In an abundance of caution to ensure the health and safety of our guests and staff, Preservation Virginia has made the difficult decision to cease guided tours of five of our historic sites for the season.

With COVID-19 numbers and positivity rates steadily rising in Virginia, the interiors of Bacon’s Castle, Smith’s Fort, Patrick Henry’s Scotchtown, the John Marshall House and Cape Henry Lighthouse will close until next year beginning Friday, December 11.

However, the grounds of Bacon’s Castle, Smith’s Fort and Patrick Henry’s Scotchtown will remain open and guests can access new audio tours via cell phones. Social distancing and the wearing of masks are required for self-guided exterior tours, and a suggested donation of $5 is requested for accessing the grounds.

Historic Jamestowne will be temporarily closed to the public from December 21, 2020 through January 31, 2021. The closure includes the Visitor Center co-managed by the National Park Service and Jamestown Rediscovery (on behalf of Preservation Virginia) and the New Towne and Old Towne areas of the island.

Operation updates related to the closure include:

  • The James Fort Site and all buildings, including the Dale House Cafe, will be closed.

  • All on-site programs have been cancelled for the duration of the closure.

  • Jamestown Rediscovery staff will continue to monitor email and voicemail messages during the closure.

  • We will continue to offer Virtual Classroom Programs during the closure. Visit https://historicjamestowne.org/education/for-educators/virtual-classroom-programs/ to learn more.

  • Product orders from our online retail store will continue to be fulfilled.

  • The Glasshouse, operated by Eastern National, will remain open for glass blowing demonstrations and retail sales 8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. daily. The Glasshouse will be closed on Christmas Day and New Years Day.

  • Public restrooms will be available at the Glasshouse.

  • The Island Drive tour road will be closed to vehicles beyond the Glasshouse parking lot, but will remain open for bicyclists and pedestrians.

  • Updated operational information will be posted at https://historicjamestowne.org/visit/operations-updates/.

We look forward to welcoming guests back inside our historic sites in spring 2021. In the meantime, stay tuned to our website, YouTube channel and social media pages for updates, new educational videos and online programs. We wish you and your family a healthy and safe New Year, and we look forward to seeing you in person again in 2021.

 

Explore 100 Miles of History in 2021

Preservation Virginia’s six locations to explore 100 miles of history. Planning a group tour? We can help craft a memorable experience for your group, whether you are looking for the perfect day trip or a multi-day tour. Learn more about our sites and contact us today.

Patrick Henry’s Scotchtown, Hanover County

Scotchtown is the only original standing home of Patrick Henry, patriot and orator of the American Revolution, open to the public. Henry lived here from 1771–1778 and conceived his most influential revolutionary ideas at the home. Guests can learn how his ideas of revolution spread and influenced future generations.

Patrick Henry's Scotchtown

The John Marshall House, Richmond

John Marshall is known as the “Great Chief Justice” for his role in creating the modern Supreme Court. With the largest collection of original Marshall family pieces, guided tours of his home offer an in-depth look at the formation of American government and the nation’s complex history.

 

The John Marshall House

Historic Jamestowne, James City County

Historic Jamestowne is the actual site of the first permanent British settlement in North America. Guests can explore how archaeology, science and history are telling the complete story of survival, democracy and freedom in Colonial America.

Historic Jamestowne

Smith’s Fort Plantation, Surry County

Smith’s Fort Plantation is located on the site of Captain John Smith’s planned “New Fort.” The land was given by Chief Wahunsenacawh (Powhatan) as a dowry for his daughter Pocahontas upon her marriage to John Rolfe solidifying ties between the colonists and Virginia Indians. After touring Smith’s Fort, visitors can ride the Jamestown-Scotland Ferry for free to visit Historic Jamestowne or take a short car ride to Bacon’s Castle.

Smith's Fort Plantation

Bacon’s Castle, Surry County

Bacon’s Castle is the oldest brick dwelling in North America and was once home to prosperous merchant and planter, Arthur Allen. The home features 17th century English formal gardens restored by the Garden Club of Virginia and outbuildings, including an original 1830s slave dwelling. Tours cover the lives and legacies of the families, including those of the enslaved people and sharecroppers, who lived at Bacon’s Castle.

Bacon's Castle

Cape Henry Lighthouse, Virginia Beach

Cape Henry Lighthouse is the first federally funded public works project of the newly formed United States government. It was authorized by George Washington and overseen by Alexander Hamilton. The Lighthouse is situated near the “First Landing” site where English settlers first set foot on their way to settle in Jamestown. Built with the same Aquia sandstone as much of Washington, D.C, the lighthouse guided sea travelers to safety for almost 100 years.

Cape Henry Lighthouse

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