We didn’t spend this past weekend (Labor Day) at the beach…as is traditional around here. While the calendar and the first day of public school dictate the end of summer to most folks, we’ve got an extra week – Liam doesn’t start school ’till the 13th. Since we’re two blocks away and can walk down whenever we like, we decided to leave the beach to the folks who live farther afield.
Now, last week Liam and I went to Williamsburg with Uncle Robert to hit the Outlets for some pre-Labor Day school shopping. When Liam realized that the Outlets weren’t in the Colonial Section of town, he was mildly miffed. (I’m hoping he’s inherited my love of history. More likely though he’s just enamored of the fifes, drums and tricorn hats.) Anyway, after looking at his disappointed lil’ face, I decided that Brian and I should make it up to him over the weekend.
So, back to Jamestown: for those of you who weren’t treated to an entire course of Virginia History in school – and those of you who somehow slept through the part of American History that dealt with the very first English settlers to this land of ours – I’ll hit the Cliff Notes:
1607 * Captain John Smith * The Virginia Company * Christopher Newport * Godspeed, Discovery and Susan Constant * Pocahontas * Powhatan Indians * Werewocomoco * tobacco * starvation * war with Indians * English reinforcements * martial law * John Rolfe *
While he understood WAY more of the history than we initially thought he would (and even sat quiet an mostly attentive through a half hour film!), the main draw for Liam was the SHIPS! Yep, they have replicas of Christopher Newport’s “fleet” that made the voyage over from England – the Godspeed, the Discovery and the flagship Susan Constant.
While he understood that it was settlers who had traversed the seas in these ships, he also insisted that they were the same kind of ships that the Pirates used. We couldn’t argue that point, so we acquiesced…and Liam and Daddy climbed all over the Jamestown Pirate ships. (Total “four year old boy Heaven”. Notsomuch for 6’2″ Daddy who kept hitting his head.)
When we were finally able to pry him away from the docks, we examined both the Powhatan Indian Village and the English Fort at the Settlement. Liam loved the re-enactors in period garb, and we loved the fact that so many of the exhibits were “hands on”. I mean, where else are you going to get to try your hand at scraping a burned out log and removing the hair from an animal hide – all with an oyster shell?
As you can see from the photos below, MUCH fun was had. We’re already being petitioned for a return trip…
(click on individual photos for a larger view)