• Structure 17, Glassblowing and Island Drive

    Historic Jamestowne

    Part of Colonial National Historical Park Virginia

Jamestown Landing Day 2012

Building 1607 Fort

Sidney King painting of the Jamestown settlers building their trangular fort

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On May 13, 1607, three ships, the Susan Constant, the Godspeed, and the Discovery disembarked 104 English colonists upon the shores of a small peninsula jutting into the James River. It seemed an ideal place. Thirty-six miles inland from the Chesapeake Bay, it would escape notice of Spanish ships along the coast. It was easily defended against attack and provided a good deep harbor for the ships. As noted by Master George Percy, one of those early settlers, "... our ships do lie so near the shore that they are moored to the trees in six fathom water." The settlers named the river James and the settlement Jamestown after their sovereign King James I.


This settlement would become the first permanent English colony in North America, the first capital of Virginia and the site of the first English representative government in America. It also became the social and political center of the Virginia colony for more than 92 years. But before permanency was assured, the colonists suffered many unimaginable trials, hardships and tribulations. Disease, hunger, internal squabbling and conflicts with the "naturals," the name the Virginia Company gave the Virginia Indians of this area, would take their toll. Of those first 104 adventurers, only 38 survived to the next spring. It was many years before this new colony established a strong enough foundation to ensure permanency.


Join Colonial National Historical Park and APVA Preservation Virginia as we commemorate the 405th anniversary of the arrival of those English settlers to Jamestown. Walk the same grounds that John Smith, George Percy, Pocahontas and others did four centuries ago. Stroll through the foundations of Jamestown and envision its growth from small settlement into a center of commerce and government. Visit the Jamestown Church and sit where the first House of Burgesses met in 1619 to discuss the vital issues of the time and vote to impose the first taxes upon the people. Examine the archaeological site of the original triangular fort of 1607 and see some of the thousands of artifacts that have been recovered. Come, step back in time to early 17th century Virginia and its peoples.


SCHEDULE OF EVENTS: APVA Preservation Virginia and the National Park Service (NPS) proudly present the following activities for the 405th commemoration of Jamestown's founding. Most events are scheduled for May 12, 2012. Admission is $10.00 per adult with children 15 and under free.


Park Ranger giving a historical tour

Park Ranger giving a historical tour

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RANGER WALKING TOUR - 10:00 a.m.; Noon; 2:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.Walk with a Park Ranger in the footsteps of Captain John Smith and Pocahontas, and gain unique perspectives on the history of Jamestown.

St Maries Citty Milita musket demonstration

St. Maries Cittie Militia matchlock musket demonstration

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ST. MARRIES CITTY MILITIA - 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., & 3:00 p.m.
Watch the St. Maries Citty Militia, a 17th century re-enactment group, as they demonstrate the weapons and battlefield tactics used by those early settlers.

Preservation Virginia archaeology Tour

Preservation Virginia archaeological tour

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ARCHAEOLOGIST WALKING TOUR - Join a Preservation Virginia archaeologist for an in-depth tour of the 1607 fort site and learn about this season's excavations.


C-SPAN Call-In Show with Jamestowne Rediscovery Staff - 2:30-3:00 p.m.
Watch it live! Archaeology Director Bill Kelso and Senior Archaeological Curator Bly Straube field questions from C-SPAN viewers around the country about the latest archaeological discoveries.

THROUGHOUT THE DAY - 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Field School students screening artifacts out of the soil

Archaeological Field School students screen artifact out of Jamestown's soil

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The Buried Truth
Share in the moment of discovery at the original 1607 James Fort. Meet the Jamestown Rediscovery archaeologists and see the latest find - the earliest church in British America.

Indian and settler

Indian and settler talking trade

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Native Lifeways of the Chesapeake
Learn about the Indians of early Virginia and their interactions with the first settlers of Jamestown.


Free Enterprise and Early Industries
Experience the work of craftsmen at the fort site and the Glasshouse and as they demonstrate iron smelting and glassmaking as practiced during the earliest years of Jamestown. Glasshouse demonstrations run from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.


Scavenger Hunts, Period Games and More
Tray a game of quoits, play Survivor: A Jamestown Adventure (free at the Visitor Center), toss your "trash" down a well, become a Junior Ranger (purchase booklet at the Visitor Center Museum Store) and more.

Archaearium, a museum of the artifacts pulled from James Fort

Archaearium, a museum to the artifacts pulled from the Jamestown dig site

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Artifacts Adventures at the Archaearium
Join our archaeological conservators and explore how the artifacts make it from field to display and learn about the tools used to conserve them. Assist the archaeologists sorting through the smallest excavated material to find animal bones, shell, and seeds for clues to fort life in the 17th century.


Did You Know?

Front and back image of the Virginia Company Seal

In 1606, an English joint stock company was formed to establish settlements on the east coast of North America. This company included The Virginia Company of London (which founded Jamestown) and The Virginia Company of Plymouth (which established Popham, a short-lived settlement in Maine).