Location, location, location…
When acclaimed director Terrence Malick looked for the perfect place to shoot The New World, a sweeping adventure set amid the first encounter of European and Native American cultures during the founding of the first permanent English settlement in 1607, he went to the place where it all began - Jamestown, Virginia.
There was something compelling about recreating the classic tale of Pocahontas and her relationships with adventurer John Smith and aristocrat John Rolfe at the place where it actually happened.
Although the actual movie sets no longer exist, boaters on the Chickahominy River can experience the water vistas that are seen in the film and view the spots where Powhatan's village and the fort once stood.
For an even better idea of what the settlers and Indians experienced, visit Historic Jamestowne, the archeological dig where new artifacts are being unearthed daily and Jamestown Settlement, a living history museum where costumed historic interpreters are your guides at replicas of the fort, Indian village, and the Discovery, Godspeed and Susan Constant, recreations of the original 17th century sailing ships.First Landing State Park
On April 26, 1607, 100 English settlers landed here and established the first elective government in English America before pushing up the James River to establish Jamestown.
First Landing State Park offers a chance to explore a unique habitat featuring lagoons, large cypress trees and rare plants. More than 19 miles of hiking trails wind through the natural area, and guided kayak ecological tours allow exploration of the marshes and bays. Climate-controlled cabins, campsites, picnic areas, boat ramps, kayak rentals, and a bicycle trail are also available.
Its Chesapeake Bay Center has aquariums and a wet lab operated by the Virginia Marine Science Museum, educational displays, historic exhibits, a camp store, an amphitheater and a Gateways Program regional welcome center.The James River
The James River is different from most piedmont rivers because it flows through the heart of Richmond's urban district over a 7-mile shelf of granite, dropping more than 100 feet over the fall line where it changes to tidal waters.
Moving gently in some areas and over whitewater rapids in others, the James is the longest, most historic river in Virginia, flowing beneath Civil War train trestles and modern-day bridges with panoramic cityscapes and breathtaking natural beauty as backdrops.
The river is studded with islands and huge rocks that allow paddlers time to picnic, soak up the sunshine and fresh air or doze to the sounds of the river flowing by. Water levels are normally sufficient for year-round canoeing and suitable for paddlers of all levels of experience.
The James River, though most well known, represents just one of the Commonwealth's host of great river experiences.Jamestown Settlement/Historic Jamestowne
Jamestown Settlement, a museum of 17th-century colonial Virginia, explores the world of America's first permanent English colony.
The story of the people who founded Jamestown and of the Virginia Indians they encountered is told through film, gallery exhibits and living history.
Outdoors, visitors can board replicas of the three ships that sailed from England to Virginia in 1607, explore life-size recreations of the colonists' fort and a Powhatan village, and tour a riverfront discovery area to learn about European, Powhatan and African economic activities associated with water.
The mission of Historic Jamestowne is to preserve, protect and promote the original site of the first permanent English settlement in North America.
Historic Jamestowne also seeks to tell the story of the role of the three cultures, European, North American and African, that came together to lay the foundation for a uniquely American form of democratic government, language, free enterprise and society.Chickahominy River
A tributary of the James River, the Chickahominy River rises to the northeast of Richmond and flows southeast to the James. For its first 9 miles the Chickahominy flows over the Piedmont but soon becomes a Coastal Plain stream near Mechanicsville.
Many New World scenes were shot on or around the Chickahominy, including several Native American camps and the recreated Jamestown fort, though the fort was completely dismantled after shooting.
Specific locations include Charles City, Virginia, and Chickahominy Riverfront Park in Williamsburg.Rolfe Farm at Berkeley Plantation
Berkeley is one of Virginia's most historic plantations. It is noted as the site of the first official Thanksgiving in 1619 and is the birthplace of both Benjamin Harrison, signer of the Declaration of Independence, and President William Henry Harrison, our nation's ninth president, whose grandson Benjamin became the 23rd president.
The site also played a distinctive role in military history as the location where Brig. Gen. Daniel Butterfield composed the 132-year-old bugle call "Taps". Butterfield reputedly wrote the tune in July 1862, replacing the customary firing of three rifle volleys at the end of burials during battle.
The elegant 1726 Georgian mansion is furnished with rare period antiques. Five terraces of restored boxwood and flower gardens overlook farmlands and offer breathtaking vistas of the James River.
Berkeley Plantation holds several special yearly events, including the Autumn Sunset and Spirits Tour and Centuries of Christmas at Berkeley Plantation.Agecroft Hall/Belle Isle, James River
Agecroft Hall: A "transplant" from pre-Elizabethan England, Agecroft Hall was dismantled and brought to Virginia piece by piece in 1926 where it was reconstructed near the James River. The great hall, with its original 16th-century oak paneling, rises over two-stories and is surmounted by a minstrel's gallery. A magnificent mullioned bay window, 10 feet high and 25 feet long, bears the ancient coat of arms of its former owners in stained glass. Its 23 acres of lawns and gardens overlook the river.
Belle Isle, James River: From a Native American fishing village to a 20th century stell plant, Belle Isle Historic Park is a 54 acre island in the heart of Richmond that shows the social and economic history of Virginia's capitol city. Massive cliffs, crashing rapids and stone ruins all reflect 300 years of changing land use.
The New World Photos: Merie Weismiller Wallace, SMPSP / © 2004 New Line Productions. All Rights Reserved.