• Structure 17, Glassblowing and Island Drive

    Historic Jamestowne

    Part of Colonial National Historical Park Virginia

All that Glitters...

Iron pyrite, pictured above, is the classic "Fool's Gold". This, or perhaps some other shiny, brassy metal, was found by the English not far from Jamestown.

Spanish ships returned home laden with treasure; the English had no doubt there was gold to be found in Virginia. Neglecting more pressing survival needs, all the men did was “dig gold, wash gold, refine gold, load gold,” wrote the exasperated Captain John Smith. He was even more disgusted to report that the “gold” proved naught but “gilded dirt”.


Did You Know?

Powhatan Indians watching the newly arrived English built their fort.

The land the English settled in 1607 was already home to more than thirty Powhatan Indian tribes. Each tribe had its own chief (weroance/weroansqua) who was “ruled” by paramount chief (mamanatowick) Powhatan. This Powhatan Chiefdom spanned all of tidewater Virginia and parts of the Eastern Shore. More...