Sunday, November 9, 2008

Jamestown, VA

The Powhatan (Indian) people lived in the area that would become known as the Jamestown Settlement in Virginia.
They lived in dome shaped structures called yehakins such as this one above. They were built by bending young saplings and covering them with bark or mats woven from reeds. A fire, which was made by nature such as lightening strikes, was constantly burning in the middle of the floor.
They hunted animal's for food and clothing and ate such crops as corn, beans, squash and sunflower seeds.

In 1607, the Susan Constant ship arrived bringing the first English Settlers to the new country.

Life as the Powhatan knew it was soon to change with the arrival of the Englishman.
I did not know they had fires on ships but just look at that kitchen!
The English brought technology to the Powhatan people and the Powhatan people taught the English how to hunt and grow crops for survival.
Things were fine for a while then war broke out between the Powhatan and English. James Fort was the heart of the first settlement in North America. That was the start to what we know today as the United States of America...
At the Jamestown Settlement, you can learn all about the Powhatan and English Settlers with a wonderful museum. Also a living history area filled with people in Period Attire that will tell you anything you want to know about life in the 1600's. You can see first hand how the people lived in that day and time and walk aboard the three replica ships, Susan Constant, Elizabeth and the Discovery.
As you walk the grounds you can see such things as this gourd growing in the garden and listen as people tell you how to prepare them to be used as tools such as eating utensils. I was taking notes for birdhouses.
Bushes were filled with blooms all over the settlement. This one resembles a Jasmine but not sure what it was.
We had no idea what this bush was either. It was captivating to me as it was so soft looking that I wanted to touch it.
Look at the soft feathery looking fluff that bush was showing us. Can anyone name this bush? And just look at those beautiful little smiley faces looking up to the sunshine.

We truly enjoyed our day at JAMESTOWN and being, In the Garden...


  1. Hello Skeeter;

    There's nothing like constructing your own birdhouses. I have never done any with gourds but have a slew out there made of wood. I have two for owls ready to go out soon.

    When I see birdhouses mentioned, I always give a plug to the Brown Foster Home in Rome, Maine. As an activity program and fund raiser of sorts they build birdhouses with found art and recycled materials. I first met them many years ago at the Laudholm Nature Craft Festival in Wells, Maine. These are great birdhouses supporting a good cause.
    .....and a great gift for the holidays!

    George Africa
    The Vermont Gardener
    Vermont Gardens
    Vermont Flower Farm

  2. Skeeter, we must be playing blog tag. I was at Jamestown yesterday with my son's cub scout troop, but we went to the other section run by the Ntl. Park Service. I hope to post my pictures soon. Although I drive by it frequently, I have not been a visitor since third grade and I had a great time. It looks like you had a great time too. I am very glad they spend a lot of time telling the Native American story as well as that of the English, this was not always the case.

    Your mystery shrub that looks like Jasemine is most likely Glossy Abelia. Your other shrub is Salt Bush and around here you do not find it far from the water's edge. It was a feature in one of my posts last month. If you are interested here is the link:

    Where are we going next?

  3. such a great place to visit! It's been more years than I care to count since I've been there, but I loved it. My kids were small when we visited. They loved it. It was a fun and educational trip for them. One of my great uncles did some geneological research on our family and confirmed an old family story that Pocahontas is one of our ancestors. Thanks for the tour Skeeter!

  4. Hi Skeeter, thank you for taking us through another interesting tour. I've never heard about the Powhatan people and yehakins. Our knowledge of Native Americans mainly came from reading Louis L'Amour (more than 30 years ago--how time flies!)...and like Les I'm tempted to ask you the same question--where are we going next?!

    BTW, loved the photos though I don't have the faintest idea about the blooms!

  5. Thanks for the tour of Jamestown--I love reading about other people's vacations, especially when they show me nice garden shots. BTW, I read in your profile you lived in Europe for 10 years. Where?
    ~ Monica

  6. Plant IDs for you:

    Not a jasmine, it's an abelia.

    The soft, cottony shrub is a Saltbush or Baccharis halimifolia. That's a native shrub. Beautiful...have one, but keep it from seeding out.


  7. Really interesting post. I've never seen that type of Native American structure before or those unusual plants.

  8. Love anything to do with history and would love to visit Jamestown someday. Just as I was getting ready to add the soft white plant to my wish list, I learn it only grows near the coast. Oh well, it is stll beautiful. Thanks for a lovely tour.

  9. Good morning all!

    Skeeter, I just love the tour. I had never seen those types of huts before and find them quite cool. Our native American history is a rich one. I love that feather like plant. I am glad Les identified and remember seeing it on his post. Very pretty. Cold and overcast here:( But no rain. Easy day today.

