Back in Old Virginia (Part 2: Yorktown)

by Jay November. 09, 2010 3697 views

Yorktown lies at the end of the Colonial Parkway, which connects Colonial Williamsburg and the town of Yorktown. The parkway was constructed, I believe, in the 1930s.
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The parkway is quite lovely and relaxing to drive. It is basically a wide, two-laned road on which no large trucks may travel. It meanders along the York River, one of the many Virginia rivers flowing out into the Chesapeake Bay. It is scenic with no building structures along the way except for a few carefully placed markers telling about the native Indians who lived there when the first English arrived in 1607, and also about one or two early 17thC plantations that once worked that land. Today all are gone, and the Native Americans have since migrated to other parts not so far away. The father of Pocahontas, Chief Powhatan, was the powerful chief of a conderation of Indian tribes and nations in this part of North America. He, too, lived in this area. Some of the tribes were the Mattaponi, Pamunkey, and Chickahominy, to name a few. You can still find them and their reservations in eastern Virginia area today.

Yorktown itself is small and bucolic. A large marker erected to honor the end of the Revolutionary War is also there, not far from where Lord Cornwallis surrendered the British army after the French navy appeared on the horizon behind them on the day they had planned to attack Yorktown again. Without the French, the United States would have had a lot of trouble gaining independence at that time. The large marker honors French assistance and marks the Treaty of Paris, which formally ended the war and formally guaranteed independence.
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Yorktown suffered great damage during the seige that took place there, but a large number of the remaining houses are original. Others were built soon after the revolution. It is a quiet town, with fewer visitors tha in Williamsburg.

Yorktown is worth a visit, as is Jamestown, which lies nearby. Jamestown was the first capital of Virginia and also, of course, the first permanent English colony, settled in 1607.

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One of the largest homes in old Yorktown

This is one of the handful of homes that were built in old Yorktown long after the revolution. It is a mix of several styles of architecture.

The York River with the Colonial Parkway behind the camera. I just couldn't put this into B&W. Enlarged is nicer.

One of several historic markers along the way. Oddly enough, although this is now called the York, in honor of the king's brother, there is another river due north which is also called the Pamunkey River. The Indian heritage still remains.

The flag hanging outside this private home is one of several different styles of revolutionary flags to be found during this era: Betsy Ross' design had not made its way through all the colonies, yet.

An original, early 17thC home in Yorktown.

A marker which refers to Powhatan /POW-a-tan/, father of Pocahontas, who married John Rolfe only a few years before she died of smallpox on board the ship, still in port in London, that was to take her back to her beloved Virginia. She is buried in Gravesend, England. She never came home. Her only son, Thomas, was brought back by his father, and raised his family near Richmond. John Rolfe was killed by Indians in the 1622 Massacre.

Yorktown: another variety of revolutionary flags. This one also happens to be very similar to the official state flag of Hawai'i today; that has no connection to the revolutionary flag.

Yorktown, early 17thC. This style of roof is called a “hip roof”.

Yorktown: private residence. Glazed brickwork. Pre-revolution.

Yorktown: these wonderful brick garden walls are found all over Colonial Virginia.

Marker erected in recognition of the Treaty of Paris and the cessation of fighting ending the Revolutionary War.

The bridge which leads from York County over to Gloucester County. The Chesapeake Bay is beyond. Some of the best freshwater and saltwater seafood you will find. (Especially the crabs!)

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There are 9 comments, add yours!
Eiram Marie 6 years, 11 months ago

Very interesting post! I wonder how you managed to shoot so many shots without people? It gives me a kind of lonely feeling...:)

6 years, 11 months ago Edited
Trish 6 years, 11 months ago

wow...fantastic post....I would love to visit this place!

6 years, 11 months ago Edited
Kelly 6 years, 11 months ago

Great photos and information! Looks like it would be an interesting spot to visit :) I really like #4 and 6

6 years, 11 months ago Edited
Ray King 6 years, 11 months ago

This is right in my back yard, so to speak. I grew up in Norfolk and as 4th graders we took field trips to Jamestown and Williamsburg. I'm glad you posted this wonderful set. I'm planning on going to Williamsburg to shot photo in the spring.

6 years, 11 months ago Edited
Andrea 6 years, 11 months ago

Wonderful and interesting post!

6 years, 11 months ago Edited
Lachio Chang 6 years, 11 months ago

Nice set !

6 years, 11 months ago Edited
Kate 6 years, 11 months ago

wow...and those houses are so...... ummmmm.... imposing

6 years, 11 months ago Edited
Ricardo 6 years, 11 months ago

it looks amazing! :) and the colors of it are waw :)

6 years, 11 months ago Edited
Claire 6 years, 11 months ago

it s a beautiful set !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

6 years, 11 months ago Edited