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!)