On one of our last days we visited the other parts of the Historic Triangle: Jamestown and Yorktown. Jamestown was first.
First stop was the Powhatan village. They lived in big round white houses that were thatched. The beds and houses looked remarkably comfortable. The Powhatans were planters and their villages were small with 50 to 1000 people at the most. They tended large gardens. Girls didn’t get their first set of clothing until they were about 11 years old.Next stop was the ships whose names were The Discovery, Godspeed, and the Susan-Constant. Susan Constant was the largest and we were allowed to board and view the accommodations. The voyage to get to Jamestown took about 5 months and after looking at the beds and cabins I decided I would never travel this way.
Next stop was the fort. There were quite a few cabins in the fort along with two storage buildings and a church. You were required to attend church twice a day. If you happened to miss as much as three weeks the punishment was severe: death. We enjoyed watching the chickens take dust baths, especially a handsome one named Bob.
After lunch we took the Colonial Parkway over to Yorktown. It was a delightful drive, but rather tortuous for those of us who were thirsty as there were no convenience stores along this route! In Yorktown we saw more details leading up to the revolution, what a camp would have looked like on a smaller scale, a doctor’s instruments (including a saw!), what farming was like after the revolution, how to make soap, and the Yorktown Victory Monument. Then it was back to Williamsburg to finish off our day by viewing the Fife and Drum Core march down the street. The music was so thrilling we were compelled to follow down the street. One of my favorite parts of the whole week!
The next day we visited the Raleigh Tavern. I was surprised to learn what staying in a tavern actually meant back then. We viewed the public room first. It cost about a day’s wages just for a meal and you took what you got. Good taverns were required to provide four things: food, beer or spirits, beds, and stabling for horses. Private rooms were pricier, but there were only two to a bed and you would meet who you slept with. Common rooms were cheaper and anyone could sleep in there!
We also visited the Getty House. Getty was a silversmith. He wasn’t rich, but he was comfortably off. He had five children, three girls and two boys. His bother’s had a foundry in the back and he had swings and see-saws in his yard. Next was the garden tour and Williamsburg’s gardens are most amazing although they require a lot of walking to see them all! We finished up our visit with a trip to the Capitol and of course a visit to the gift shops.
After that we worked our way back home by way of Washington, D.C. It was a wonderful vacation where I learned so much I would have never gotten from a textbook and enjoyed it. Years later I still dream about being able to go back someday to travel back in time to Colonial Williamsburg!