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WILLIAMSBURG, Va., April 8, 2013 – A historic port in Mathews County is the first of four destinations this year for Jamestown Settlement’s Godspeed, a re-creation of one of the three ships that brought America’s first permanent English colonists to Virginia in 1607.  Jamestown Settlement is a museum of 17th-century Virginia operated by the state’s Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation.

 Jamestown Settlement Godspeed under sail

The Godspeed will be docked at the Mathews Land Conservancy’s Williams Wharf Landing on the East River Friday through Sunday, April 26-28, and will host public tours from 2 to 5 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.  Prescheduled maritime education programs will be presented for Mathews County Public Schools students 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday.  Named for Samuel Williams, who established a trading port and warehouse near the time of the American Revolution, Williams Wharf became a leading center of maritime activity in the 1800s.  It served as a major port for steamboats traversing the Chesapeake Bay from Baltimore to Norfolk in the early 20th century.

During the Godspeed visit, the Mathews Land Conservancy is presenting a special exhibit in the community building at Williams Wharf.  “When We Belonged to England” will showcase the area in the 17th century when sailing vessels were built there and tobacco, the important cash crop of the colonial period, was shipped to England.

The Godspeed is scheduled to participate in Norfolk’s annual Harborfest maritime event June 7-9, beginning with a parade of sail leading to the Norfolk waterfront.  The ship will host education programs and public tours during fall voyages to Henricus Historical Park, September 21-24, and Virginia’s Eastern Shore, with visits to Onancock October 19-21 and Cape Charles October 25-27.  

During the Godspeed’s absences from Jamestown Settlement, museum visitors will have access to the Susan Constant and Discovery, re-creations of the other two 1607 ships.
The Godspeed is sailed by a crew of Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation staff and volunteers, and its voyages are supported with private donations.

For information about Jamestown Settlement, located at 2110 Jamestown Road, Williamsburg 23185, call (888) 593-4682 toll-free or (757) 253-4838 or visit hif.ciniva.net.

For information about Williams Wharf Landing, located at 1039 Williams Wharf Road, Mathews 23109, call (804) 725-9685.