400th Anniversary - May 12, 2007

  On May 12, 2007, Jamestowne Society members assembled at the Kingsmill Marriott beginning at 6 AM to board buses which the Society had chartered to take 500 of its members onto Jamestown Island for a morning program shared with the Order of First Families of Virginia and the Descendants of the Order of Ancient Planters. Upon arrival, we entered the new Visitor Center (completed in January 2007) and crossed to the Island on the newly constructed bridge.

    The sun had risen just shortly before the buses left the Marriott, and clouds were clearing. Gathering at the program stage, the group was seated in a grassy area not far from the James. The three lineage societies joined in a program to commemorate the 400th Anniversary of the First Permanent English Settlement in North America. Representatives of each society participated in the program, which featured "John Rolfe," a skilled actor who greeted us as though we were newly arrived to the 1600s settlement, and provided an orientation for us as to what we might expect to encounter in our new lives in Virginia. At one point during "Rolfe's" talk, the three replica ships from Jamestown Settlement could be seen on the James River, one of the rare times when all three ships are sailing at once.

400th Anniversary  Commemoration Stage at Historic Jamestowne, Photo by S. G. Rager

   Above, left to right: "John Rolfe" addresses the group; Carter B. S. Furr, Lt. Governor of the Jamestowne Society is third from right; W. Harrison Schroeder, Governor of the Jamestowne Society, is second from right, and Charles D. "Dan" McGuire, Chairman of the 2007 Committee, is at far right.

Following the program, members were free to visit the Memorial Church, the Archaerium, the archaeological digs underway and other sites on the Island. Since members and guests were permitted access before the public was, it was uncongested and easy to imagine that today's setting is not that different from what settlers encountered in May 1607 upon their arrival.

    As the picture below taken before the program shows, the James River from Jamestown back towards the Chesapeake Bay is quite serene at that time of day:

Looking downriver from Jamestown Island's shoreline, Photo by S. G. Rager

   All buses were boarded by 11 AM for the return trip to the Kingsmill Marriott, where members and their guests assembled for a reception at noon, followed by luncheon at 1 PM. The speaker for the luncheon was Dr. James Horn, author of A Land as God Made It: Jamestown and the Birth of America. Dr. Horn is the O'Neill Director of the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library at The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and lecturer at the College of William & Mary, who earlier wrote Adapting to a New World: English Society in the Seventeenth-Century Chesapeake. W. Harrison Schroeder, Governor of the Jamestowne Society, presided over the meeting, and introduced those at the head table, including national officers. 

   The luncheon adjourned around 3 PM, and members and guests reconvened at 6 PM for a second reception. The formal banquet began at 7 PM with a color guard from nearby Fort Eustis and a procession of those who would be seated at the head table. Greetings from the President of the United States, who declined to be present, were read by Governor Harrison Schroeder. Brigadier General Danny McGuire, chairman of the 2007 Committee for the Jamestowne Society, introduced the Honorable John Marsh, former Secretary of the Army in the administration of President Reagan, who was the evening's speaker.

   Members and guests from the East Coast, Midwest, South, New England, and the West mingled at the various activities which were scheduled, making introductions, renewing old friendships, and enjoying the sharing of history and genealogical ties. The Jamestowne Society activities took place on May 12. Some members also visited the Island (or "Historic Jamestowne" as it is now known) again on May 13.

    More photographs will be posted on the site over the next several weeks. When you check back, scroll down the page to see what's been added since your last visit. 

     Below: Members of the Chesapeake Bay Company who attended assemble for a photo in the lobby of the Kingsmill Marriott. Several members who attended do not appear in the photo.

Photo by ConventionPhotography.com

Above, front, left to right: William Buchanan England, Janice Shanks, Susan Godman Rager (Governor), Judith Blackburn Conner (Past Governor); Back, L-R: Beatrice Jenkins England (Historian), Diane Meredith Scott, Virginia Felts Brown, Mary Sue English Newton.

Photos by Don Rager: (1)Three ships: Susan Constant, Godspeed and Discovery, with the Jamestown-Scotland Neck Ferry;
(2) the Godspeed; and (3) the Discovery

Photo by Don Rager: (1) Susan Rager (center) with archaeological dig in background;
 (2) Resconstructed building near Church; (3) Capt. John Smith with Mary Sue Newton (at right)

Photos by S. G. Rager: (1) and (2) John Rolfe on Stage during Program; (3) Performance stage after the Program ended

Photos by S. G. Rager: (1) and (2) Council gathers at the Capt. John Smith statue for brief meeting and Joyce Bockemuehl , Auditor General, reads
 resolution; (3) Susan Constant on the James

Photo by D. M. Scott: (1) Treasures from the archaeological dig; Photos by S. G. Rager:
 (2) Three Ships on the James; (3) Susan Constant and Discovery together

Photos from D. M. Scott: (1) Susan and Don Rager at Banquet; Virginia Brown and Diane Scott at Banquet ;
 (3) Judith Conner; at Banquet;  (4) Jamestown Memorial Church.

Photos from D. M. Scott: (1) Indians on May 13; (2) John Rolfe and Diane Scott on May 13;
 (3) Three ships sailing on the James on May 12

Jamestowne Society Luncheon, May 12, Williamsburg Marriott:
 Don Rager, Susan Rager, Mary Sue Newton, Byrd Newton

Jamestowne Society Companies Chairperson, Carolyn Kendrick Farmer, of Houston, TX,
with Jamestowne Society wreath at graveyard outside Memorial Church, May 12

New marker near pathway from new Visitor Center at Historic Jamestowne highlighting location of Governor Yeardley's lot. Text reads as follows: "George Yeardley arrived in Jamestown in 1610, was appointed captain of the guard, and eventually lieutenant governor. Later knighted and appointed governor of Virginia in 1618, he issued the Great Charter in 1619, establishing the first representative government in Virginia. In 1620 Yeardley acquired a seven-and-one-quarter-acre lot extending east from this location. A 1625 muster roll listed the members of Yeardley's large household: Yeardley, his wife, Lady Temperance Yeardley, their three children, and 24 servants, including three African men and five African women  (eight of the first nine Africans documented at Jamestown). The muster also lists 50 cattle, 40 swine, and 11 goats and kids on Yeardley's lot. In addition to three dwellings,  Yeardley owned three boats: a barque, four-ton shallop, and skiff.  At this location, archaeologists excavated the brick foundations of a structure that may have been Yeardley's. Scattered building materials along Back River suggest that two additional dwellings, perhaps for servants, may have been located at the eastern end of his lot.


Shown below is the Luncheon Program, front and back:

Photo by S. G. Rager

Shown below: Program from the Banquet

Photo by S. G. Rager

Inside of Banquet Program:

Photo by S. G. Rager

From the Visitor Center at Historic Jamestowne on the Island:

Photo by S. G. Rager

Check back for more pictures and postings in the next several weeks!



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Chesapeake Bay Company of the Jamestowne Society, P. O. Box 118, Coles Point, VA 22442-0118
Site designed and maintained by S. G. Rager

Site designed and maintained by S. G. Rager
e-mail for Registrar: Judith Blackburn Conner, Company Registrar
for Governor/Webmaster, Susan Godman Rager