Jamestown Travel Guide

  • Gov. John Smith overlooking the James River
    Gov. John Smith overlooking the James...
    by laurenzi1
  • Side of the church from the graveyard
    Side of the church from the graveyard
    by grandmaR
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Jamestown Things to Do

  • James Fort in 1964

    I suspect that this part of the state park has changed. Apparently you can no longer take photos of the reenactments, and I don't know if the stocks in the first photo are still there. But apparently the houses with the thatched roofs are still there.Currently re-created fort interprets the settlement during 1610-14, reflecting its predominantly...

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  • Jamestown Settlement

    Instead of going to the Colonial National Park where they have the foundations of the original settlement, the ruins of the church etc, we ended up at the Official Jamestown Settlement & Yorktown Victory Center Visitor's Site. Here we saw the replicas of the Susan Constant, Godspeed and Discovery – the three ships that brought English colonists to...

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  • Susan Constant, Godspeed and Discovery

    Re-creations of three ships that brought English colonists to Virginia in 1607 – are moored at Jamestown Settlement’s pier The ships are not handicapped accessible so my dad and I went on board while my mom waited with the kids and the stroller

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  • Old World Pavillion

    Food and drinks are not allowed inside the museums or the outdoor living-history areas. Photography and video/audio recording are not permitted in the museum orientation theater, museum theater and gallery exhibits. Obviously that was not the case when we visited in 1964There is a new documentary film, 1607: A Nation Takes Root, shown every 30...

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  • Jamestown Festival Park

    In 1964 we went to the Jamestown Festival Park - the state park - first. Then as now there was free parking and gift shops. I don't think the 190-seat Jamestown Settlement Café was there then.All areas of the museums, except on board the ships, are wheelchair accessible. A video tour of the largest ship, the Susan Constant, is shown in the...

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  • Powhatan Indian Village at Jamestown...

    There are two parks at Jamestown. One is the US Park Service park (Federal) and one is a Virginia State Park. When we lived in Norfolk (1960-1964) my husband and parents and the kids went to the state park.The Powhatan Indian village is based on archaeological findings at a site once inhabited by Paspahegh Indians, the Powhatan tribal group closest...

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  • jamestown monument

    the jamestown monument was erected in 1907 to commemorate the 300 th anniversity of the founding of jamestown. this granite obelisk is 103 feet tall.

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  • ditch and mound

    a system of mounds and ditches were built in colonial jamestown to provide drainage, to mark property boundries, and to serve as garbage disposal. some of the larger mounds in the park are the remains of confederate defenses during the civil war.

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  • site of swann's tavern

    colonel thomas swann lived across the james river from jamestown at swann's point plantation. colonel swann also owned a tavern in jamestown. the foundation of this elongated four room structure was typical of such establishments at the time. because colonel swann advised the rebel nathaniel bacon, his plantation was undamaged during bacon's...

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  • townhouse

    pictured is the foundation of a "townhouse" built around 1662. in 1668 the justices of james city county asked permission to use part of this structure as a goale, (prison). the two eastern units of this row house were badly damaged during bacon's rebellion and were repaired shortly there after. in 1680 george lee and his wife sarah occupied a unit...

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  • ambler mansion

    in 1699 the capital of virginia moved to middle plantation (williamsburg) most of the residents of jamestown left the island. the ambler family bought up most of the western part of the island in the early 18 th century. during the first half of the 18 th century the ambler family became wealthy planters. the ambler mansion was built around 1750....

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  • john smith statue

    john smith was an english explorer and writer who is best known for establishing the first permanet english settlement at jamestown. smith was reported to be a troublemaker during the voyage to virginia and captain chistopher newport planned to execute him on arrival in virginia. fortunately for smith upon landing in virginia sealed orders from the...

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  • jamestown cemetery

    located behind the jamestown church is the jamestown cemetery. established in 1617 it is the oldest english burial ground in america. of the existing tomstones in the cemetery many were imported from england. some of the early settlers of jamestown buried here are john ambler, jacquelin ambler, the reverend james blair and his wife sarah, and...

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  • jamestown church

    the original jamestown church was built in 1617. a new church was built on the site of the original church in 1639. the construction of the church tower took four years to complete. the jamestown church tower is the oldest surviving structure built by europeans in the original thirteen colonies. the rest of the 1639 church was destroyed after it's...

