The Virginia Company sailed from England to try and establish the first permanent English colony in
the New World. Their instructions were to settle Virginia, find gold and a water route to the Orient. The explorers landed on Jamestown
Island on the banks of the James River on May 14, 1607.
The mission of Historic Jamestowne
is to preserve, protect and promote the original site of the first permanent English settlement in North America and 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.
At Historic Jamestowne, visitors can share discoveries with archaeologists at the 1607 James Fort excavation,
view artifacts, tour the original 17th-century church tower and reconstructed church, tour the remains of the original settlement
along the scenic James River, and watch glassblowers use 17th century techniques to create handblown objects. Driving and bicycle
tours explore the lush natural island setting where several scenes from the movie where shot. Exhibits explain how the settlers
harnessed the wilderness for their needs. Visitors regularly see bald eagles, heron, osprey, deer and other wildlife.
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 re-creations 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.
America's 400th Anniversary: Jamestown 2007
The goal of Virginia's 400th Anniversary, in 2007, is to capture the spirit, imagination, and diversity of the people of
Virginia, and develop that energy into a myriad of signature events, national and international programs that bring a renewed historical
awareness of Virginia's role as the birthplace of modern America and the cradle of American democratic traditions, ideologies and principles.