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WILLIAMSBURG, Va., April 24, 2012 — Historic Jamestowne and Jamestown Settlement will mark the 405th anniversary of the 1607 founding in Virginia of America’s first permanent English settlement on Saturday, May 12, with family-friendly tours and activities, military and maritime demonstrations, and traditional music, storytelling and entertainment. A day of discovery and fun, “Jamestown Day” features Historic Jamestowne’s ongoing archaeological discoveries of the 1607 fort and one of Jamestown Settlement’s ships sailing in the James River.

“Jamestown Day” is sponsored by Historic Jamestowne, site of the original 1607 settlement jointly administered by the National Park Service and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation (on behalf of Preservation Virginia), and Jamestown Settlement, a living-history museum of 17th-century Virginia administered by the state’s Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation.

Archaeology, St. Maries Citty Militia & Ranger Walking Tours at Historic Jamestowne
“Jamestown Day” at Historic Jamestowne will feature tours, demonstrations and ongoing archaeological excavations of the 1607 James Fort, allowing guests to share in the moments of discovery while interacting with archaeologists on site. In the fort, guests can meet Anas Todkill, one of the first settlers to arrive at Jamestown, as well as explore the material culture and life ways of the Tidewater Algonquians through demonstrations and discussions of tool-making, domestic skills, and native flora and fauna.

A variety of Ranger tours and demonstrations highlighting the history of first settlement will be available throughout the day, including the introduction of tobacco to the colony by John Rolfe in 1612.  The St. Maries Citty Militia will be on hand to demonstrate 17th-century military tactics.  Guests also can observe blacksmiths at work in the James Fort site and costumed glassblowers showing one of America’s first industries at the Glasshouse. 

Jamestown Settlement Ship Sails, 17th-Century Puppet Show, Music & Games
A highlight of “Jamestown Day” events at Jamestown Settlement living-history museum is the mid-morning departure a replica of one of the three ships that brought colonists to Virginia in 1607, to set sail and demonstrate sailing maneuvers in the James River. Entertainment of the 1600s will be presented, as well as artillery demonstrations and military drills. Visitors can enjoy a 17th-century fair with puppet shows, juggling and magic, and musical performances by Barry and Lynn Trott and The Itinerant Band. Visitors also can hear American Indian folktales and play a variety of period games, such as hobby-horse racing and jousting, stilt walking, hoops, stool ball, and bowling.

“The 17th Century: Gateway to the Modern World,” a special exhibition at Jamestown Settlement developed by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, explores developments that set in motion the transition from the “old” world of the Mediterranean to a new globally connected world. Visitors can take part in special family tours and a children’s printmaking activity linked to the special exhibition.

Separate Admission to Historic Jamestowne and Jamestown Settlement
There is separate admission to visit Historic Jamestowne and Jamestown Settlement. Free parking and shuttle services are available at both sites. Admission to Historic Jamestowne is $10.00 for people over age 15, free for people under 16.  Jamestown Settlement admission is $15.50 for adults and $7.25 for ages 6 through 12, free for children under 6. A four-site value ticket to Historic Jamestowne, Jamestown Settlement, Yorktown Battlefield and the Yorktown Victory Center is available for purchase at Jamestown Settlement and the Yorktown Victory Center.

For more information about Historic Jamestowne, call (757) 229-4997 or visit www.historicjamestowne.org. For more information about Jamestown Settlement, call (888) 593-4682 toll-free or visit hif.ciniva.net.



All Day: Explore America’s Birthplace. Discover the story of Jamestown by touring the Visitor Center exhibition gallery and the Nathalie P. and Alan M. Voorhees Archaearium Museum, Memorial Church and archaeological site of the 1607 James Fort, and the waysides of New Towne. At the Archaearium, view a recent archaeological find – a writing slate covered with drawings and words discovered in a 1610 well at the fort.

8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.: Free Enterprise and Early Industries.  Experience the work of craftsmen at the Glasshouse as they demonstrate glassmaking and blacksmiths smelting iron (10 a.m. – 4 p.m.) in the 1607 James Fort as practiced during the earliest years of Jamestown.

10 a.m. – 4 p.m.: “The Buried Truth.”  Share in the moment of discovery at the original 1607 James Fort. Meet the Jamestown Rediscovery archaeologists and learn about ongoing excavations and the latest find at the site of the earliest church in British America.

