It’s 1607, Jamestown, and you are there….
Relive the adventure of 1607 when 104 Englishmen dropped anchor and began to build America’s first permanent English colony in Jamestown, Virginia. Explore life at the dawn of the 17th century inside the palisade of a re-created colonial fort, discover the world of Pocahontas in the Powhatan Indian village, and experience the four-month passage to the New World on board re-creations of the three ships that brought the settlers to Virginia. Extensive indoor galleries tell the compelling stories of Jamestown, from its beginnings in England through its often turbulent first century, and of Virginia’s Powhatan Indians. The dramatic film, Jamestown: The Beginning, chronicles the endurance of the first settlers as they struggled to build a lasting colony.
Within the re-created fort, step back in time to the 17th century. Try on armor, watch a musket-firing demonstration, and discover how the colonists lived and worked.
Powhatan Indian Village
Learn about the culture of Pocahontas’ people in this re-created village. Explore the Powhatan houses, called yehakins, climb into a dugout canoe and try your hand at grinding corn or weaving plant fibers into rope.
Aboard the Susan Constant, Godspeed or Discovery, get a sense of how the colonists may have felt as they crossed the Atlantic in the early 17th century. Try your hand at steering with a whipstaff or tiller. Examine the contents of a sailor’s “see” chest on the pier, and participate in periodic demonstrations of cargo and sail handling.
The museum galleries recount the history of the colony through exhibits of 16th- and 17th-century artifacts and illustrations. The English Gallery examines the conditions that led to American colonization. The Powhatan Indian Gallery explores the people who inhabited coastal Virginia when the Jamestown colonists arrived. The Jamestown Gallery traces the first century of the Virginia colony while Jamestown served as its capital.It’s 1781, Yorktown, and you are there….
The drama of the American Revolution and the birth of a great nation come to life at Yorktown Victory Center. In provocative indoor galleries, witness the Revolution through the eyes of those who were therefrom soldiers on the battlefields to women on the home front, from American Indians to African Americans. The evocative film, A Time of Revolution, places you in a Continental Army encampment where soldiers spend an evening reminiscing and musing on their lives and the war that has brought them together. Outdoors, experience the sights and sounds of the Revolutionary War in the re-created Continental Army encampment. On the re-created 18th-century farm, interpreters in the garden, tobacco house, farmhouse and kitchen introduce you to life in 1780s Virginia.
Continental Army Encampment
Immerse yourself in the daily lives of Revolutionary War soldiers. Explore living quarters and, at 2:35 p.m. each day, join a cannon crew. Historical interpreters demonstrate 18th-century medical techniques, camp cooking, musket-firing and wartime punishments.
Learn about day-to-day life for a middling farmer in 18th-century Tidewater Virginia. Help process bundles of flax by the tobacco house, lend a hand weeding and watering the garden, explore the farmhouse and watch interpreters cook in the separate kitchen.
The Revolution comes to life in the Witnesses to Revolution exhibit, where 10 people from all walks of life share personal accounts of the war. Discover the tale of Yorktown and Gloucester, two towns that became the setting for the war’s climactic battle, in the Converging on Yorktown exhibit. Then travel below the York River to Yorktown’s Sunken Fleet, a re-creation of part of the archaeological excavation site of one of the many ships lost during the 1781 Siege of Yorktown.
A Children’s Kaleidoscope
Kids can travel back in time as they try on 18th-century clothing, copy from a hornbook, make crayon rubbings of 18th-century woodcuts, play the African game mancala and investigate the identity of reproduction artifacts.