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Where it all began
August 11, 2011 - Pam Rodgers
In my last blog, I mentioned my recent trip to Virginia, and that I visited Yorktown. The next day, we visited was Jamestown. While it was out of chronological order, it was still amazing to see what is considered the birthplace of our great nation.
As with Yorktown, Jamestown has two sites to visit when you go there: the Jamestown Settlement and Historic Jamestowne.
The settlement is the touristy spot where they have built a replica of what the James Fort is believed to have looked like and how the original colonists lived. There is also and Native American village to show that part of our heritage as well. They have replicas of the three ships that landed on Jamestown. You were able to go aboard and get a feel for what it was like to be on the ship. Passengers were treated as cargo and weren’t allowed above deck. We went below to see the cramped space where they lived for the entire sea voyage. They shot one of the swivel guns that are mounted on the rail of the ship (OK it wasn’t actual on board the ship but it was an authentic swivel/rail gun). That was pretty cool to see. I was standing fairly close and was it ever loud! The swivel gun was by far the loudest of any of the gun demonstrations we witnessed. We also got to see a musket demonstration with the muskets the colonist used to hunt and fight the Indians. It was interesting to see how different and how far advanced the Revolutionary War muskets were compared to the muskets used in the 1600s Jamestown.
Historic Jamestowne is where the original fort was located. For years, it was believed to have been lost to the river but archeological digs and carbon dating has confirmed the remnants are of the actual fort. It was buried under Civil War battlements that the confederates built up to fight off the union soldiers. These digs have uncover the second church built in the fort (the first was nothing but a tent). They have found the post holes and located what would have been the alter. This would be the church where Pocahontas married John Rolfe. It was just jam packed with interesting discoveries about the city that started America on the path to today. It would be remiss if I didn’t mention the view of the fort on the water. Coming through the entrance and seeing the James Rivers was breathtaking. They literally built the fort right next the water. There is a museum with artifacts uncovered in the digs. The museum itself is sitting on a historic landmark. It is on top of the original state house, and they have uncovered the foundation enough for you to see.
To me, history is fun and this vacation was jam packed with history. It was great to walk around in the place where America all began.
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Couple of photos of the swivel gun demonstration.