The Jamestown Settlement Museum is just down the road from the National Park. It is run by the Virginia Commonwealth as a teaching, living history museum. The first part is a gallery exhibit, no photographing, that spans the period from pre-settlement to the end of the colonial era. You can compare the three different cultures (Native, English, and African) that would come together to form the American colonies. Learn where different goods were imported from and how they got there.
After the gallery you walk out into a Native American village.
Inside they have tried to recreate living quarters as realistically as possible. And, everything is there to be touched and held. Mary tried her hand at grinding the corn for that day's meal.
Here, Mary is seeing how difficult it was to scape a deer-hide using only an oyster shell.
Katie is throwing a corn-cob dart through the hoops. A game all natives played to practice their hunting skills.
Just down the path is the dock with the three ships that brought the first Englishmen to Jamestown.
Aboard the Constance Marie, they learned just how tight the space was for the 50+ men that traveled for several weeks aboard the ship.
Officer's bed, just the right size for a ten-year-old girl.
Crews' bunks can fit a 4-year-old.
Goods carried down below.
Helping the mate close the gunwales for the night.
Now, that is a rudder.
The ships always seem much bigger in books and movies.
From there we walked up to the Jamestown settlement.
Passing by a dugout canoe and the garden the Natives would have helped them plant.
Once inside the walls we found the armor. Child-sized, but still heavy.
Then off to explore the simple houses that the wealthy men lived in.
How many men could fit into one room?
One last stop by the armory to get outfitted...
At this point we had pretty much closed down the museum for the day. It was time to drive back to Williamsburg, find some dinner and go swimming before bedtime.
Our visit to Colonial Williamsburg and Yorktown will be continued in Part III.