Friday, August 27, 2010

Has the Original Jamestown Church Been Found?

Historic Jamestown’s July update ( gave us the news about a “…series of postholes thought to date to the fort period. The postholes are remarkable in their depth and diameter, indicating they supported a very substantial structure…. While excavating any fort-period structure is exciting, this building's potential for expansive size has created a buzz among the archaeologists. What have they found? August's excavations are bound to yield more clues.”

Now comes Steve Vaughan’s report in the Virginia Gazette that this find may be the site of the first Jamestown church (1608), where “Virginia's first resident governor, Sir Thomas West, Lord De La Warre, addressed colonists on June 12, 1610, when his timely arrival saved the colony from abandonment,” and Pocahontas and John Rolfe may have been wed.

He tells us that “Dr. William Kelso, director of archaeology at Historic Jamestowne, was ecstatic. ‘If confirmed, this is a tremendous discovery,’ he said last week. ‘At long last, the heart of James Fort and the scene of so many known seminal events in the history of Jamestown’.

“Initially, Kelso had believed that the original church site was close to the existing church, theorizing that churches are seldom moved because the ground has been consecrated and bodies buried there. That theory was abandoned when it became clear that the current church tower sits astride one of the original palisade walls. The walls were moved as the settlement expanded.”

We’re learning more and more about the genesis of our nation at Jamestown.

For the complete story, go to

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