtown Knoxville, Tennessee.