Last week, I visited Colonial Williamsburg and the surrounding area. Being a lover of American history, I was excited to view the history of the area known as America’s Historic Triangle. I was also excited because I’ve been researching my family tree and found ancestors in all three places during the times portrayed.
Three major historic sites that show the founding days of American history are within ten miles of each other. Colonial Williamsburg, Historic Jamestown, and Yorktown make up America’s Historic Triangle. I only visited Williamsburg and Jamestown. Maybe next time I’ll get to Yorktown.
My husband and I bought a three day pass to Colonial Williamsburg. There’s too much to see in one day, so I recommend it. Even though Williamsburg was founded in 1638, Colonial Williamsburg largely concentrates on the time of the American Revolution, basically 1775-1781.
Colonial Williamsburg has a number of rebuilt historic building and shops where people reenact life during the American Revolution. Although some of the historic sites are very accurate and have tours with people in period costumes, many of the buildings are shops where people in period costumes try to sell you things.
My least favorite parts of the trip to Williamsburg was the commercialism, the high cost of tickets, and the lack of any research facilities. Even though my ancestor, Lodowick Farmer, was a part of the last House of Burgess and the first Virginia Continental Congress there, I couldn’t find out anything about him or any other member of that body. If you like general history, you’ll enjoy it, but don’t expect to find out any specifics there. William and Mary College is right off the site. We might have found some information there, but the walk was exhausting and we never got that far.
Here’s Great Hopes Plantation where farm life is shown.
The next place we went was Jamestown. They had a lot more information in their high priced books. I was able to find my ancestor who came to Jamestown in 1616, Thomas Farmer. Jamestown is made up of two sites. You have to pay for tickets to go to both sites.
Jamestown Island is where Jamestown was originally settled. There are archeological digs and an old church there. We decided to go to Historic Jamestown where the town was recreated. We went through a large, well-maintained museum first that showed quite a bit about the history before taking a tour through Jamestown. And yes, the chicken also took the tour.
Here are the huts of the Powhatan Indians. One thing I found interesting was that the Jamestown settlers were ordered not to fire on the Indians. At first, they had a friendly trade relationship. This broke down when Chief Powhatan died and his son attacked the village in 1622.
By the way, Pocahontas married John Rolfe, not Captain John Smith.
I recommend Historic Jamestown highly. It was well worth the modest price.