Tag Archives: colonists

Day 7…. Historic Jamestown

 

Part 2 of the historic triangle in the Williamsburg ,Virginia area is Jamestown. What I didn’t know before arriving was that there are 2 distinct ways to experience it…. the National Park site and the more touristy recreation.

 

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We opted for the National site first, by way of the Colonial Parkway.

 

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The Parkway is a beautiful 23 mile road that runs along the James River from Williamsburg to Yorktown.

 

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We jumped off at Jamestown and drove the 5 mile Island Loop, a self guided tour that explores the natural environment and history of the area.

 

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Then it was on to the visitors center.

 

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I won’t bore you  more than I already do   with the story. You can read about it here.  Suffice it to say Jamestown was the first permanent English settlement, the birthplace of Virginia… and basically, America.

 

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There was a wonderful theater…

 

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With multiple screens… where we brushed up on our high school history.

 

 

Outside there was a long boardwalk…

 

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That led to a monument…

 

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Which I’m sure the husband was glad he didn’t have to climb.

 

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It was there we waited for our Park Ranger tour guide.

 

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Who led us to the original settlers’ site.

 

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That’s Pocahantas to the right… and yes, there was a Mockingbird on her head. A real one who proceeded to poop on her nose.

 

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The only thing left from the original settlers’ buildings was one crumbling wall of a church.

 

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But archeologists have been actively digging here for years….

 

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Removing thousands of artifacts from the fort….

 

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And various other buildings.

 

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Here, the husband checks out a model recreation of the site.

 

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The soldiers barracks.

 

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Where the Queen visited a decade ago.

 

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And the required selfie by the water.

 

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There was an outline of a church with markers for the identified graves.

 

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And a graveyard for unidentified remains.

 

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It was a lovely spot.

 

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But the history of the hardships the colonists suffered sure made you appreciate the wealth of opportunities and conveniences we have now.

 

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Famine, civil unrest, severe weather, murder, Indian attacks…. even cannabilism. They experienced it all.

 

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Second required selfie by the water to lighten the mood.

 

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It was a fascinating tour…

 

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And we learned a lot.

 

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But it was lunchtime…. and the husband’s stomach was growling.

 

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Not wanting to waste time and drive back to town, we were glad to find a small cafe on site.

 

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You couldn’t beat the view.

 

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Chicken salad spinach wrap with potato salad for me…

 

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Tomato bisque and a Sloppy Joe with potato salad for the husband.

Thus fortified, we headed for the museum.

 

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Cape Cod Day 3… Plimoth Plantation. Goats, beer, a cranky llama and the Mooflower

 

Continuing through the English settlement we saw garden plots…

 

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And goats.

 

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Who liked a good chin scratch.

 

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I mean really liked a good chin scratch. This guy followed me the entire length of the fence.

 

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We met a young man chopping firewood…

 

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Who when asked what was in his flask, replied “Beer, of course. The water will make you sick.”

 

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We discovered beer was quite popular in those days.

 

 

 

And if I had to cook all my meals in that contraption behind the women?

 

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I’d drink beer everyday as well.

 

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Colonists popped out at you everywhere…

 

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Some friendly…

 

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Some not.

 

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This woman was the Governor’s wife and therefor had a slightly better home. With wood floors and a proper chimney.

 

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Although the quality of workmanship seemed about the same.

Finished with the colony, we moved on to the museum with it’s eel pot…

 

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It’s sea suit.

 

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And because I knew you’d ask…

 

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And it’s Mayflower provision list.

 

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250 lbs of bacon and 280 lbs of butter… That will hold me for 8 weeks, but what will the rest of you eat?

 

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Though I do have to say, that list seems a little suspect. Considering margarine was invented in 1868 and Rice Krispies in 1927…I highly doubt they were aboard the original ship in 1620.

WTH?

But the museum did have the Mooflower….

 

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And an anatomically correct, trouser wearing, sea going cow vessel?

 

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Makes up for a lot of historical inaccuracies.

 

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Last up was the petting barn where we found…

 

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Yes.

One rabbit…

Apparently the pilgrims ate everyone else before we got there.

 

 

But then we saw…

 

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So we met Hyacinth.

 

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And may I just say?

 

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She was a bitch.

I tried to pet her and almost lost a finger. She tried to head butt a few children and looked ready to go 12 rounds with a service dog that walked by.

 

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If you’re approaching that age when you yell at the kids to get off your lawn? Don’t get a shotgun…

Get a Hyacinth.

Cape Cod Day 3, Plimoth Plantation English colony.

 

Done with the Indian village, we walked through an exhibition hall full of 17th century replica pottery.

 

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It was a bit odd. But there was a still…

 

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And an 8 handed mug…

 

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So that probably explains it. That, and the fact water was often polluted so they drank mostly beer and/or alcohol.

Onward to the colonist’s settlement….

 

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First, the fort which commanded the high ground.

 

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With it’s wonderful old cannons.

 

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Then down into the settlement.

 

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It was explained to us that all the employees would be playing the parts of characters based on the original inhabitants, wearing authentic clothing and speaking in the language of the period. We were encouraged to interact with them as such.

 

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Before visiting here I was under the impression that the Pilgrims came to the new world to escape religious persecution. And while that’s true to an extent, it’s not the whole story. They actually fled to the Netherlands first, which explains all the windmills you see in this part of the country.

Read about it here.

 

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The settlers in Plymouth were actually sponsored by England to colonize America. They were given ship’s passage and supplies and were expected to send back goods (mostly furs and pelts) to repay the investment. After 7 years of this, they were granted land… something working class people had no hope of obtaining back home.

 

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Of course nothing went as planned. They were supposed to land in New York, but they landed in Massachusetts. They were supposed to land in September, but they landed in December.

 

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They were supposed to fish for food, but there were no fisherman. They were supposed to build a town, but there were no trained carpenters.

Piss poor planning if you ask me.

Hell, a large percentage of them didn’t even live through the first winter.

 

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But they’d brought some livestock…

 

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And as we know, managed to survive if not yet thrive.

 

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This fellow was trying to frame a window.

 

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On the exterior of this house.

 

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And if you think the Indians had it bad, imagine 15 people living and sleeping in here at a time.

 

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Check out the slight list of the house on the far right. If I didn’t know better, I’d say the husband had a hand in it’s construction.

Personally, I loved the roofs…

 

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Fashioned from rolled reeds, they begged to be petted.

 

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In the next house we found this fellow, and the husband initiated a conversation.

 

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I’m guessing the man had stage experience, because he was seriously deep in character.

 

 

Working there must be an interesting job.