We visited Jamestown and Yorktown today. They are an interesting matched set because Jamestown marks the beginning of the British presence in the New World and Yorktown marks its end.
I found Jamestown unexpectedly interesting. We started off at the Commonwealth of Virginia’s site, which isn’t on the original archaeological spot, but is nearby. It consists of reproductions of the ships that brought the settlers there in 1607, of the Indian village, and of the settlement compound. It was all very well done.
As is always the case, there is no one who tells history better than the passionate amateur. The people who are playing roles clearly adore what they are doing and are happy to share it with anyone who has a question, even if it’s the same question over and over and over again.
I liked even more the actual archaeological Jamestown site, which is part of the National Park System. It was only identified in 1994, and has been heavily excavated since then. One has a real sense of history there.
I’m sure that part of my pleasure was due to the wonderful NPS guide. He had a marvelous deep, gravely voice and was so excited by the story he told. I took a picture, but it doesn’t show his dynamism.
Yorktown was a bit less interesting. The area dedicated to re-enactments is in the early phase of its development so there wasn’t much to see.
The young people who worked there however were delightful and well worth the price of admission. They knew what they were talking about and conveyed it lucidly and with charm and humor.
We ended the day driving from one pivotal Yorktown siege site to another. The kids were tired and overloaded at this point, though, so we didn’t get too much out of it. Tomorrow, we head for Monticello and parts west and east.
Finally, I have to say once more how staggeringly beautiful Virginia is. I would be in love with its lushness even if I weren’t living through a drought back home in California.
As always, please pardon typos. Because I took the pictures on my iPhone, I’m doing the blogging on my iPhone which is a challenge to say the least.