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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)
 

Interpreting Jamestown

 
 
Interpreting Jamestown Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 14, 2008
1. Interpreting Jamestown Marker
Inscription. In 1934, the National Park Service acquired 1,500 acres of Jamestown Island, including New Towne. Since then, the NPS has used different methods to tell visitors about the town. After archaeologists unearthed numerous structures with brick foundations and cellars, they left the excavations open for visitors to see. Because reconstruction might damage fragile archaeological evidence and no one could say for sure what the original buildings looked like, they were not re-built on site. When the exposed foundations suffered from the elements, they had to be reburied.

To prepare for the 350th anniversary in 1957, archaeologist J. C. Harrington suggested that “the present foundations, which have been excavated and covered back over, be capped with a layer of concrete and then built up to a point above ground level by old brick obtained during the Jamestown excavation.” “The whole town site,” he proposed, “should be landscaped to give the feeling of openness under trees.”

Originally painted white to signify that they were replications of footings below ground, these reconstructed foundations caused confusion as the paint faded.

Today’s landscape, like those in the past, will no doubt be replaced by new efforts to help visitors gain a greater understanding of 17th-century Jamestown.
Marker in Historic Jamestowne image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 14, 2008
2. Marker in Historic Jamestowne

 
Erected by Colonial National Historic Park.
 
Location. 37° 12.457′ N, 76° 46.611′ W. Marker is near Williamsburg, Virginia, in James City County. Marker can be reached 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. Colonial Highway (within shouting distance of this marker); Efforts of a Virginia Tradesman 1670s (within shouting distance of this marker); Water and Well (within shouting distance of this marker); A Jamestown Warehouse 1630s-1699 (within shouting distance of this marker); Backstreet – Jamestown’s Main Street 1620-1699 (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); A Campsite pre-1607 (about 400 feet away); The Greate Road – An Early Highway pre-1607-1700s (about 400 feet away); Ditch and Mound (about 400 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Williamsburg.
 
More about this marker. The right of the marker contains a photograph of the “Reconstructed Marable house foundation in white brick and landscape in New Towne, ca.
Interpreting Jamestown Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 14, 2008
3. Interpreting Jamestown Marker
Some foundations excavated in New Towne can be seen behind the marker.
1957.” The left of the marker features several photographs of various excavations in Jamestown. These include, “Merchant row house excavated in the 1930s,” “Reconstructed foundation and landscape in New Towne, ca. 1957” and an “Aerial view of New Towne, ca. 1950s, showing over six miles of excavation trenches dug in 50-foot grids across the site.”
 
Also see . . .
1. Interpreting Jamestown. Colonial National Historic Park from National Park Service website. (Submitted on March 20, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 

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 20, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 
 
Categories. Colonial Era
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 681 times since then and 56 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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