Friday, May 04, 2007

ROYALTY IN VIRGINIA

I am a Yankee transplated on southern soil. We have lived here in Virginia for almost seven years. I find the history in this area to be quite facinating. For example, less than a mile down the beach from where we live is the site where the first English ships landed in 1607. This spot is located at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay where it meets the Atlantic Ocean. There are two lighthouses that mark the spot now. The old one is brick and visitors can climb up the narrow stairway to the top and look out. The second is the "new" lighthouse. It was built in around 1887, I believe. I don't think it is operational any more. GPS technology has taken over. But to recall this local history:

Four hundred years ago three ships set sail from London. Four months later they landed here on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay. Captain John Smith, of the Pocahontas story, was on one of them. Bet you thought that was at Plymouth Rock, didn't you? I know I did, until we moved here. In April of 1607 these ships came in and planted a wooden cross and named the spot Cape Henry, in honor of Henry, the Prince of Wales, elder son of King James I.
The expedition moved on up the bay and found what is now the James River, which took them farther inland. They settled at a spot which they named Jamestown, and it became the first permanent English colony in the new world. That is the history in a nutshell.
Lots more information available at http://www.jamestown1607.org/
This is a year of big celebrations in this area. On April 29th there was a reenactment of the cross being erected at Cape Henry. Jamestown has been rebuilt and preparing for lots of visitors also. In fact, yesterday Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip arrived here in Virginia! They have come to visit Jamestown and see what the big fuss is all about. At 81 years of age, the Queen is so gracious and energetic. I wish the weather was a little more pleasant for her visit. It has been cool and overcast the past two days. She probably gets enough of that back home. I wonder if she was hoping to go to the beach?
Also of historical note is this really cool quilt book, Quilts of Virginia 1607-1899. Not only does it contain lots of historical information about the history in this state, but it has lots of pictures of wonderful old quilts. I love traditional old quilts and could happily work on any number of the quilts that this book contains. For me, all roads lead back to quilts!

5 comments:

Mary said...

I loved growing up in the Hampton Roads area - between my love of reading and history it was wonderful to be surrounded by the places I was reading about.

I also have that book on Virginia quilts as well as one on Minnesota quilts, and Georgia quilts. It's interesting to me to read about both the states I've lived in and their quilt history. Maybe I should look for one on Florida since I was living there when I started quilting.

Jenni @ Fairybread said...

The Queen would be quite at home in that sort of weather. We are getting quite a few footage of her in the US on our news - she 'is' our Head of State I suppose being in the Commonwealth.

Clare said...

I recognise that postcard. Isn't that the one you sent me with your blocks? By all accounts HM enjoyed her visit. That is a lovely photo ofher.

Patti said...

I recently bought the Virginia book. It's one of the nicest of all the quilt search books I have. They did a marvelous job on it.!

Vicky said...

I enjoyed reading about Her Majesty's visit here, and especially her sense of humor. She's a Red Hat Lady, after all! :)