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  • fort site

    the original jamestown settlers built a wooden fort on this site in 1607. this area was excavated by dr. william kelso in 1994 and found ninety percent of the foundation of the fort. as seen in the picture excavations continue on today. the current walls of the fort is a reconstruction.

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  • Indian Settlement

    Jamestown has a wonderful recreation of the old Native American settlement. Visitors can walk through the town and learn from actors dressed as Native Americans. People can often witness them doing chores or activities that the Indians did in the same way that they did it! It's a wonderful place to learn and see firsthand what it was like to live...

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  • James Fort

    Along with the Indian Settlement, there is also a recreation of the English settlement. Here, visitors can meet with actors dressed in the colonial attire and learn about life during the time Jamestown was first colonized. The reinactors will perform activities that were typical of the first colonists, and some activities are open for the public to...

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  • Jamestown Settlement

    This is a commercial development close to the original Jamestown Colony. They have a nice museum, café, replica ships, Indian village, reenactors, and a duplicate fort based on the original design. Visit the original Jamestown Colony 1st, then this site. Very educational, so did not miss.

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  • Jamestown Original location

    Jamestown ColonyThis location is the original May 1607 expedition landed and constructed a fort/town. The Site is now run by the National Park Service and is in really good shape considering all that has happened on the island. If visiting the area, go to this place 1st, since this is where it all began for permanent English settlements in North...

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  • See the Tower - Only 17th Century...

    The church tower is one of the oldest English built structures in the country. It is the only seventeenth-century building still standing at Jamestown. It dates from about 1690.According to the Jamestown website: In January, 1639 Governor John Harvey reported that he, the Council, the ablest planters and some sea captains "had contributed to the...

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  • Visitor's Center - National Park

    The first place to go (as always with a National Park) is the Visitor's Center. Unfortunately, when we were there, the Visitor's Center was still in a trailer because the main center had been destroyed by Hurricane Isabel in 2003. So we could not see the film which normally an NPS site would have. But there were still some interesting exhibits and...

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Jamestown Transportation

  • The River and the Ferry

    The Indians walk everywhere or used canoes on the river.To the colonists, the James River wasn't just something that was a beautiful view or even a place to get food. According to the sign in photo 3, it was a lifeline because ships from England brought seeds, cloth, food, and more settlers. When we first visited in the 60s, we took a ride on the...

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  • Take the Jamestown Ferry over to Surry,...

    This is a FREE FERRY between Jamestown and Surry Va..it takes about 15-20 minutes one-way. We took my mother-n-law on it in May 2006, it was her first boat ride ever..she enjoyed it more than she thought she would..

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Jamestown Shopping

  • grandmaR's Profile Photo

    by grandmaR Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    I didn't buy anything at this shop - we were on the last leg of a long journey, and I didn't want to buy anything fragile.

    At the Glasshouse you can watch as glass artisans make green glass wine bottles, similar to those found at Jamestown, and other items. These include vases, pitchers, candleholders, wine glasses and paper weights.

    The website says:

    In 1608, the Virginia Company of London brought several German and Polish glassblowing artisans to Jamestown, Virginia to set-up glassworks in the new colony. This first attempt was not successful.

    Later, in 1622, the Company would again attempt to manufacture glass with Italian glassblowers, but this attempt failed also

    In 1954, the ruins of the long-abandoned glass furnaces were discovered in Jamestown. Years later, an operating 17th century style glass house was reconstructed near the ruins. Today, this site has become an interpretive glassblowing facility operated by Eastern National. Modern-day artisans dressed in colonial glassblowing garb produce masterful pieces of glass, much as the colonists did almost 400 years ago.

    Today the glass furnace is heated by natural gas, rather than by wood as in 1608. Our craftsmen use tools and methods similar to those used in the 17th century.

    What to buy: The last photo shows a Case Bottle

    A case bottle, used for storing wine, was the most common glass vessel in the first half of the 17th century. Hundreds of these bottles were found in Jamestown. The name is derived from the square sides of the bottle that allowed it to be packed into a wooden box or case for easy transport. Stands 9” high

    The also manufacture more modern items (candlesticks, flasks etc), but NONE of these items are dishwasher or microwave safe.

