TAH Goes to Jamestown

Day 1 of the TAH summer trip, June 9, 2014

Day 1 was a visit to Jamestown, beginning with the Jamestown Island and the historic Jamestown settlement and the Jamestown education center.

What we saw at the Jamestown settlement

  • Ruins of the original glassblowing facility,
  • a recreation of the original church at the fort, and
  • archeological dig sites of the Jamestown fort, buildings, and outer facilities.

Next, we were off to the Jamestown education center, a large facility and sprawlings education park just off the island. Following lunch, we first took a guided tour of the Jamestown museum which featured not only the history of the settlement but also, and very interestingly, displays on the homelands and cultures of the three major groups that lived in Jamestown prior and during the settlement periods: Native, British, and Aftrican.

The education “park” was complete with replicas of the native village, with actors/craftsman presenting native skills, the original sailing ships that brought the original settlers  to Jamestown, and a recreation of the village, including the church.

End of the day: a seafood all-you-can-eat feast.

TAH: What did you learn? What was especially interesting? How might you use what you learned?

Start of the day: Entering the Jamestown historic area.

Start of the day: Entering the Jamestown historic area.

 

Glassblowing facility at Jamestown

Glassblowing facility at Jamestown

 

Heading to the settlement ruins

Heading to the settlement ruins

 

Ruins of the settlement

Ruins of the settlement

 

The recreated Jamestown church

The recreated Jamestown church

 

In the recreation of the native settlement

In the recreation of the native settlement

 

One of the ships (recreated) that brought the settlers

One of the ships (recreated) that brought the settlers

 

Another view of the ships

Another view of the ships

 

The 'tween deck of the ship

The ‘tween deck of the ship

 

In the church, the church pulpit

In the church, the church pulpit

 

A feast beyond belief

A feast beyond belief

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4 Responses to TAH Goes to Jamestown

  1. Anita Martinez says:

    On Monday, May 9th we visited Jamestowne. What an awesome place to be. What facinated me the most was that the Spaniards were on the East coast before the English arrived. For some reason they decided it was not a place they wanted to settle. When the English arrived they suspected that there were Spanish (Catholic) spies living among them. At one time Don Pedro Zuniga wanted to invade the settlements, but for some reason unknown never materialized. I can tie this new found information into my New Mexico History classes. More evidennce that the Spaniards were the first Europeans to enter the new world, not the English.

  2. Caleb Foucault says:

    The story of the English settlement of Jamestowne is one that all too often is seemingly downplayed within the context of American history. Whether it is inadequate attention from our school textbooks, or the inaccuracies portrayed by Hollywood, the story of the first permanent English settlement in the new world is filled with more mystique than history. It is a story that is filled with contingencies and very easily could have been a story that never happened. 1584 found the Spanish scouting the area and eventually concluded there is little value in remaining in the area. Meanwhile, the Spanish continued their explorations along the Atlantic coast, however, never encountering Jamestowne. Indian massacres and the brutal winter of 1609-1610 all could have easily destroyed the English settlements. Although the survival of the Jamestowne settlement undoubtedly set the wheels of New England in motion, I cannot help but think about the affect the Jamestowne settlement had on the formation of our American government. In an unprecedented move, King James I assigns a Council of 7 to rule the settlement upon the successful landing and establishment of a community. This moved allowed the crown to relinquish some control over the new colony and establish a group of men to lifetime rule within the colony. I’m interested to know if this happened in previous and later experiences within English colonization. It seems that this ideal could have perhaps been a precursor to the later American Revolution. Although nearly 200 years later, I wonder if perhaps those ideals of freedom and self-rule could have led to ideals of representative government and eventually independence. It was remarkable to witness the settlement of Jamestowne and to experience first hand the first permanent settlement and first government building in what will become the United States of America. I wonder with so many contingencies, would the revolution still have progressed had King James not encouraged the Council of 7 and self rule in the colonies.

  3. Sandy McGee says:

    I couldn’t help but feel like I was standing on sacred ground as I was standing at the site of the first government building in America. I have taught about Jamestowne every year that I have taught fifth grade, but after standing there and seeing the actual site of this significant piece of our history, I will definitely have more to share with my students. I cannot wait to share all of the things that I learned and I look forward to our discussions. Jamestowne was the place for many firsts for our young United States of America. I honestly didn’t realize that the first wave of settlers didn’t have any women with them. They didn’t get here until way later. (It couldn’t have been much fun!) The Dutch were the first to bring slaves over here. Most importantly of all, Jamestowne was the beginning of democracy. I will add that to my teaching of American History. The Council of Seven was the first hint of independence that the colonists had. I believe that it was an ember that would become the American Revolution.

    New Mexico is so far from here. After walking in the steps of the colonists and seeing what their lives were like firsthand, I am more committed than ever to bringing that experience to my classroom. Social Studies has gotten the backseat to Language Arts and Math every since No Child Left Behind was passed. It is obvious, now more than ever, that students MUST know their history. They need to understand how we got here and embrace what it means to be an American.

  4. Vicky Mallow says:

    As I walked through this township, I became overwhelmed by the information that comes from a place so rich in historical significance. Jamestown was the site of the first English settlement! Jamestown was the site where three cultures–the Native Powhatans, English (1609), and African-Americans (1619) all came together! Jamestown was the site of the 1st legislative assembly of the American colonies (the Burgessess)! Jamestown was the site where the legend of Pocahontas and John Smith came to be! (She didn’t really marry him. She actually married another John…John Rolfe.) Did I mention Jamestown was the site of the FIRST ENGLISH SETTLEMENT!!! I did, I know..but, the never ending facts, figures, and people become a blur as you start to realize that you are standing on sacred ground that is a MAJOR piece of U.S. History and emotions come into play. As a teacher I wonder how can I enrich my teaching so that my students not only learn the facts, figures, and people, but also, can experience the emotions that I felt when I stepped into this amazing place.

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