Locals and tourists braved 90-plus-degree weather Saturday to experience Jamestown Day, a celebration of the historical site’s 411th birthday across Jamestown Settlement and Historic Jamestowne.
Eric Soubeiga, a Maryland resident originally from England and with African heritage, said he wanted to get some historical context while visiting the area. He and his wife, Alice, decided to check out Jamestown Settlement.
“I think it’s important to understand how we evolved,” he said. “It’s always good to know where you’re from.”
Soubeiga said he wished they could also delve further back into pre-colonial Native American history during their visit.
Michigan resident Don Shaffer visited the settlement based on his interest in revolutionary and colonial history.
“I think it’s important to know the truth,” he said, noting that history can easily be changed by those in power. But he felt the settlement did a good job of exploring the good and bad aspects of early American history.
Cindy Daniel, acting interpretive program manager for the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, said Saturday’s attendance was in line with recent years. She said it was a beautiful day in spite of the heat.
“I think everything went well,” she said. “We were glad people came out and celebrated with us.”
Williamsburg resident Heather McClatchy said she enjoyed the interactive nature of the Jamestown Day activities, including musket firing and sailing demonstrations.
“It was cool. I liked how they got spectators involved,” she said.
McClatchy also lauded the settlement’s honest depiction of history, including the good and the bad.
“It’s what made our country,” she said. “You look back at what happened, you take something from it and you move forward.”
Birkenmeyer can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone at 757-790-3029 or on Twitter @sethbirkenmeyer.