The Glasshouse

One of my favorite places to visit in the Historic Jamestowne part of the settlement is the Glasshouse.

Back in 1607 when Jamestowne was first established, the Glasshouse was one of the first attempts to start an industry in the New World. Everything they needed: fuel, sand, etc. was there in abundance. They just needed people who knew how to actually make the glass.

In 1608 another ship arrived and this one had eight German and Polish craftsman who knew how to make the glass and the Glasshouse was in business. But the Glasshouse was not successful, though it struggled alone for a few years.

Again in 1622, a Glasshouse was established, this time with Italian artisans. But again it failed.

Then in 1948, the furnaces were rediscovered. A new facility was constructed from the excavated ruins. Now, once again, glass is blown in Jamestowne by modern artists who make glass as they did almost 400 years ago.

Watching glassblowing has always, always fascinated me … as it did this time.

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Jamestown Settlement

Jamestown has two separate areas for visitors to enjoy.

One area is where the settlement was actually located with ruins of various buildings in a parklike area.

The second area is a settlement reproduction with replicated buildings, villagers in period customs, authentic activities such as cooking over an open fire, working on a ship and building a canoe … all making the English colony come to life.

If you’re traveling with kids, I definitely recommend the village. You can wander through the buildings, talking to the “village people,” go on the boats and if you’re lucky (like I was), be taught how to make a knot that the sailors used.

The settlement site has a lot of room to run, and is in a beautiful location right on the shore of the James River. Older kids might enjoy the history aspect of it – but I think younger kids would enjoy the village more.

And this is the truth. If I would get these posts up sooner than four months after I’ve been somewhere – I would do a much better job remembering details.

Here are some pictures of the village.

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The church
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One of the houses.
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Looking out at the village.
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The ship.
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Another ship picture
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And another
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Learning to tie a knot which I could do while he was teaching me, but could not replicate it for you now.
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Another part of the village.
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Inside
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Building a canoe – which was interesting to watch.
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Another canoe building pic.

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