    Brandy Shot Glass (Green) reproduction of a small beaker found at the Jamestown archeological site. $14.50

    Chamberstick (Clear) is a clear dish candlestick holder. It is a demonstration of a commonly used household item used during the Colonial times $18.95

    Small oil lamps were used in the early 1800's to set the duration of a visit from a gentleman caller. When the lamp went out, so did he! Approximately 7" high. Two piece product: lamp in swirled colored glass, clear wick holder. Wick included. Oil not included.

    Sparking Lamp available in
    # Green (keyword: 9-0062); ($24.95
    # Cobalt (keyword: 9-0064); ($27.95) and
    # Amethyst (keyword: 9-0060). ($30.95)

    Lacemaker Lamp (Clear)
    Bright light was needed to do the finely detailed work of lacemaking. The lamp's light was focused through a globe of water to increase its intensity. Although crystal glass was not made at the original glasshouse of 1608, reproductions from later periods are produced today. Made with ten separate pieces of glass. Pewter wick holder included. Stands approximately 10-1/2" high. $79.95

    Of course there are other non-glass items for sale such as

    James Fort Kit $6.50
    Jamestown Lapel Pin $2.99
    Jamestown Spoon $8.95
    Jamestown Thimble (pewter) $8.95
    Jamestown, Virginia Throw Blanket $59.95
    Jamestown: An American Legacy (a book) $9.95
    RANGERS Activity and Sticker Book $7.95

    What to pay: Teachers can order various kinds of paperweights for their classes (2 weeks in advance) for $2.50 to $3.50 each. You can also get items like a Christmas ornament for $10.95 or a
    Heart Pitcher (Green) Heart Pitcher (Green) for $14.50

    Glassworker with glassware on display behind him Shelf of glassware for sale Counter with warning about dishwashers Sign about items for sale outside the glass house Case Bottle
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture
    • National/State Park

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Jamestown Warnings and Dangers

  • DEBBBEDB's Profile Photo

    by DEBBBEDB Written Aug 19, 2013

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    After we visited Williamsburg, we also went to Jamestown. I remember visiting Jamestown when I was a kid, and I remember a brick church tower. I didn't know that before you get to the Historic Jamestowne which is part of the Colonial National Historic Park where the brick church and the foundations of the houses are, you come to Jamestown Settlement which is a Virginia State Park.

    When I was there, I also bought a ticket to the Yorktown "Victory Center" which is also part of the Virginia state park system, because I did not realize that the Yorktown battlefield (part of the National Park system) is free and they have a very good visitor's center there.

    So beware of going to the Virginia state parks...

    Adult ticket prices for Virginia parks
    Jamestown Settlement $16.00
    Yorktown Victory Center $9.75
    Combination Ticket $20.50
    Children 6-13
    Ages 6-12
    Jamestown Settlement $7.50
    Yorktown Victory Center $5.50
    Combination TIcket $10.25

    ... if you really want to go to the National Parks which will be a lot cheaper

    Admission to Jamestowne National Park
    Adult (16 and older) - $14; good for 7 days entrance to Historic Jamestowne and Yorktown Battlefield
    children 15 and under free

    Don't stop until you see this sign
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • National/State Park
    • Historical Travel

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Jamestown Sports & Outdoors

  • grandmaR's Profile Photo

    by grandmaR Written Sep 17, 2009

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    We saw a marina on our way in to Jamestown, and it is on the map as Jamestown Yacht Basin. Apparently there are also camp sites there.

    marina from the road
    Related to:
    • Camping
    • Sailing and Boating
    • Historical Travel

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Jamestown Favorites

  • Colonial Dames Construction

    There were five previous churches on this site. The first meetings were held under an old 'saile' that served as an awning. The building that replaced it burned in January 1608. The second church was also made of wood. Pocahontas and John Rolfe were married in the second church. The third church was wood built on a foundation of cobblestones one...

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  • Jamestown Tercentennial Monument

    This monument is 103 feet tall and was erected by the United States in 1907 on the three hundredth anniversary of the founding of Jamestown. It bears the following inscription: Lastly and chiefly the way to prosper and achieve good success is to make yourselves all of one mind for the good of your country and your own, and to serve and fear God the...

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  • Jamestown Exposition 1907

    In 1907, Jamestown had the three hundred year anniversary of the founding of the colony. There was a huge Exposition. It was held from April 26 to December 1, 1907, at Sewell's Point on Hampton Roads, near Norfolk, Virginia which later became the Norfolk Naval Station. Many of the buildings such as these State buildings from the Exposition later...

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