10 a.m. – 4 p.m.: Native Lifeways of the Chesapeake.  Learn about the Indians of early Virginia and interactions with the first settlers of Jamestown.

10 a.m. – 4 p.m.: Scavenger Hunts, Period Games & More.  Try a game of quoits, play “Survivor: A Jamestown Adventure” (free at the Visitor Center), toss your “trash” down a well, become a Junior Ranger and more. 

10 a.m. – 4 p.m.: Artifact Adventures at the Archaearium.  Join archaeological conservators to learn how artifacts make it from field to display and learn about the tools used to conserve them. Assist archaeologists sorting through the smallest excavated material to find animal bones, shell, and seeds for clues to fort life in the 17th century.

10 a.m., Noon, 2 and 3:30 p.m.: Ranger Walking Tour.  Take a guided Park Ranger tour to gain unique perspectives on the history of Jamestown and learn about the introduction of tobacco to the colony by John Rolfe in 1612. Tours continue on Sunday, May 13, at 12:30, 3 and 3:30 p.m.

11 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m.: St. Maries Citty Militia.  Watch this 17th-century re-enactment group as they demonstrate the weapons and battlefield tactics used in protecting themselves in case of attack. Demonstrations continue on Sunday, May 13, at 10:30 a.m., Noon and 1:30 p.m.

11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.: Archaeologist Walking Tour.  Join an archaeologist for an in-depth tour of the 1607 fort site and learn about this season’s excavations. 

2:30 – 3 p.m.: C-SPAN Call-In Show with Jamestown Rediscovery Staff. Archaeology Director Bill Kelso and Senior Archaeological Curator Bly Straube field live questions from C-SPAN viewers around the country about the latest archaeological discoveries.


All Day: Explore Museum Galleries and Special Exhibition. An introductory film and expansive gallery exhibits tell the Jamestown story in the context of the Powhatan Indian, English and African cultures that converged in the 1600s. More than 500 artifacts from 17th-century Europe and Africa and Virginia archaeological items are shown. Visitors can take in “The 17th Century: Gateway to the Modern World” special exhibition, organized by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

All Day: Living-History Interpretive Demonstrations.  Visit the re-created Powhatan Indian village, 1607 ships and colonial fort where costumed historical interpreters present hands-on programs and demonstrations, including canoe-making, navigation and matchlock musket-firing.

All Day: Period Games.  Join in fun and games of the 17th century, including hobby-horse racing and jousting, hoop rolling, whirligigs, stool ball, bowling, stilt walking, ninepins and quoits.

9:30 a.m., Noon and 2:45 p.m.: Storytelling.  Enjoy American Indian folktales in the Powhatan Indian village.

9:45 a.m., 12:45 and 4:15 p.m.: “Godspeed to Jamestown.”  A documentary from A&E Television Networks History chronicles the construction of Jamestown Settlement’s replica Godspeed from 2004 to 2006.

10 a.m.: Ship Sets Sail.  A cannon salute signals the departure of one of Jamestown Settlement’s replica ships from the ships’ pier to demonstrate sailing maneuvers in the James River. (Weather permitting.)

10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.: Children’s Crafts. Young visitors can try a printmaking craft related to “The 17th Century: Gateway to the Modern World” exhibition and take their handiwork home.

10:45 a.m. and 4:15 p.m.: Artillery.  Drill with a 17th-century falcon crew, then step back and cover your ears as the historical interpreters fire the weapon. (Weather permitting.)

11 a.m. and 2:45 p.m.: 17th-Century Music by Barry and Lynn Trott.  Enjoy popular 17th-century music on mandolin, guitar, flute and viola de gamba.

11:15 a.m. and 2:15 p.m.: Family Gallery Tour.  Explore the “The 17th Century: Gateway to the Modern World” exhibition in a family-focused tour for visitors of all ages.

11:45 and 2 p.m.: 17th-Century Music by The Itinerant Band.  Five Tidewater region musicians perform a sampling of 1600s music from the British Isles.

12:30 and 3:15 p.m.: 17th-Century Fair.  Music, juggling and magic culminate in a 1600s-style puppet show.