Jamestown Settlement

Jamestown Settlement

What’s not to like about a place whose web address is www.historyisfun.org? The Jamestown Settlement in Virginia gives visitors an excellent idea of what life was like for those first brave immigrants who came to live in the colonies in 1607… and the Native Americans who were already living there.

I really enjoy museums. Ever since my first elementary school field trip to the Smithsonian in Washington, DC, I have been fascinated with these repositories of knowledge and artifacts. But as a former historical reenactor, it’s the living history museums that really own my heart. Jamestown Settlement is a living history museum, and it’s one that is done exceptionally well.

On the museum grounds, you will find buildings of the era – from a colonial church to a yehakin, or dwelling used by the Powhatan Indians.

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There are also three replica ships docked on the river to show visitors what conditions were like on that trans-Atlantic voyage. (Hint: crowded, dirty, and far too long.)

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At all of the outdoor sites, costumed staff will be on hand to provide demonstrations, answer questions, and impart their knowledge of what daily life was like for the colonists and Native Americans.

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When we visited, we learned about basket making, musket firing, hide tanning, fence building, and more. What’s more, many of the displays are interactive, which younger visitors enjoy immensely. My group played children’s games in the courtyard, tried on a colonial soldier’s armor, and chased a stray chicken. The only thing they did not appreciate was the loud BOOM! of the musket.

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I would recommend visiting Jamestown Settlement for anyone who wants to better understand what life was like in the early days of our country. Even kids will love it!

The Jamestown Settlement is located at 2110 Jamestown Rd, Williamsburg, VA 23185.  Telephone 888-593-4682.  It is open from 9:00 to 5:00 daily (9:00 to 6:00 June 15-August 15).  Closed Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.  

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