Whilst my mother, my daughter and I were in Virginia in March 2008, we ventured to explore our nation’s past by visiting historic Jamestown. Once again it took me a while to figure this one out.
I don’t remember being at this particular place as a kid but I knew I had been to Jamestown, the first permanent settlement in the New World. Ah, yes, we had been to Jamestown Settlement, where the settlement had been rebuilt, along with replicas of the three famous ships which had brought 104 men and boy to the banks of the James River in 1607. This would be the place where college students spend their summers dressed like settlers from the seventeenth century.
Just a few miles down the road, however, is Historic Jamestown, the actual site of James Fort and the ruins of the old church, the only original building which survives today. Excavations continue at the site.
And the best part? It is run by the National Parks department, so when we were at the ticket counter the woman working there asked if any of us were members of the National Parks Service or had National Parks Passes or anything like that. Mom digs out this ragged worn little gold card. “Will this work?” It was a Golden Age pass that she had had since about the time Dad had retired (circa 1980). She hadn’t used it in forever – it’s the kind of thing I tend to throw out when I clean out my wallet.
We got in for free.