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Jamestown Settlement Facts

A museum of 17th-century Virginia history and culture
Theme

A museum of 17th-century colonial Virginia, Jamestown Settlement chronicles the history of America’s first permanent English colony, founded in Virginia in 1607, from its beginnings in the Old World through the first century of its existence, and explores the Powhatan Indian, English and west central African cultures that converged there.

Location

Between State Route 31 and the Colonial Parkway; adjacent to Colonial National Historical Park, which encompasses Historic Jamestowne, and six miles from Williamsburg. Ten miles from Interstate 64, Exits 242A and 234. GPS address: 2110 Jamestown Road, Williamsburg, VA 23185.

Exhibit Areas

The museum consists of two elements: an indoor theater and gallery exhibits, and an outdoor living-history program. An introductory film, 1607: A Nation Takes Root, is shown at regular intervals daily in the Robins Foundation Theater. Gallery exhibits chronicle the nation’s 17th-century beginnings in Virginia in the context of its Powhatan Indian, English and west central African cultures. Exhibits set the stage for the founding of Jamestown in 1607 and examine the evolution of the Virginia colony during the 17th century and its legacies. Outdoors are a re-created Powhatan Indian village depicting the culture of Virginia’s original inhabitants, replicas of the three ships – Susan Constant, Godspeed and Discovery – that transported 104 men and boys from England to Jamestown in 1607, and a palisaded fort representing the colonists’ first home. A seasonal riverfront discovery area explores waterway transportation and commercial activities of European, Powhatan and African cultures.

Historical Perspectives

The Jamestown colony was sponsored by the Virginia Company of London, whose stockholders hoped to make a profit on the venture. The settlement faced great difficulties, but managed to endure and was made economically viable through the cultivation of tobacco as a cash crop. Jamestown served as the capital of Virginia until 1699, when the seat of government moved to Williamsburg.

Hours of Operation

Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily year-round, until 6 p.m. June 15 through August 15. Closed on New Year’s and Christmas days. Allow three hours for a visit to Jamestown Settlement.

2014 Admission

$16.00 adults, $7.50 ages 6-12 (in 2015, $16.75 adults, $7.75 ages 6-12). Value-priced combination ticket with Yorktown Victory Center: $20.50 adults, $10.25 ages 6-12 (in 2015, $21.00 adults, $10.25 ages 6-12). Discount for groups of 15 or more. Annual pass with Yorktown Victory Center: $35.00 adults, $17.50 ages 6-12. Children under 6 are free. Parking is free.

Visitor Amenities

The gift shop complements and extends the museum experience with a comprehensive selection of books, prints, artifact reproductions, educational toys and games, jewelry and mementos. The Jamestown Settlement Café offers freshly prepared salads, sandwiches, entrees, desserts and beverages. A museum admission ticket is not required to visit the gift shop or café. Hours of operation correspond with museum hours.

Administration

Operated by the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, an agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.
Chairman: H. Benson Dendy III.
Executive Director: Philip G. Emerson.
Senior Director of Museum Operations and Education: Peter J. Armstrong.

Museum History

Opened April 1, 1957, as Jamestown Festival Park, commemorating the 350th anniversary of Jamestown’s founding. Name changed to Jamestown Settlement in 1990 in conjunction with the introduction of a new storyline and growing collection. Jamestown Settlement was a stage for the 400th-anniversary commemoration in 2007, with special programming and events throughout the year. The museum embarked on its second half-century with expansive exhibition galleries and an introductory film that debuted in October 2006 and a revitalized and expanded living-history program. The site encompasses a total of 46 acres, including exhibit, parking, support and open areas.

Information/Media Inquiries

For additional information and photographs, journalists should contact Media Relations, Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, P.O. Box 1607, Williamsburg, Virginia 23187-1607, (757) 253-4175 or (757) 253-4114.

Inquiries from the general public should be directed to (888) 593-4682 toll-free or (757) 253-4838, or www.historyisfun.org.

May 2014