Jamestown Day 2014

Building 1607 Fort
Sidney King painting of the Jamestown settlers building their trangular fort

NPS Image

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 Preservation Virginia as we commemorate the 407th 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: Preservation Virginia and the National Park Service (NPS) proudly present the following activities for the 407th commemoration of Jamestown's founding. Most events are scheduled for May 10, 2014. Admission is $14.00 per adult with children 15 and under free.



Explore America's Birthplace - All Day
Discover the story of Jamestown by touring the Visitor Center Exhibit Gallery, view the 17 minute film, walk the archaeological site of the 1607 James Fort, stroll through the Archaearium (an archaeology museum dedicated to the artifacts from James Fort period) and New Towne (the city of Jamestown after the fort no longer exist).

Free Enterprise and Early Industries - All Day
Watch as craftsmen at the Glasshouse and the James Fort site demonstrate the glassmaking and iron smelting industries of Jamestown's early history.


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

NPS Image

The Buried Truth - 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Share in the moment of discovery at the original 1607 James Fort. Meet the Jamestown Rediscovery archaeologists and learn about the latest excavations.

Indian and settler
Indian and settler talking trade

NPS Image

Native Lifeways of the Chesapeake - 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Learn about the Indians of early Virginia and their interactions with the first settlers of Jamestown.


The Peace of the Colony - 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Join Edward Brewster and two of Pocahontas's "brothers," Aquinton and keyghaughton, emissaries of Chief Powhatan, at James Fort.

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

NPS Image

New Happenings at the Archaearium - 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Join the curatorial staff and view Indian artifacts form the archaeological collection and learn about the upcoming World of Pocahontas exhibit opening on June 6, 2014.



Park Ranger giving a historical tour
Park Ranger giving a historical tour

NPS Image

RANGER WALKING TOUR - 10:00 a.m., Noon, & 2:00 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.


Archery Demonstrations - 10:30 a.m. & 2:30 p.m.
See American Indian and English archery demonstrations and learn about the different technologies used in Indian bows and English warbows.

St Maries Citty Milita musket demonstration
St. Maries Cittie Militia matchlock musket demonstration

NPS Image

ST. MARIES CITTY MILITIA - 11:00 a.m., 1:00 & 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

NPS Image

ARCHAEOLOGIST WALKING TOUR - 11:30 a.m., 1:30 & 3:30 p.m.
Join an archaeologist for an in-depth tour of the 1607 for site and learn about this season's excavations and new discoveries.

Last updated: May 9, 2014

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 210
Yorktown, VA 23690


(757) 856-1200

Contact Us