Until 1699, Jamestown was the colonial capital of a newly established Virginia. When the statehouse was lost to fire the decision was made to move the government to the nearby community of Middle Plantation. Quickly renamed Williamsburg, it remained the hub for the Commonwealth of Virginia until 1780 when the government once again moved, this time to the current capital city of Richmond.
Today, a number of original and reconstructed buildings line the streets of Colonial Williamsburg where visitors can wander and learn about life in a newly emerging America. Costumed ”residents” stroll the walkways while artisans demonstrate the various skills that kept the settlement safe and secure.
The earlier Jamestown Settlement takes visitors back to the year 1607 when 104 men and boys arrived in three boats from England, establishing the first permanent English settlement in North America. James Fort was soon built to provide protection but did little to prevent disease and starvation of early settlers. It wasn’t until 1619 that about 90 women were recruited and shipped over to become wives, begin families and to establish a permanent colony.
Heading back to the future, we drove the self-guided tour of Yorktown Battlefield, the site of the last American Revolutionary War battle. Easy to follow signs lead drivers through points of interest for both the American and French allies as well as areas occupied by the ill-fated British troops.
The town of Williamsburg is located in Eastern Virginia and no visit to this region would be complete without stops at these three famed American locales. America’s Historic Triangle is situated between the York River and the James River and connected by the Colonial Parkway, a beautiful 23-mile drive beneath a canopy of trees. Spend a day…or spend a week like we did!