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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Williamsburg in James City County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Backstreet – Jamestown’s Main Street 1620-1699

 
 
Backstreet – Jamestown’s Main Street 1620-1699 Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Bill Coughlin, August 14, 2008
1. Backstreet – Jamestown’s Main Street 1620-1699 Marker
Inscription. As Jamestown expanded beyond the fort, the Virginia Company sent William Claiborne to survey lots in New Towne. There Ralph Hamor patented an acre and a half lot in 1624. Hamor’s deed made it clear that at least three streets already existed – “Backstreete,” “the highway along the river,” and a connecting street. His neighbors along Backstreete included William Peirce, Dr. John Pott, Governor Sir Francis Wyatt, and future governor John Harvey.

Backstreete served as Jamestown’s main street throughout the 17th century. The church anchored the street to the west, and a cluster of homes owned by Virginia’s ruling gentry to the east. Building incentives encouraged prominent citizens like Richard Kemp, William Sherwood, Henry Hartwell, and William May to build fine brick homes along Backstreete.

Even when Williamsburg became Virginia’s new capital, Backstreete remained the best location in Jamestown. In the 1750s, Richard Ambler built a mansion, now in ruins nearby, as a centerpiece of his plantation.
 
Erected by Colonial National Historic Park.
 
Location. 37° 12.502′ N, 76° 46.663′ W. Marker is near Williamsburg, Virginia, in James City County. Marker can be reached
Marker in Historic Jamestowne Photo, Click for full size
By Bill Coughlin, August 14, 2008
2. Marker in Historic Jamestowne
from Colonial Parkway, on the right when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is in the "New Towne" section of the Historic Jamestown unit of Colonial National Historic Park. Marker is in this post office area: Williamsburg VA 23185, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Greate Road – An Early Highway pre-1607-1700s (a few steps from this marker); Jamestown Tercentenary Monument (within shouting distance of this marker); Jamestown (within shouting distance of this marker); A Jamestown Warehouse 1630s-1699 (within shouting distance of this marker); Foundations at Jamestown (within shouting distance of this marker); Jamestown’s Churches (within shouting distance of this marker); Swann’s Tavern 1670s (within shouting distance of this marker); Pocahontas (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line). Click for a list of all markers in Williamsburg.
 
More about this marker. The right side of the marker contains a drawing of some of Jamestown’s gentry. The left of the marker features a current photo of Backstreet and a map of it’s length in New Towne.
 
Also see . . .
1. Backstreete - Main Street of Jamestown 1620 – 1699. Colonial National Historic Park from National Park Service website. (Submitted on March 16, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
Marker in Jamestown’s New Towne Photo, Click for full size
By Bill Coughlin, August 14, 2008
3. Marker in Jamestown’s New Towne
The Backstreet of Jamestown can be seen beyond the marker.
 

2. Historic Jamestowne. Historic Jamestowne is the site of the first permanent English settlement in America. The site is jointly administered by APVA Preservation Virginia and the National Park Service. (Submitted on March 16, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 
 
Categories. Colonial EraRoads & Vehicles
 
Ruins of the Ambler House Photo, Click for full size
By Bill Coughlin, August 14, 2008
4. Ruins of the Ambler House
The remains of the mansion of Richard Ambler is located on Jamestown’s Backstreet, a short distance from the marker.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 756 times since then and 51 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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