Monday, April 1, 2013

Day Four: Jamestowne & Yorktown

We stayed in Williamsburg for two nights. Look at this beautiful hotel (we stayed in some nice places!).
On Thursday morning, we boarded a bus and headed to nearby Historic Jamestowne.  Apparently, we missed out some of the features of the area, like the Jamestown Settlement area and a "glass house" (?) which I am sure would've been very neat to visit.  I didn't know it at the time though, and based on what I did get to tour, I still think it was pretty fantastic. Next time, right?

A very informative guide took us around and pointed everything out to us.  We also heard a lecture from the author of one of the books I had to read about Jamestown.  We visited the archaearium, which houses over 1,000 artifacts that have been uncovered at Jamestown.  In the last 10 years, archaeologists have actually found over 2 million artifacts, but not all of them are on display. I think that would be the coolest job- imagine doing that every day, searching for treasure!

 If I heard right, Jamestowne is the only place where British flags are allowed to be flown without the USA flag
 Fun times with Michelle
 It is said that the actual site of the first landing by the British has eroded into the James River, but still- isn't that neat?

Human bones were found in these areas marked by the crosses (there's even a human skeleton on display in the archaearium- no pictures were allowed in there)
 Here is an actual archaeology dig, right in the middle of the colony. Work is more sporadic in the winter because the ground is harder to work with.
 There has been evidence discovered of the foundation of what would've been the settlement's church.  The four crosses are where four people's remains were found, most likely people with authority (such as the priest and captain). Right between those four crosses is the location that is believed to have been where Pocahontas and John Rolfe got married.
Statue of John Smith
This church was built in the 17th century and still stands today.      
 Inside the church
A statue of Pocahontas

So interesting!  We boarded the bus and ate lunch as we headed over to Yorktown Victory Center.  

Flags representing the Thirteen Colonies

Yorktown was the site of the last battle of the Revolutionary War, where Cornwallis surrendered and the Americans ended up winning the war.  The museum has recreated a farm and even an army encampment from that that time period.  We had guides take us through, but there were also people in period dress to help us understand what life would've been like.  I loved seeing the farm, complete with kitchen, tobacco barn, crop fields, vegetable garden, and even the chickens running around.  

 Tobacco became the cash crop- money became obsolete as people used tobacco as the means of trade

 The home's kitchen area
 The garden area
There is a beautiful, new exhibit that showcases different perspectives that people would've had during this time period.  I thought this museum did a great job portraying daily life of colonists and the impact the war would've had on their lives. I think that my fifth graders would've loved it here- the museum is very informative, interactive, and kid-friendly.

How would you have liked to have this as a soldier?
Here's a glimpse of the encampment.
I got to watch a cannon demonstration!

So much fun! This was probably my favorite day of learning. The information I learned, the things I saw, and the connections I was able to make will surely help me to convey what this time period was like when I teach this to my students.  It'd be awesome to be able to take our kids on field trips to places like Jamestowne and Yorktown.  If only!

The rest of the day was free time.  My group and I decided to go explore Merchants' Square near our hotel.  We visited a few shops, then had dinner at DoG Street Pub, a gastropub with an extensive beer menu.  I even texted Jason a picture of it- he would've loved this place!  After our delicious dinner, some locals suggested we visit Chowning's Tavern, a short walk away.  What a cool experience- musicians dressed in 18th century clothes sang colonial songs and played fiddles as they went from room to room.  As well, the waitresses taught us some colonial games (Shut the Box, and Ship/Captain/Crew), which we played by candlelight.  We celebrated our friend, Aaron's birthday with colonial-inspired cocktails.  Did you know that the Happy Birthday song hadn't been composed yet?  We sang "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow" to him instead.  It was such a fun and memorable night!       
Our group!
 Our group with one of the musicians

Not only did I love our Jamestowne and Yorktown experiences earlier in the day, I had an amazing time with "my group" exploring the town in the evening.  This was probably my favorite day of our entire trip! (by the way, I took some of these pictures from my fellow TAH teacher, Heather- thanks, Heather!!!)

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