Over the years I have heard many things about the Colonial Williamsburg area, but I really didn’t understand the scope of it. Packed into one relatively small area in Virginia are tons of sites with historical significance. So many that people take their children on vacation there and consequently many of the sites are pretty touristy. After I looked into what was available we knew what we didn’t want, but ultimately settled on Jamestown, which is a national park. Jamestown is the site of the first European settlement and is also an archaeological site. As such the layout is pretty simple, but that is exactly what we wanted to see. It also is dog friendly and we were able to take Jack as we walked around. He absolutely loved it by the way and enjoyed every second of it. I liked it as well until it started to get crowded and then we left. I would definitely recommend if you go getting there early in the morning, because it is a very popular site. One other thing I should mention is when you are pulling in there are two Jamestown locations. The one with the fountains is more like a living recreation, but go past that to get to the historical location. The reenactment costs $20 to get into and was not our speed but I took some pictures of the fountains and liked the plaques for every state that showed how they entered the US.
When we entered there were building recreations on the right and remains of buildings to the left. We went left first and there were less people over there.
Turns out this was a terrible site to build a settlement because of the water. There are high levels of naturally occurring water in the area and the marsh caused high saline contents. They also had drought right after they settled here and many people died from the terrible conditions.
After finishing the left side, we walked over to the fort area which was more crowded. There was a Native American person speaking to groups in that area and we were able to see the remains of the church.
My favorite part was the statue of Captain John Smith. He explored this area with Pocahontas as his guide. And yes I certainly understand that his relationship with the Native Americans was problematic, but I admire his courage in exploring all this territory.
Because it was hard to maintain social distance in the fort area, we moved on to the museum. This building has the artifacts they have found and Lee really enjoyed it. No puppies allowed though so we took took turns going in and I have to say I didn’t care for it. Almost immediately upon entering they had a skeleton of one of the original colonists and that bothered me quite a bit.
I appreciated the fact that they went to significant trouble to identify the bones, but having them out like this felt sacrilegious to me. That’s odd because I find mummies fascinating and they hold dead bodies, but I would have preferred if after they identified him they did not put him on display. That’s just me. Here’s a few pictures of the rest of the artifacts though.
All in all I am really glad that we went and standing where the first Europeans stood gave me chills. We have a complicated history though with this nation and it’s hard to think about the fact that those things were happening from the very beginning. We all grow up with a sanitized view of how this country is formed and it isn’t until later that we realize that there were winners and losers in that story. One last thing, on the way out we saw a small sign for the original glass blowing house and decided to stop because we love glass blowing. That was really neat and the shop was open and they were making traditional items inside. I loved the little pitchers with the heart shaped mouths, but glass and RV’s don’t go great together so I gave it a pass. Pretty neat though.
Finally, for the last several years we have made a calendar for friends and family as Christmas presents and this year I would like to send one to one of our readers. It’s all about Jack this year, so if you would like to have a chance at receiving a calendar, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and address. The first email received will get the calendar!
Thanks to all the people who read this blog. I wish I could send one to everyone. Have a wonderful holiday and please stay safe.
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