    Monica, I lived in Germany for more than 10 years actually, I just round it to 10 years. Heidelberg for 6, Wurzburg for 4, and the Hanau area for less than one year. I spent a few months in Italy as well. Not really living but more like working. I really miss Europe and try to put it in my backyard. Lucky for me I have mature trees. My youngest son was born in Heidelberg. Thanks for asking. I always enjoy the German posters on your blog and also Andrea's blog in Germany.

    You all have a super great day!

  10. Hi, Skeeter--In my backyard again (I used to live 5 minutes from Jamestown). Did you see the island at all (the one that's a nat'l park)? If not, be sure to go next time--it's really lovely. And I'll bet you could grow abelia in Georgia--it's very easy and it blooms all summer (mine's still in bloom . . .) Great pictures and great history!

  11. It is an amazing tour Skeeter, we went this summer (being only 15-20 minutes up the road) and even my teenagers found the experience interesting. I was attracted to the plants they had growing too. :) Thanks for the tour, where are we off to next?

  12. Hi, Skeeter, and thanks for taking us on a great tour. I love visits to places with a lot of historical significance. Always thought it would be neat to be a park ranger and give tours but dreaded the thought of having to wear one of those uniforms! Jamestown is a place I definitely would like to visit someday. Those plants are definitely unusual and quite beautiful.

  13. George, thanks for stopping by this morning! I have many birdhouses in my yard for the birds to nest. We have been accountable for at least 75 bluebirds alone in our 7 years of living in this house! Thank you for the bird house link! I will check it out as Christmas is just around the corner! :)

    Les, We sure our walking the same paths aren’t we? We will be going to Yorktown next but not until next week. And at some point the National Park where the nice museum and Fort excavations continue. The bones in the museum were fascinating as were the many deer we saw while on the grounds and taking the scenic drive around the park. Thank you for identifying the Abelia and Salt Bush. I did mention to the Saint that the abelia resembled both the jasmine and abelia we have but not close enough for me to know which it could be. Thanks for clarifying that up for us. I will check on your posting of the Salt bush Also. That was a really neat looking bush and I wanted to touch it but feared it could get me but I reckon with all the tourist they have, they would have a warning up if the bush were poisonous or something. When on vacation, I dont want to take a risk. lol.

    Garden girl, I snapped a picture of Pocahontas statue in the park! I will have to link you with that exciting news, when I post the picture. They talked a lot about her in one of the museums. I learned quit a bit of things I either did not learn while in School or had forgotten after taking the test. :) Anyway, it was a wonderful time learning all the neat stuff while there...

    Kanak, I am glad you enjoyed the tour this morning. I will be taking you to Yorktown next as it is on the same route. :) We learned a lot about the Native American Indians while in school but unless I had forgotten, I do not recall hearing too much about the Powhatan's or their interesting homes. Les, lives in the area so he was able to identify the unknown bushes for us. Salt Bush and Abelia.

    Garden Faerie, Thanks. I am glad you enjoyed the tour this morning! I like to see garden beauty no matter where I am on vacation. I think you are confusing me with our Master Gardener being Tina. She lived in Europe for 10 years and explains that on a comment to you above. Although, the Saint and I also lived in Europe for 6 years being in Germany. We enjoyed our European time and even had a gardenplatz while there!

    Cameron, You and Les are on the ball with the ID of the Abelia and Salt Bush! Thanks for the time to let us all know. That is a neat thing about being on vacation. While playing tourist I am still learning about plants as well... :)

    Dot, That was the first time I had seen those structures as well. When we think of Native American Indians, we assume they lived in Tee Pees but not so. Only the Plains groups lived in Tee Pees and moved around. Hollywood needs to get their act together and teach us more so then entertain us...

    Beckie, Glad you enjoyed the history lesson today although a short one. There is tons of stuff to learn at this wonderful place. I only hit on a few topics. The Salt bush was a beauty. When the wind blew it swayed in the breeze and glowed with the sun shining on it. Looked like snow!

    Tina, I was thinking that the Jimster would have enjoyed this tour also. He could walk into the homes and absorb so much by being there. These type places teach so much more then a book ever could! We noticed several school groups at each place we visited on this vacation. I am glad to see the school systems in some places still have the money to do that as it is a great asset to learning...

    Cosmo, Again, there I was near your home! If you are referring to the island where the museum with the skeletons and statues of Pocahontas and the many deer roam, yes we saw that. Also the fort being excavated by the river and the beautiful old church! So much to see and do in our quick 3 days there! I do have an abelia bush in my yard but not the same type as the one in the picture. I was thinking it was jasmine or abelia but forgot to add the abelia to the posting. duh, anyway, a more pretty abelia then mine and mine does bloom all year long...

