WILLIAMSBURG, Va., July 18, 2011 – Tools and technology of the 17th and 18th centuries will be explored in August at Jamestown Settlement and the Yorktown Victory Center history museums during a “Tools of the Trade” theme month.
At Jamestown Settlement, a museum of 17th-century Virginia history and culture, visitors to the outdoor interpretive areas will compare and contrast the technology of the Powhatan Indian, English and African cultures. Themed daily guided tours are offered every hour from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. through August 15, and during August 16-31, at 11 a.m. and 1 and 3 p.m. Inside expansive museum galleries, visitors can compare and contrast tools and technology of the three cultures through interactive displays and period artifacts.
In the re-created Powhatan Indian village, visitors will discover the tools used by Powhatan Indians before English contact to hunt game, cultivate crops, prepare food, build houses and make clothing. While the Powhatan Indians did not forge or smelt metal, they created effective tools from other materials. Visitors will be able to see historical interpreters turn stone into arrow points and tools, and use bone, wood and shell to fashion tools to tend crops and cooking utensils during special demonstrations throughout the day.
Aboard re-creations of the ships that brought English colonists to Virginia in 1607, visitors can examine techniques for sail handling and marlinspike seamanship — the process of repairing and tightening sailors’ knots and ships’ rigging. Visitors also can learn how to use a chip log, compass, traverse board, lead line and other navigational instruments of the 17th century to learn how mariners determined ships’ speed, direction and distance traveled.
Visitors also can explore a riverfront discovery area to learn the value of tools in trade among European, Powhatan and African cultures, as well as compare and contrast tools used for catching fish and constructing watercraft.
Within the re-created colonial fort, visitors will learn about technology that aided early colonists in building and defending their settlement at the edge of the James River. Visitors will explore the trades of English settlers and the tools they used, from woodworking to blacksmithing, to the matchlock muskets and armor worn by soldiers. Special demonstrations also will examine 17th-century medical tools and methods used to treat early Jamestown colonists.
At the Yorktown Victory Center, a museum of the American Revolution, visitors to the re-created 1780s farm can see demonstrations of tools used by a typical farming family, including implements used to plant and tend gardens, process flax into cloth, harvest tobacco and cook over an open hearth.
At the Continental Army encampment, visitors will discover the technology that enabled soldiers to use flintlock muskets during the American Revolution and see daily demonstrations of weaponry. Special programs each day will allow visitors to learn about the tools used by an artillery crew, followed by a firing of an artillery piece. Artillery demonstrations will be held daily at 11:05 a.m. and 1:05, 3:05 and 5:05 p.m. through August 15, and during August 16-31, at 11:05 a.m. and 1:05 and 3:05 p.m. Daily demonstrations also will examine the techniques and implements used by physicians and surgeons to care for sick and wounded soldiers.
Jamestown Settlement and the Yorktown Victory Center are open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, and until 6 p.m. from June 15 to August 15. Visitors can save 20 percent on admission with a combination ticket to both museums: $20.00 for adults and $10.00 for ages 6 through 12. Admission to Jamestown Settlement is $15.50 for adults and $7.25 for ages 6 through 12; the Yorktown Victory Center is $9.50 for adults and $5.25 for ages 6 through 12. Children under age 6 receive complimentary admission. Complimentary admission is provided to residents of James City County, York County and the City of Williamsburg with proof of residency. Additional ticket and package options and online specials are available with other Williamsburg area attractions.
The “Tools of the Trade” theme month is funded in part by a leadership grant from Dominion Resources with additional support provided by the York County Arts Commission.
Jamestown Settlement and the Yorktown Victory Center are separated by a 25-minute drive along the Colonial Parkway. Jamestown Settlement is located on State Route 31 just southwest of Williamsburg, adjacent to Historic Jamestowne. The Yorktown Victory Center is located on Route 1020 in Yorktown, near the Yorktown Battlefield and historic Yorktown. For more information, call (888) 593-4682 toll-free or (757) 253-4838 or visit hif.ciniva.net.