Stinky anxiously awaits Periwinkle’s arrival. He’s excited for today’s adventure but uneasy. After the trip to Disneyland Paris, Periwinkle might find today’s adventure pretty tame, especially as they aren’t leaving the country much less the state. As Stinky paces and frets, he hears the whoosh of the teleportation tunnel and Periwinkle comes tumbling out. Catching her in his paws, he gives her several whisker kisses before leading her back into the tunnel.
A Visit to Historic Jamestowne
When they pop out of the tunnel at their destination, Periwinkle says, “Wow, Stinky, you didn’t even let me catch my breath before jumping back in the tunnel.” After looking around her she asks, “Where the heck are we?”
Stinky replies, “We are in Historic Jamestowne.”
Periwinkle asks, “Did we travel back in time?”
“No silly, we are in Historic Jamestowne as it is today. And I bet you are curious as to why. Four hundred fifteen years ago today, April 26, 1607, the Jamestown expedition made its first landing in America at Cape Henry. There were three ships (Susan Constant, Godspeed and Discovery), which left from London in December, 1606. Then on May 14, 1607, a group of roughly 104 passengers and 39 crew, members of a joint venture called the Virginia Company, founded the first permanent English settlement in North America on the banks of the James River. The settlement had the names, James Forte, James Towne and James Cittie before becoming Jamestown.
“There is more history about Jamestown than I can ever share with you and our readers, but I thought it would be fun to look around. My mom and dad have visited several times, as excavations continue and more and more things are being discovered.”
“Stinky, where should we start?”
“Let’s begin where the original settlers did.”
“This is a replica of the Susan Constant. It carried the largest number of passengers, a total of 71. Its Captain was Christoper Newport.
“Can we go onboard?” asks Periwinkle.
Stinky tells her that they can, but there is so much to see that they will have to return for that. Periwinkle pouts but knows with their short legs they can only cover so much ground in the allotted time for their adventures. So, the two move forward. Periwinkle is thankful Stinky did not try to climb the ship’s mast, which she knows would have happened had they gone onboard.
Cannon & Fort
“Where are we now Stinky?” asks Periwinkle right after she admonishes Stinky for climbing on the cannon. (She knew it wouldn’t take long for him to start climbing.) Stinky hops down and informs her that the cannon is called a falconet. It’s a light, cheap cannon that fired a small but lethal iron shot. It was used to protect the fort, the replica of which sits behind them.
“Wow, Stinky look how pretty the sky and water look. I bet that’s one reason the original settlers picked this spot. So what’s next?” asks Periwinkle.
Stinky knows Periwinkle is a true romantic and doesn’t burst her bubble by telling her beauty did not play a role in the selection of the locale for Jamestown.
“This is the remains of the 1639 Jamestown Church tower, with 20th century reconstruction on the original foundations,” Stinky explains from his perch. Once again, Periwinkle must ask him to get down before he hurts himself. Stinky continues, “You can see from here the excavation of the church where Pocahontas married John Rolfe in 1614. It has been excavated and is in the process of being rebuilt. Since I brought her up, let’s go see the statue of Pocahontas.”
Periwinkle asks, “What to you know about Pocahontas?”
Stinky replies, “Lets see…she was the daughter of Chief Powhatan and was born around 1596. Her birth name was Amonute, but she was known as Matoaka. Pocahontas was a nickname, meaning playful one. She was captured and held for ransom by English Colonists during hostilities in 1613. During that time, she converted to Christianity and was baptized Rebecca. She and Rolfe had a son, Thomas. Pocahontas died in March, 1617, in Gravesend, England. She is buried there at St. George’s Church.”
The statue has been moved several times, and Pocahontas’ hands are worn a bright copper color because visitors hold them while posing for photos.
“Stinky, I always love that you research about our adventures. I learn so much.” Stinky blushes and thanks Periwinkle. He then takes her paw and leads her to another statue.
When they arrive at the statue of John Smith, Stinky gets ready to climb it, but Periwinkle convinces him not to do it. He’s a little miffed but gives her a very brief history of John Smith. Smith was among the first settlers of Jamestown and played an important role in its establishment. He was leader of the Virginia Colony from September 1607 to August 1609 and led an exploration along the rivers of Virginia and the Chesapeake Bay. Smith became the first English explorer to map the Chesapeake Bay area.
Stinky also tells Periwinkle that Smith was charged with mutiny by Captain Newport during their sailing from England. Smith was under arrest for most of the trip. He was spared from execution when the group landed at Cape Henry and unsealed orders from the Virginia Company designating Smith as one of the leaders of the new colony. Smith trained the first settlers to work at farming and fishing, saving the colony from early devastation.
Periwinkle tells Stinky that her head is beginning to spin from so much information, so he promises to show her just one more monument.
As they approach, Periwinkle says, “Hey, Stinky, this looks like the Washington monument.”
“That is a very good observation Periwinkle. The United States government placed the obelisk on Jamestown Island in 1907 for the 300th anniversary of the settlement. It’s hard to believe it is over a hundred years old; it looks brand new. The monument is called the Tercentennial Monument. It cost $50,000, stands 104 feet tall (one foot for each of the first settlers) and is made of New Hampshire granite.”
Stinky notices that Periwinkle’s energy is beginning to lag, and his is as well. Even though there is so much more to see and learn about Jamestown, he senses it is time to head for his house for a snack and a nap. He tells Periwinkle they can return in the future to learn about the graves of early settlers, which have been found and excavated, as well as something about the “starving time” when settlers resorted to cannibalism. They also can visit the ship replicas and museum. Periwinkle agrees that is a good idea.
The tabbies enter the teleportation tunnel and moments later arrive at Stinky’s house. They enjoy the warm weather on the catio where they visit with Stinky’s folks and fursibs before taking a well-deserved nap. Soon, it is time for Periwinkle to head home. She and Stinky share lots of paw hugs and whisker kisses before Periwinkle enters the tunnel and with a wave departs in a whoosh.
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