On the way home from one of our recent trips to Richmond to visit our son and granddaughter, we made a stop in historic Jamestown. Considered the first English settlement in the new world, it was settled in 1607, 13 years before the Pilgrims landed in Massachusetts. This year marks the 400th anniversary of that founding. On the banks of the James River they were sposored by the Virginia Company of London who thought they could make an easy profit from the riches they expected to find there. Life was no bowl of cherries for the colonists as they suffered many hardships just trying to survive. I suspect it was less of a picnic for the native americans who found their way of life threatened and the first Africans subsequently brought there against their will aboard some of the first slaves ships in the Americas.
We found very extensive indoor gallery exhibits and explored life-size re-creations of the colonists' fort and a Powhattan Indian village, as well as replicas of the three ships they made the journey in. If you are interested in learning more, here's an interesting website: http://www.historyisfun.org/Jamestown-Settlement.htm
A view of Jamestown looking towards the river
Totem pole designs in the recreated Powhatan village
A weaver in colonial costume making fishing nets from jute
On a day trip to Philadelphia we visited the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall