Marking the 404th anniversary of the 1607 founding
of America’s first permanent English colony
Jamestown Settlement’s Godspeed is set to sail in the James River on Jamestown Day, May 14. Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation photo.
Historic Jamestowne and Jamestown Settlement will mark the 404th anniversary of the 1607 founding in Virginia of America’s first permanent English settlement with ceremony, military and maritime demonstrations, and traditional music, dance and entertainment.
“Jamestown Day” on Saturday, May 14, is jointly sponsored by Historic Jamestowne, site of the original 1607 settlement jointly administered by the National Park Service and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation (on behalf of Preservation Virginia), and Jamestown Settlement, a living-history museum of 17th-century Virginia administered by the state’s Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation.
|Next to the Jamestown Memorial Church at Historic Jamestowne, visitors can share in the moment of discovery with archaeologists at the 1607 James Fort excavation. Preservation Virginia photo.|
“Jamestown Day” at Historic Jamestowne includes a variety of interpretive programs and demonstrations revealing the experiences of Virginia Indians and Jamestown colonists. Observe a special morning presentation commemorating the peoples present at the 1607 founding, experience 17th-century military demonstrations and listen to music by the Cobham Consort at the Memorial Church. Meet archaeologists and learn about the recent discovery of the earliest church in British America at James Fort. Experience the work of craftsmen at the Glasshouse and James Fort as they demonstrate the attempt to establish industries at Jamestown. Explore the Natalie P. and Alan M. Voorhees Archaearium, an archaeology museum filled with unique artifacts from the Fort James site and tour the remains of New Towne, the historic town site dating from the 1620s. The Visitor Center also offers exhibits, a multimedia presentation and a museum store.
A highlight of “Jamestown Day” events at Jamestown Settlement is the mid-morning departure of the Godspeed, a replica of one of the three ships that brought colonists to Virginia in 1607, to set sail in the James River. The Godspeed also is the focus of a History Channel documentary, “Godspeed to Jamestown,” that chronicles the making of the replica ship and will be shown in the museum throughout the day. King James I, portrayed by actor Howard Burnham, will review his life and discuss the King James Bible on the 400th anniversary of its publication in 1611. Family entertainment, including puppet shows, storytelling, games, and music and dance of the 1600s will be presented, as well as artillery demonstrations and military drills. Visitors also can learn about the principal residence of Powhatan, paramount chief of 30-some Indian tribes in Virginia’s coastal region at the time English colonists arrived in 1607, in “Werowocomoco: Seat of Power,” on display through June 30. Jamestown Settlement museum offers a film, expansive indoor gallery exhibits and outdoor re-creations of a Powhatan Indian village, an English fort, and the three ships that brought the settlers to Virginia – Susan Constant, Godspeed and Discovery.
Separate admission to Jamestown Settlement and Historic Jamestowne. Free parking and shuttle available at both sites.
Admission to Historic Jamestowne is $10.00 for people over age 15, free for people under 16. Jamestown Settlement admission is $15.50 for adults and $7.25 for ages 6 through 12, free for children under 6. A four-site value ticket for Historic Jamestowne, Jamestown Settlement, Yorktown Battlefield and the Yorktown Victory Center can be purchased at Jamestown Settlement, the Yorktown Victory Center or online.