Historic Jamestowne, encompassing all of Jamestown Island, is the original site of James Fort and the first successful English settlement in North America. The 1500+ acre island is connected to the mainland by a manmade causeway via the Colonial Parkway. Historic Jamestowne is located in James City County, Virginia, just outside Williamsburg. It anchors one end of the “Historic Triangle,” which includes Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown.
In preparation for Jamestown’s 400th Anniversary in 2007, Preservation Virginia and the National Park Service rebranded Jamestown Island as “Historic Jamestowne,” where both organizations provide tours, programs, and events year round. Preservation Virginia has researched, preserved, and interpreted their 22.5 acre corner of the island since 1893, when the site was donated by the Barney Family to the independent non-profit organization. The National Park Service purchased the rest of the island in 1934 and created “Colonial National Historical Park” of land it owned on Jamestown Island, the Colonial Parkway, and parts of the historic town and battlefields of Yorktown.
Preservation Virginia’s acreage on the western end of the island includes the James Fort site and current Jamestown Rediscovery archaeological digs, the 17th-century brick church tower and cemetery, the 1907 brick Memorial Church, the riverside Dale House Café run by Carrot Tree Kitchens, the Archaearium archaeology museum, and the Rediscovery Center research and collections facilities.
The National Park Service maintains the main Visitor Center, education facilities, and exhibits. The NPS property includes the former townsite of “New Towne” that developed into James City; the Island Drive with its three- and five-mile loops through the forests and wetlands of Jamestown; and the NPS Glasshouse, the site of the archaeological ruins of a 17th-century glassworks and where Eastern National master glassblowers demonstrate the trade today. The NPS Jamestown archaeological collection and research facilities are under the same roof as the Rediscovery Center.