We arrived in good time though, and passed through the security and on into the settlement.
Jamestown Settlement is a living history museum just down the road from the fort, with a number of great exhibits, a replica of the fort and of the three ships that came over; The Godspeed, The Susan Constant and the Discovery.
The Susan Constant, with The Godspeed and The Discovery behind her.
They had re-enactors there in the replica fort, and a number of activities. You can go inside many of the replica buildings... and even try out some of the replica furniture :)
Rebel trying out a replica joint stool.
Jacobite in a convertible table-chair.
M'Lady in a colonial hat (for which she received many compliments, and comments from other little girls regretting their lack thereof!), on a replica bench.
We ran past the church as the bells were being tolled (with a number of schoolchildren aiding the bellringer!).
Two gentlemen of the fort.
A young man (o.k. woman as a young man ;))
We petted the fort chicken, spoke to the ladies getting ready to bake bread, and visited the doctor!
The fort doctor.
After inspecting the military supplies, and tobacco barn, we went to visit the ships.
The tobacco barn.
On the way we passed the herb garden and the three sisters garden, planted according to the Algonquian Indian instructions... corn, beans and squash to one hill. These were just beginning to sprout and were planted rather earlier than the instructions in the link I sent, as the weather down here in Virginia is rather warmer than the instructions indicate. Here you can plant the corn at the end of April/beginning of May.
The herb garden. Not too different to mine!
A hill of corn, beans and squash!
The ships in the distance.
The family boat ;)
Walking around in the heat was thirsty work though! After walking around the settlement, we stopped for an outdoor lunch, where M’Lady threw some bread for the waiting birds… only to nearly miss a man. The look on his face was priceless!
Then it was a rather long wait for the shuttle bus to Historic Jamestowne where we were able to see them getting ready to cut the ribbon to the new museum/entrance area… and where we saw the archaeological dig of the original site and the governor and other dignitaries fill the time capsule.
The old fort is delineated by a structure of sticks to give a ghostly impression of the original. It travels along the lines of the old fort, which have been re-buried since their discovery, just a few years ago. In fact, we have visited the site fairly regularly, and the discovery of the actual walls of the fort are very recent! Of course, the inspiration has always been the quadricentennial... they actually wanted something to show for a change!
They have a brand new archaearium, a beautiful building with all the finds from Historic Jamestowne on show inside. M'Lady was most impressed with the skeletons, and has since drawn me a skeleton on my mother's day card, begged to go back to see the skeleton and repeatedly told me about the skeleton!
M'Lady got restless during the speeches, and started dancing.
After a bit she was just TOO restless, and we left to go over to Anniversary Park.
Anniversary Park was a special area made up of numerous booths and stages, acts and events.
It was very interesting... the delegation from Kent, England, were there (I used to live in Kent... I went to school there even ;)), so were various representatives of websites, travel agencies and Virginia companies and people. For instance, there were a few representations of America in this booth with the HUGE Clydesdale horse. He was 19 1/2 hands tall!
Welcome America II... the Virginia Symphony and the Richmond Symphony had joined forces for the day.
First we had a performance of the Williamsburg Fife and Drum corps, then the Jamestowne Honor Guard performed for us. After that was a procession of all the flags of the USA.
Once they left the stage, we were let in to sit in the seats near the stage. With two kids, who are rather young, we chose the back, although we could have got a view nearer the front. Luckily there were huge screens up for the kids to watch if they preferred!
Then we heard former chief justice Sandra Day O'Connor speak, then the music began.
Now we were in for a treat... FOUR pieces got their worldwide premier that night. FOUR pieces commissioned for that night. The pieces were by John Corigliano, John Duffy, Adolphus Hailstork and Jennifer Higdon.
Corigliano's work was Jamestown Hymn, and was the first of the four presented. It was beautiful! John Duffy presented Indian Spirits... a magnificent piece which starts out as a 'traditional' Indian piece and is rounded out with a full orchestra. It was our own personal favourite of the four, and just wonderful! Adolphus Hailstork’s Settlements was a travel through time, beginning with a flute solo to represent the Indians alone here, then with a jarring fanfare to show the English arrival, before becoming a medley of the flute and the orchestra showing the merging of the cultures. His explanation really helped the visualization of the music... my second favourite of the new pieces! Jennifer Higdon's piece Spirit, was a brass fanfare, and although a favourite with critics, it did not measure up to the others in our estimation! It was amazing... they also play Dvorák's New World Symphony in full. I was so please to get to hear this wonderful piece of work performed live. It was lucky for us that the weather was balmy... it had been in the mid to upper 80's during the day, so the evening was wonderful!
M'Lady was restless, but the after music fireworks were spectacular... and then we went up and met one of the composers -John Duffy. I wanted to meet Adolphus Hailstork too, but Jacobite was trying to find Sandra Day O'Connor! This was the first time we got to go hear music in an age... and the first time either of the kids had gone to the symphony. 4 Hours was really stretching it, but that was why we were at the back! They were superb, and DH and I were ecstatic that we could do something 'adult' for a change with paying babysitter fees :)
And that, folks, was our trip to the Jamestown 400th Anniversary celebrations!
If you would like to learn more about Jamestown, check out the homeschool resources here:
History at Jamestowne.