Welcome to Virginia! We couldn’t have chosen a better place to spend a few days than in this historic triangle. The York River is to the north and the James River to the south. The points that form the triangle are Jamestown, Colonial Williamsburg, and Yorktown.
Jamestown was the first permanent English settlement in the New World established in 1607. We saw a reproduction of a Native American village,
a fort that was recreated and recreated ships that carried over the original settlers.
Close by is Historic Jamestown which is run in partnership with the National Park Service. This is the actual location of the original settlement. They have recreated the fort based on the locations of the poles found in archaeological digs. We also went on a tour led by a park ranger giving us so much valuable information. There are current archeological digs sites everywhere on the property and they are uncovering the past even as I write!
They haven’t announced it yet but the ranger gave us a clue that they may have found the long sought after final resting place of Lord De La Warr AKA Thomas West. He was considered the savior of the English Colony when in 1610 they were starving and ready to give up. He eventually became the Governor of the Colony of Virginia and is the namesake for the state of Delaware.
Jump ahead to over 100 years to the next area which is Colonial Williamsburg.
It has 55 original structures filled with everything you can imagine about colonial life. We learned how they made shoes, worked leather, healed sickness, printed newspapers, and so much more. All the people that work here are either apprentices or skilled craftsmen and women. They really know what they are doing. We listened the George Washington discuss the upcoming war, Thomas Jefferson talk about slavery, and the Virginia House of Burgesses planning for independence right before the Revolutionary War.
We even went to a trial of one of the crew of the pirate Blackbeard. So much fun! Maybe you have to be a 5th grade teacher to really appreciate it, but even Mike liked this place.
Finally we ended in Yorktown, the site of the last big battle of the Revolutionary War. Again we were fortunate to have a guided tour of the Second Siege Line.
I had no idea what a second siege line even was when we started–I learned a lot. Basically it is the trenches the soldiers dug when they were holding the British in Yorktown. They started further out and just started blasting the town. Eventually, they were able to move closer and this is called the second siege line! It took 1500 soldiers digging all night long and it is impressive to see. The volunteer also talked a lot about the contributions of the French to this battle–I never realized how big their role was in this victory. The historic triangle is a must-see for history buffs. We barely scratched the surface but set the tone for our next destination: Washington DC.