Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Henricus - The Second Successful Settlement in the New World

We had not planned to visit Henricus.  We actually just discovered it on our way to Richmond.  I am pleased that we decided to take a detour to this treasure!

Henricus was the second successful settlement in the New World, after Jamestown.  In fact, Henricus was a much better settlement than Jamestown.  It sat high upon bluffs that overlooked the river and wasn't swampy like Jamestown.  Settlers set out around the city and began to farm land.

There were not many visitors when we arrived.  We had the individual attention of each reenact-or.

The children learned about the importance of maintaining weapons.  They were shown how to load a musket and fire it.  Of course, Little Man loved this!

The blacksmith told us what his role comprised in the settlement.  We learned about the difficulty and time consuming work of making nails.  Nails were a very precious commodity.  Most buildings were built without using nails.  If a structure was built using nails and the family decided to move, the structure was typically burned and the nails gathered to use again.

We traveled to Rocke Hall, the home of Reverend Alexander Williamson.  Here we learned about Pocahontas.  Henricus was where Pocahontas was taken and where she learned the ways of the English and the Christian religion.  The Reverend was influential on Pocahontas' learning and conversion to Christianity.  Here she met John Rolfe, a friend of the Reverend, and later married him.

Next, we ventured into the Mount Malady, the first hospital in the New World.  We learned about the medical treatments of the 1600s.  Thank goodness medical advancements have been made!  Mount Malady was used as a guest house and a recovery house for new arrivals to the settlement.  Travelers typically arrived exhausted and weak from their journey across the ocean and needed time to recover from the grueling trip.

We learned about the Proctor Plantation and the farming techniques used.  The chief crop was tobacco to be sent back to England.  We also learned about the Indian attack on Alice Proctor and her servants at the house.

We made our way to several other buildings and then to the Native American village.  Long-houses were nicely recreated and decorated.  We saw a canoe making area and learned the process Native Americans used to build canoes.

The trip to Henricus allowed us to witness what we had been studying in our history books.  It was well worth the detour on our trip to Richmond.

(We took this trip the summer of 2012. That is why the kids look so little!)

Monday, April 24, 2017

Skidaway Island and The University of Georgia's Marine Education Center and Aquarium

When we were in Savannah, Georgia we visited The University of Georgia's Marine Education Center and Aquarium on Skidaway Island.  It was well worth the drive!

The scenery was beautiful with the large living oaks and Spanish moss hanging from their branches.  The coastal pine trees were tall and gallant as we drove down the road to the center.  It was a bit confusing to locate the correct building to enter the aquarium, but we found it!

Inside there were tanks filled with marine life.  Little Man darted here and there looking at the different fish and invertebrates.

We went outside and walked the nature trail.  It was nicely kept and the landscaping was picture perfect.  The view of the waterway was very relaxing.

We made our way to the pier and looked for alligators, turtles, and fish.  We spotted a racoon at the water's edge washing his dinner of crab.  This of course delighted all the children on the pier.

As we finished the walk on the nature trail, we found a few old cabins that provided the history of the area.

If we are ever back in the area, we will visit again.

Friday, April 21, 2017

SC State Museum: Sea Monsters and Savage Ancient Seas

We took a little road trip to the SC State Museum with friends.  The museum happens to be free for SC home school students and one teacher per family during the week.  The special exhibits and shows are only three dollars per person for each!  Our main reason for visiting this time was for the special exhibit on Savage Ancient Seas and the planetarium show on Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure.

The fossil replicas of the mammoth sized sea creatures was unreal!  The kiddos were extremely impressed with the different prehistoric fish, reptiles, birds, and others.  J-Man was on cloud nine with this exhibit.  He absolutely loves dinosaurs and the like.  He would look at a fossil or skeleton and babble off the name before we had a chance to read the signage.  He was in his element!

The kids loved the touch screen that allowed them to choose different animals to learn more about.  It even held Little Man's attention.  He's never been into dinosaurs.

After we finished looking and learning in the Savage Ancient Seas exhibit, we headed to the planetarium.  The Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure went hand in hand with the exhibit we had just explored.  It was nicely done and very informative.  We all enjoyed it.

The rest of the afternoon we explored the State Museum.  We traveled back in time to learn about the people of South Carolina.  The State has a rich and vibrant history.  The museum does an outstanding job relating the history to the visitors.

We explored the science themed areas and participated in the interactive displays.

We perused the technological advancements across the ages and noted how much things have changed in such a short period of time.

We had a great time and will return when a new featured exhibit comes to town.