Thursday, April 8, 2010

Jamestown, Virginia, United States

It's been a year this month since I wrote my last update. My brother encouraged me to start writing again. In his honor, I have chosen Jamestown to start things back up.

For those of you who slept through history class, Jamestown is the site of the first permanent English settlement. The History of Jamestown website has a nice one page history of Jamestown along with several links. It explains that the Virginia Company was formed in 1607 by King James I in an attempt to find gold and a water route to the Orient. Captain John Smith was a member of the Virginia Company and was one of the first settlers. You may recognize his name in the stories about Pocahontas. The Indian Pocahontas married the Englishman John Rolfe. Mr. Rolfe was a tobacco entrepreneur and came to Jamestown a couple years after the settlement was established.

Today, Jamestown is a community that values America's past. You can go back 400 years in time at many of the historic sites that have been preserved in Jamestown and the surrounding area. The Official Jamestown Settlement website has a lot of information about upcoming events and places to see. There's a link at the bottom of the page to help you plan your visit.

Just down the road from Jamestown, are several of the old plantation houses along the James River. The James River Plantations can easily be done in a day trip but to really appreciate them they should be visited over a span of two days. One of the plantations, the Berkeley Plantation, was the family home of the Harrisons. Benjamin Harrison was a signer of the Declaration of Independence and William Henry Harrison was the ninth President of the United States. William Henry's grandson Benjamin was the 23rd President of the United States.

I should also mention the Yorktown Victory Center. Yorktown is the site of the last major battle of the Revolutionary War.

If you decide to take a trip to Jamestown, I recommend staying in the nearby town of Williamsburg. Colonial Williamsburg has done an excellent job of preserving what life was like for the early Americans. I searched for lodging and I think the Williamsburg Hospitality House would be a good place to stay.

For those of you looking for more excitement than what history has to offer, you can visit the Busch Gardens theme park in Williamsburg. It is home to the Alpengeist steel roller coaster.

Ten years ago, CBS aired the first season of Survivor. Surely, the settlers of Jamestown would easily "Outwit. Outplay. Outlast" any survivor Jeff Probst can find today.