  14. PG, Thanks for your kind words. I was just commenting to Tina how I think her teenager would enjoy this tour as well. So much for a mind to absorb! We will be off to Yorktown of course. :)

    Walk2write, Glad you enjoyed the tour this morning! You would make a great Ranger. And I have seen some bodies make those outfits look darn good! lol. I am sure you could done them justice. :) You should do volunteer work at a park, you would be a great asset! The bushes were all over the place and made for a nice setting...

  15. Nice history lesson but being from Maine I have to correct one thing, sorry :( They may have been the first English to come but the first white settlement was in 1604 on Saint Croix Island in Calais, Maine by the French, Champlain and Demont. If you use a search engine for Saint Croix Island International Historic Site, you can read about it. Since it is run by the National Park Service I am sure you can get there thru them also.

    I was brought up in eastern Maine where there are several indian reservations, 3 of them being within 30 miles of my home and I never heard of saw of the rounded structures. Very interesting.

    I LOVE the Salt Bush, very pretty.

  16. Thank-you for the trip to the long ago past Skeeter. These old places are so interesting to see how we first lived, amazing sometimes.
    I LOVE that salt bush! Would it grow up here in Maine?

  17. Jean, I find that odd and will have to check it out as they say this was the first Settlement. Maybe ENGLISH settlement with rules, laws, etc is what they are saying. A play on words to confuse the minds.... Maine does look like a wonderful place to explore and hopefully, we will get up there some day. The saltbush is neat. I guess you dont have those up your way...?...

    Dawn, I was just asking Jean if you have the salt bushes in Maine. They are a coastal so maybe. As I look into the places these people called home, I wonder how we would manage if put back in time! I could probably do without a lot but I need my AC and Heat and also when we moved to Germany, I found out that I could not live without a microwave! I was shocked as to how quickly I had to get a microwave. Lived with only one English speaking TV Channel and adjusted just fine, but give me that microwave... Go figure....

    Off to play in the yard now. Everyone have a good day!

  18. Looks like some chickens got plucked! I rather like those dome houses. Looks cozy to me.

  19. Hi, Skeeter and Jean--So, to muddy the historical waters even more: St. Augustine, Florida is actually "the oldest continuously settled city established by Europeans in the continental United States"--how's that for over-qualification? It was established by the Spanish in 1565. Jamestown is the first permanent (i.e. successful) English colony; the first English colony was actually Roanoke in North Carolina (1587), but that's the famous "Lost Colony" (not so successful--they disappeared). Yeah, lots of claims to "first."

    And Skeeter, yes, the place with the museums and the great old church is Jamestown Island--SO glad you saw it--it's one of my favorite places. Can't wait to see your post on Yorktown.

  20. Hi cosmo!! You are absolutely right about St. Augustine and I almost said that as I grew up hearing, "St. Croix Island was the first white settlement north of St. Augustine". "White" and "permanent" are the operative words. St. Croix was not permanent as they only stayed for one year due to the harsh winter on the island and left for Canada. Go figure on that reason!!
    It was such a harsh winter that of nearly 80 people that were their nearly half of them died and are buried there. I believe it to be the only international park that is run by our national park service so there has to be some historial reason for that. I will have to rsearch it as I guess being a local person, I probably do not know as much as I should about it, like the car doctor who's wife is always broken down somewhere.

    Maybe the salt bushes are not hardy as I don't recall seeing any here Skeeter. Will also have to look into that as I would love to have one. It is truly a beauty.

    Tina we went over to the Giant Staircase today. Josh had a good time but he is too young to understand the natural beauty of it. At first he was a little scared of it and then Sandra and Heather went down to the thunder hole and he wanted to go then but we did'nt let him, just to scary to let him down over there and the tide was out so it was a long way down. The new path into it is complete and is great. Wide enough for wheelchairs and the last part of the path is in a new spot. They have refinished and repaired the rock with the plaque on it. Your sister has done a great job in securing the grant and work for it. She has done sooooo much for our little town but will not take credit to the public for any of it.
    We are also very lucky that the town owns and maintains so many great spots like that. When Josh is old enough to understand it all, I hope if I am not still around someone will be sure he gets there again. Tom S went with us also so we raced in our wheelchairs. Still a little kid at times, maybe I am just regressing.

