WILLIAMSBURG, Va., September 3, 2014 — Hear chantey singers, scrape out a Powhatan-style canoe and discover the life of a modern waterman during “Community Day: On the Riverfront,” September 20 at Jamestown Settlement history museum. The event celebrates the opening of “Working and Racing on the Bay: The Chesapeake Log Canoe,” a special exhibition presented in partnership with The Mariners’ Museum.
Jamestown Settlement, a museum of 17th-century Virginia, tells the story of America’s beginnings through gallery exhibits and historical interpretation in outdoor re-created settings – Powhatan Indian village, 1607 ships and 1610-14 colonial fort.
“Working and Racing on the Bay: The Chesapeake Log Canoe,” September 19 through September 8, 2015, traces the evolution of the dugout canoe through the centuries, from the watercraft of the Powhatan people 400 years ago to multi-log trade vessels and work and racing boats. More than 100 objects from The Mariners’ Museum in Newport News will be on display.
Visitors will receive a “Chesapeake Log Canoe” exhibition brochure on arrival at Jamestown Settlement and can tour the exhibition on their own throughout the day or join a guided tour at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
Near the special exhibition, visitors can enjoy performances by the Northern Neck Chantey Singers at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. and Shanty Grass at noon and 2 p.m. The Northern Neck Chantey Singers, featured on National Public Radio’s
“All Things Considered” and CBS News, is comprised of watermen who worked on fishing boats when nets were pulled aboard by hand, coordinating their movements with their songs. Shanty Grass celebrates the traditions of Chesapeake Bay watermen with a unique blend of maritime-bluegrass Americana.
Outdoors in the museum’s riverfront discovery area, visitors can take part in “A Waterman’s Perspective,” a special program in which Jeff Hogge, whose family has worked the waters of the Chesapeake Bay since the 17th century, will demonstrate techniques of modern net-making, crab-potting and oyster-tonging. Programs will be held at 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 3 p.m.
A bounty of children’s hands-on activities will be offered along the riverfront. Children can touch and handle a selection of underwater creatures found in the Chesapeake Bay in a touch-pool display from noon to 3 p.m., craft a take-home paper canoe to float and race at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., and play period games such as hoop-rolling, quoits and “ride” hobby-horses from 10:30 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m.
The James River Association, a nonprofit educational organization, will be on hand to teach visitors about the James River and efforts to protect it for future generations.
Historical interpreters in the re-created Powhatan Indian village will demonstrate the process of burning and scraping a log canoe throughout the day, allowing visitors the opportunity to use oyster shells to scrape out the vessel. Visitors also can see demonstrations of tool-making, hide-scraping and cooking, and a special program at 3 p.m. on catching fish.
At the ships’ pier, where the Susan Constant, Godspeed and Discovery are moored, visitors can take part in various nautical programs, such as piloting and caulking ship seams and, at 10:30 a.m., learn the steps in firing a swivel gun and see historical interpreters fire the artillery piece. A 1 p.m. program on celestial navigation will allow visitors to learn how sailors in the 17th century steered by the stars.
Throughout the day, historical interpreters in the re-created fort will offer a special look at trade and exploration in the Jamestown colony. Visitors can take part in a military drill at 11:15 a.m. and, at 4 p.m., discover the process of firing a falcon artillery piece, followed by its firing.
Jamestown Settlement, open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, is located southwest of Williamsburg on Route 31 at the Colonial Parkway. General admission of $16.00 for adults and $7.50 for children ages 6 through 12 includes admission to the special exhibition.
“Community Day: On the Riverfront” is funded in part by a grant from James City County.
Jamestown Settlement, along with the Yorktown Victory Center, is administered by the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, an agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.
For more information, call (888) 593-4682 toll-free or (757) 253-4838 or visit hif.ciniva.net.