Thursday, January 24, 2013

Jamestown Settlement

So for Martin Luther King Jr. Day we decided to take a mini-roadtrip to a historical site here near our home since it was a day off of work & school.  Cadence has been studying Virginia History like crazy lately for this big test she's been taking & she begged us to go to Jamestown since that's what the test has been on.  Jamestown, Williamsburg, & Yorktown are all BIG historical sites around here & they're all about 30 minutes away so we decided Jamestown would be fun.

They have what they call the Jamestown Settlement Museum out by where the ships actually came in back in 1607.  Just walking through the front door of the museum we knew we'd be back again & again with everyone who came to visit.  In fact, we wound up buying a year pass for everyone because we knew we'd need it.

There's a big museum & theater inside the building, but there's also 3 areas OUTSIDE that are hands on fun for kids.  We skipped the inside part & decided we'd come back & do that later.  The kids were full of energy & needed to run around so we went straight outside to see what we could find/learn.

We first stopped at the Pohawtan Village.  When the Virginia Company arrived on the shores of Virginia in 1607 with Captain John Smith in tow, they were met by the natives there. . . the Pohawtan Tribe.  You may have heard of the Pohawtan princess . . .

This museum was set up WONDERFULLY for kids.  We were met by a "Pohawtan" Indian maiden weaving a basket.  She showed the kids how to make rope out of grass & then weave it to make a basket.

Next we went in & out of each of the Pohawtan dwellings where they showed us how they smoked meats & cheeses & stored food.

Bladen just liked going in & out of the little doors.

Another Pohawtan woman taught the kids how to scrape the fur off of a pelt with a seashell in order to make the leather pliable enough to sew into bags, clothing, & other necessities.

The kids enjoyed running around the Pohawtan Village being little indians.

After we were done at the Indian Village, we made our way to the Jamestown Fort.

The kids enjoyed putting on the armor of the soliders in the Virginia Company.  They were surprised at how HEAVY it was.

Little Warriors

And Bladen found a gun.  He was in HEAVEN with all the
guns & cannons on the fort.

The kids took turns trying to carry 2 water buckets full of water from one house to another.  It was a LOT harder than they thought it would be.

We visited a few "homes" & then talked to the Blacksmith for a little bit where he taught the kids how to forge tools & swords using heat & hammers.  Then Bladen found a man with a gun (of course) & made us follow him across the fort to the firing range.  The man taught Bladen how to load the musket & let Bladen watch him shoot it.  It was LOUD, but Bladen especially loved how you could see fire come out of the front of the gun when it was shot.

We visited the fort church & the Governor's quarters as well as the barracks & the store.

The kids' favorite place was the armory. . . where they kept all the swords & guns.  (What is my kids' fascination with weapons?  SERIOUSLY!)  The soldier let each of the kids hold one of the swords while I carried on a long conversation with another soldier about the amazing trunks & woodwork chests they had in the building.

Looks like I found my weakness.  I have TONS of European antique furniture already, but now I want to get my hands on some early American antique chests & furniture.  Yikes.  Just what I need, another expensive collection.  ha ha ha.

The minute we parked our car, Bladen could see the 3 ships in the bay.  The entire time we were exploring he kept begging to go on the "pirate ships." 
It was time.  He was so excited he was jumping out of his skin.

The museum had replicas of the 3 ships that came across from England in 1607.  They actually let you go on them & run around & play with everything on them.

The kids especially loved playing with the cannons on the lower decks.  Lorien loved pushing the wheel around to lower & raise the anchor & Cadence was a master at controlling the rudder.  Taya liked climbing in & out of the beds, & I just got seasick from the rocking boat.  ha ha ha.

After spending over 3 hours running around looking at everything, we were tired & decided to go home.  But the girls made sure they danced in the totems in the Indian Village for good luck before we left.

It was a great museum.  I'm SO glad we bought year passes.  We still need to explore the entire exhibit inside as well as the movie theater.  It was SO MUCH FUN & we learned a lot too.  I love places that teach my kids that learning can be fun.

No comments:

Post a Comment