Monuments at Historic Jamestowne

Pocahontas Statue

The larger-than-life Pocahontas statue is one of the most famous images of Jamestown Island. Its hands are worn a bright copper color because so many visitors have held them while posing for photos. The statue has appeared on postcards for generations, though it features historical inaccuracies such as clothing more fitting for a Plains Indian woman.

Sculptor William Ordway Partridge worked on a statue of the famous Indian woman for the 300th anniversary events in 1907, but funding was short. It wasn't until the federal government donated $5,000 in 1913 that the bronze statue was finished. The dedication ceremony was June 1922 and included about 500 visitors; a member of the Rappahannock tribe; Dr. J.A.C. Chandler, president of the College of William and Mary; and Dr. Lyon G. Tyler, former president of the college.

The statue and its pedestal stood almost 18 feet tall. It stood south of the 1907 Memorial Church, where she could welcome visitors coming from off the ferry. Pocahontas moved to the low rock base near the APVA entrance gate for the 350th celebration in 1957. In 2014 Pocahontas moved a few feet to the west to make way for archaeological work. A reproduction of the statue was given to the British people by the governor of Virginia to adorn Pocahontas’ burial grounds at St. George's Church in Gravesend, England.

John Smith

Captain John Smith’s most famous adventures were as one of the first settlers of James Fort. Today his bronze statue stands within the outlines of the original fort and is one of the most recognized features of Historic Jamestowne.

Norfolk native William Couper designed the heroic portrayal of Smith, who served as leader of the colony for a year but inspired enough envy that he both entered and left the Virginia colony under arrest. With a granite base, the statue measures 20 feet tall. The inscription on the base reads: “John Smith, Governor of Virginia, 1608” and features Smith’s adopted coat of arms and motto, vincere est vivere (“to live is to conquer”).

The statue was a gift from Joseph Bryan and his wife, Isobel Lamont Stewart Bryan, early supporters of the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities (now Preservation Virginia). The statue was unveiled May 13, 1909, by Joseph Bryan III, grandson of original donor.

Hunt Shrine

The Rev. Robert Hunt (1568-1608) was the first Anglican minister of the colony. The Colonial Dames of America in the State of Virginia erected a shrine in June 1922 to commemorate the earliest celebration of the Holy Communion in the first permanent English settlement in America.

Fellow settlers described Hunt as "an honest, religious and courageous divine, he preferred the service of God in so good a voyage to every thought of ease at home. He endured every privation, yet none ever heard him repine. During his life our factions were oft healed and our greatest extremities so comforted that they seemed easy in comparison with what we endured after his memorable death."

The shrine was designed by Ralph Adams Cram. It frames a bas-relief depicting the 1607 service with two 16-foot-high brick pillars supporting a sandstone arch. The shrine was first set with its back to the James River, but in 1960 the shrine was rolled to face the river from the northern earthwork of the Civil War’s Fort Pocahontas. This position takes advantage of a small amphitheater setting.

General Assembly Monument
This small obelisk commemorates the first representative democracy in English North America. The first meeting of Virginia’s General Assembly was in July 1619 in a church a few feet from where the obelisk stands at Historic Jamestowne today. The monument was unveiled July 31, 1907, during the 300th anniversary of the Jamestown settlement and was a gift of the Norfolk branch of the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities (now Preservation Virginia).
Wooden Cross

The large wooden cross that stands just outside the entrance to the Archaearium museum was erected by the APVA in 1957 to honor the memory of settlers who died in first years of colony. It was dedicated by the Rev. Henry Knox Sherill, then presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church.

The inscription reads: “To the Glory of God and in grateful memory of those early settlers, the founders of this nation who died at Jamestown during the first perilous years of the colony. Their bodies lie along the ridge beyond this cross, in the earliest known burial ground of the English in America.”

Horse Trough
The water trough that sits just outside the Yeardley House offices of the Jamestown Rediscovery Project was placed on the island in an era when people still rode horses. The bronze basin was a gift from the Society of Colonial Wars in 1907 and designed by noted architect Harold Van Buren Magonigle.
APVA Gates
The brick and iron entrance to the land owned by the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities (now Preservation Virginia) was a gift from the Colonial Dames of America. It was presented May 9, 1909, and then relocated to its present location northeast of the Memorial Church in 1957.
Tercentennial Monument
The tall monument that looks like the Washington Monument in the nation’s capital was placed on Jamestown Island by the United States government in 1907 for the 300th anniversary of the settlement. It cost $50,000, stands 103 feet tall, and is made of New Hampshire granite. The steps at the base were covered with dirt when the first visitor center was built in 1957, but now the platform provides many visitors a shaded resting spot on hot summer days.