  21. Skeeter, What can I say!!!!This tour was magnificent as was the others. I love the history of the past & the people that lived there.
    Things change over a period of yrs. I'm sure. But somewhere down the road someone had to relay that history---one generation to the next. I think that's why they had a "story teller"--an older person whose position was to remember accurately & pass the history to the younger generation.
    Cosmos, I don't know where you reside but just wanted to ask you if you had ever heard of Elizabeth City County, Va.? That's where my ancestor resided when he came over on "The Good Ship Hercules" when he was about 10 yrs of age. He died there in 1660. So you can see why I would like to learn more about our history.
    Great pics also Skeeter. I really liked those 2 bushes. The Salt Bush especially.

  22. Hi Skeeter, I have never been to this one but after reading yours and Racquel's stories will have to try and get there. And you will like this one, Pocohontas is an ancestor of mine also, I have the geneology. Garden Girl and I are cousins!!!

  23. Brenda, the bush did look like chicken feathers! The dome houses were interesting. They had only the basics one needs to survive. Even though sounds like a simple life they led, times were tough on them...

    Cosmo & Jean, I did not have time to research all this today but so glad you two got it all straight for me. I was thinking, Humm, I bet it has to do with the surviving settlement that went on to form the US....

    Cosmo, I thought that might be the same place. We all got in for free! Dad B has a lifetime pass into National Parks and the Ranger allowed the entire family in for free on the pass! Great bargain indeed...

    Jean, I bet if you have never seen the Salt bushes before, you dont have them in your area. One day Josh will not be scared and will take off like a rocket... Now tell us, what is the Giant Staircase? I am going to guess a natural walkway to the ocean.... ?....

    Lola, thanks and yes, discovering your past is exciting! Just look at what Frances and Garden Girl have discovered, they are related by Pocahontas! Now that is exciting.... A great big hug to you Lola, you know why.:-)

    Frances, did you know this before reading this today? I hope I am the one to open this file today and you did not know about Garden Girl and Pocahontas until now! If you did, just let me live in my own little world a bit and feel like I made a connection for you two. Then tell me the truth later on, then I will get off my cloud and be on earth again... lol Fascinating stuff either way....

  24. Lola and Skeeter, I hope you don't mind me responding here--it's the only way I can figure out to respond to Lola. Elizabeth City County is now the city of Hampton, which is about 30 minutes south of where I live (I live northwest of Williamsburg and southeast of Richmond; Hampton is southeast of Williamsburg and northeast of Norfolk). Hampton is VERY close to Raquel (Perennial Garden Lover) and Les (Tidewater Gardener). How cool that you can trace your ancestry back that far (and Frances and Garden Girl to Pocohontas!)

  25. What a wonderful tour guide you were taking me through Jamestown..I just love American history..thanks for sharing and thanks for coming by my PINK Saturday...Hugs and smiles Gloria

  26. I get tired just reading your blog posts! My! Where do you get the energy?

    And did you ever find out what fluffy bush was?

  27. Thanks for sharing some of the history around Jamestown...and great to include the garden related content :-) That mystery bush is interesting.

  28. Thanks for the tour around Jamestown. My husband and I enjoy historic sites like this; maybe one of these days we'll finally head east to visit some!

  29. Cosmo, Chat to whom you would like on the comments! Tina, Dawn and I enjoy chit chat amongst others as well as ourselves... :)

    Gloria, Here at In the Garden we are a group blog of sorts but probably Dawn was your visitor to Pink Saturday since she partakes in the event with her C & G Design blog. Thanks for stopping in with your nice words and come by again soon...

    TC, I dont go on vacations often but when I do, I try to do it all. Never know when I might get back to these places again. lol. Les and Cameron ID' the mystery plants as Glossy Abelia and the fluffy one to be Saltbush. Pretty interesting plants they both were...

    Chrisnd, it was my pleasure sharing this wonderful place filled with history and beauty! When on vacation, I always find gardens and plants. :)

    Rose, Virginia is a bit from you but the drive would be beautiful probably any time of year. Well, maybe a bit white or barren in the winter but Williamsburg area is nicely decorated during Christmas holidays. Fresh fruit and greenery...

  30. Hi Skeeter, your world is secure, I had no idea about Linda, Garden Girl also being related to Pocohontas, and yes, it is all thanks to you! She is working on getting her list of names to see if we share more that the Indian Princess.

  31. Cosmo, would like to know how to contact you. Would like to ask questions about your area.

  32. Ooh, I don't know how I missed this post. I love these living history places...

  33. Oh Frances, you made my day! How exciting I brought you two closer together!!!!

    Cosmo, Get with Lola...

    Susan, Glad you found and enjoyed the posting... :)

  34. There is a historical connection between Barbados and Jamestown. The very first settlement in Barbados was called Jamestown. Many of the early Charleston leaders came from Barbados.