After a day with the colonists in Williamsburg, our family had the better part of a day to “waste” before the start of Christmas Town. After driving around witnessing the gorgeous fall changing of the leaves, we arrived near the Jamestown Settlement, located along the James River in Virginia. After a brief introduction at the welcome center, we were on our way to explore the history and living history of the Jamestown interpretive site.
The English colonists had developed a working relationship with the Powhatan Indians, and as a result, it probably helped contribute to their survival in the foreign land. After a five month journey at sea, finally getting to establish their feet on soil must have been a welcomed relief. However, besides creating a relationship with the Powhatan Indians, the colonists also had to be fearful of the Spanish.
There were several presentations by the Powhatan Indian actors, including Thanksgiving food preparations, where we learned the skill of making cornbread biscuits directly in the ashes of the fire. The boys and I also got to try our hand at corn grinding with a mortar and pestle. You do not think we are all fun and no work, do you?
Once our hands were dirty, the boys, Mrs. and I were on to explore the recreations of the Susan Constant, Discovery, and Godspeed ships that brought the original English colonists to America. Land-Shark (1) and I really got to explore the innards of the Susan Constant, and quickly realized how difficult life would have been for 5 months on the small ship.
In addition to the small quarters, and rough seas, we learned about the typical biscuits and assorted foods that would have been transported while at sea. The difficulty back then was the transportation of water, as it quickly would mold inside the wooden barrels. That is why beer was the traditional beverage of transport. Their biscuits were a dry food, as anything containing water would quickly go bad.
After getting a real world understanding of colonial life, it was amazing to think how anyone could be convinced to go out and explore a new land.
My most noble adventure of the day took place once entering into the fort. While others were learning how to prepare the feast, or shoot guns, I was busy getting ready for war by dawning my bronze headgear and breast plate. You just never know when you are going to get attacked by a rogue sippycup or whacked in the back of the head while driving down the road by a leftover Skittle.
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