Celebrated as America’s birthplace, Jamestown, Virginia, has a rich history, beginning in 1607 when the first permanent English settlement in the New World was established. This island in the James River, now referred to as Historic Jamestowne, has witnessed many a change in the past 400 years. Though it was, for almost a century, the capital of Virginia, it was later all but abandoned and used as farmland. During the Civil War, Jamestown served as an outpost for both Confederate and Union troops. As the result of efforts on the part of the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities (APVA) and the National Park Service, Jamestown is today a well-preserved historical site and welcomes nearly half a million visitors annually. Such famous individuals as President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Queen Mother, and Queen Elizabeth II have traveled to mark Jamestown’s heritage. Visitors to nearby Jamestown Settlement, a state park, enjoy replicas of the original fort and the three ships that carried the first settlers.
Authors: William Molineux and Rodney B. Taylor