Jamestown Settlement. Historic Jamestown. What’s the difference? Shrug. We arrived at Jamestown Settlement first Friday morning, so that’s where we went (AFTER getting Dunkin Donuts for National Donut Day, of course, which started as some kind of war effort).
Jamestown Settlement is a state park. Historic Jamesown is a national park, they told us. “It’s just some ruins. Archeological stuff,” said the hostess at Jamestown Settlement of Historic Jamestown. The Settlement is like $16 per adult. National parks are free with our annual pass.
The Settlement is a big recreation of the Jamestown sight, complete with people in costumes telling me not to let my kid climb on stuff with silly old fashioned accents. What’s the point of wearing authentic deer leather Native American clothing if you’re tall, blond, and blue-eyed? Oops, I’m revealing my deeply ingrained prejudices against people in period costumes. There was a very well done museum but museums are not easily incorporated into our current phase of life: Eloise’s baby biscuits got The Big Eyes not once but twice, and Isaac scaled a life-sized statue of Native Americans…also twice.
Anyway, we walked through the Native American village replica to the ship replicas, then up to the recreated fort. Isaac was melting down a little so we got lunch at the cafe (creamy Virginia peanut soup for me).
It was right around nap time, so we figured a quick stop and a photo at Historic Jamestown would suffice. NO WAIT THIS IS AWESOME.
Deer grazed serenely among the ruins of some of the first buildings in British America. We walked through North America’s first Protestant church, where someone you may have heard of got married: POCAHONTAS. Old burial plots. Statues of John Smith and our Native American princess. Monuments.
This is where all the stuff you’ve heard about actually happened. It was more interesting than Williamsburg. Obviously they are very complimentary, and somehow our sweet kiddos soldiered through BOTH: “Are we going to have some fun now? That was boring.” (So we chased some geese).
Then we caught the FREE Jamestown-Scotland Ferry and drove home with some drive-by tourism of Chippokes Plantation State Park and Bacon’s Castle (the oldest brick house in America and important part of Bacon’s Rebellion).
Here’s what was cool about the ferry: seeing Jamestown from the river, like the settlers must have. Deep, leafy greens appearing out of the still water and gray mist.
Here’s what’s cool about Virginia: this is all the historic stuff! Where everything started here! At one time “Virginia” was the word for all of known America. For the British anyway. Just so cool. I’m not so keen on recreations, but the history and archeology at Jamestown is something I could be persuaded to investigate further.