Jamestown saw the birth of English America. Here on an island in the James River the English carved a settlement out of the wilderness. It grew from a rude palisaded fort into a busy community and then into a small town that enjoyed many of the comforts of daily living. For 13 years Virginia was the only English colony on the American mainland.
After its first century of prominence and leadership, “James Towne” entered a long decline. Its residents drifted away, its streets grew silent, its buildings decayed, and even its lots and former public places became cultivated fields. Time passed and much was forgotten or obscured. So it was when it became a historic area, in part, in 1893, and when the whole island became devoted to historical purposes in 1934.
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