Jamestown Day

Join us on Saturday, May 11, for Jamestown Day, which marks the 412th anniversary of the 1607 founding of America’s first permanent English settlement. All events listed below are free with a Historic Jamestowne admission ticket.

9:00am–5:00pm: Explore America’s Birthplace
Discover the story of Jamestown by touring the Visitor Center exhibition gallery and the Natalie P. and Alan M. Voorhees Archaearium Museum, Memorial Church, and archaeological site of the 1607 James Fort, and the waysides of New Towne.

9:00am–5:00pm: Jamestown Glasshouse
Experience the work of craftsmen at the Glasshouse as they demonstrate glass making that was practiced during Jamestown’s earliest years. Location: Glasshouse

9:00am–5:00pm: In the Footsteps of Democracy
Visit the newly-refurbished Memorial Church to view the archaeological remains of Jamestown’s 1617 Church, the meeting place of the first representative government in English America. Stand on the exact spot where the first General Assembly was held in 1619 and our nation’s democracy began. Location: Memorial Church

9:30am–5:30pm: From Fort to Port: Legacies of 1619
Visit the newest exhibit in the Archaearium to explore how Jamestown developed into a flourishing port town by the second half of the 17th century. Learn more about the tobacco boom in Virginia as well as how the exploitation of Africans, Virginia Indians, and indentured servants. Location: Archaearium

10:00am–10:30am: Meet Temperance Yeardley
Join Lady Yeardley as she welcomes new colonists and shares the challenges of her past 10 years in Virginia. Hear her describe her first winter, “the starving time”, and martial law. She may offer insights into rumored changes that the Virginia Company has instructed her husband, Governor George Yeardley, to make. Rumors of a representative government and land ownership! Location: Memorial Church

10:00am–4:00pm: Hands on the Past!
The Ed Shed is an interactive space where kids and families can share in the moment of discovery and examine real artifacts found at the site. Enjoy an array of hands-on activities such as pottery mending or screening for artifacts to learn more about the importance of archaeology and conservation. At the “sorting and picking” station lend a hand and help the archaeological team by combing through excavated material to discover the tiniest clues to fort life in the 17th century! Location: The Ed Shed.

10:00am–4:00pm: Archaeology in Action!
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 discoveries. Location: James Fort

10:00am–4:00pm: Forged in History
Blacksmithing was one of the earliest trades to be practiced at Jamestown. Join Blacksmiths Shel Browder and Steve Mankowski for demonstrations and a discussion of the types of work that went on at the site of the original James Fort Forge. Location: James Fort.

10:00am–4:00pm: “Hoops and Staves”
Join Cooper Marshall Scheetz as he demonstrates traditional methods and tools in creating buckets, barrels and casks. While the technology of coopering (making wooden storage containers) has existed for over 3,000 years, at Jamestown casks were once used to transport precious cargo such as wine, beer, tobacco, sugar, and salt. And every household had a need for wooden buckets and tubs. Location: Archaearium

10:00am–4:00pm: Native Lifeways of the Chesapeake
Meet Dan Firehawk Abbott of the Nanticoke people of Maryland’s Eastern Shore and learn about the material culture and life ways of the Tidewater Algonquians and their interactions with the settlers of Jamestown. Location: Archaearium

10:00am–4:00pm: A New Life in the New World
Learn firsthand about the trials of the first English settlers and their experiences exploring the Chesapeake from Anas Todkill, one of the settlers who explored the bay with Captain John Smith. Location: James Fort

11:00am-12:00pm: James Fort Archaeology Walking Tour
Join an archaeologist or education specialist for an in-depth tour of the 1607 fort site and learn about this season’s excavations and new discoveries. Tour begins at the Tercentennial Monument.

11:00am–3:00pm: Kids Dig Historic Jamestowne
This “field work” for children will be focused around a simulated archaeology dig. Here, kids will practice digging techniques, participate in screening activities and develop the knowledge necessary to identify archaeological features, artifacts and stratigraphy. Location: Dig Box near the The Ed Shed.

12:30pm–1:00pm: Meet Temperance Yeardley
Join Lady Yeardley as she welcomes new colonists and shares the challenges of her past 10 years in Virginia. Hear her describe her first winter, “the starving time”, and martial law. She may offer insights into rumored changes that the Virginia Company has instructed her husband, Governor George Yeardley, to make. Rumors of a representative government and land ownership! Location: Memorial Church

1:00pm–2:00pm: James Fort Archaeology Walking Tour
Join an archaeologist or education specialist for an in-depth tour of the 1607 fort site and learn about this season’s excavations and new discoveries. Tour begins at the Tercentennial Monument.

2:00pm–3:00pm: First Africans Walking Tour
This walking tour of New Towne will focus on the arrival of the first Africans in Virginia in 1619. But the story of African Americans at Jamestown goes beyond 1619… Tours begin at the Tercentennial Monument.

3:15pm–4:15pm: Angela’s Story
Meet one of the earliest Africans who lived on Jamestown Island as she recalls her former home in Angola and the new world she was brought to live in. Program begins at the conclusion of the First Africans Walking Tour. Location: Memorial Church

Download Jamestown Day Program

Jamestown Day is sponsored by Historic Jamestowne—site of the original 1607 settlement jointly administered by the National Park Service and the Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation on behalf of Preservation Virginia, in partnership with Jamestown Settlement—a living-history museum of 17th-century Virginia administered by the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation.