Inger and Jeff Latreille
Preserving An Old Town
~Tuesday, May 18, 2021~
Sadie had injured herself running through the forest the other day (and boy does she rip). After our walk about, I noticed her limping a bit and licking her paw. What I found is that she cut her main front paw pad pretty bad, and thankfully, not much bleeding. Their advice was since she wasn’t bleeding much, that she could wait to be seen which wasn’t until today. We couldn’t have asked for a nicer staff and more beautiful facility at Middle Plantation Animal Hospital in Williamsburg. Sadie was in great hands and we definitely learned a lot about dog’s feet. The main pad of a dog’s foot has an outer layer that calluses up where in Sadie’s case, the laceration was. But there is a secondary layer which luckily, was not affected. So thank goodness no stitches, no surgery. Just a little Epsom salt soaks and ointment and 10 days of keeping her off pavement. The hardest part will be keeping her idle. And the limping has already improved.
After we got Sadie all settled in at the campground, we drove to Historic Jamestown, which is the actual location of the settlement, not a reenactment. It was nice to be back since our 2016 visit with the fact there is so much information to take in; some remembered, some forgotten. But we also got to see some new things as well.
The last time we were here, we did see some excavation going on,
but today there was a much broader digging in 3 locations….in front of the church, behind the church and near the water. Thank goodness the Commonwealth of Virginia has fortified the banks of the James River or else much of what they are excavating, would be washed away. What tedious work these archaeologists undertake, meticulously combing through each bit of dirt. Today, most of their digging was through what they call “modern dirt”, especially near the riverbank (dirt that was thrown on top of original dirt when they were building up the river bank). It was fantastic to hear firsthand, from the archaeologists about their challenges and their findings of such a historical location.
Now for a little background on Jamestown (you can skip this part if you don’t want a history lesson).....English settlers dreamt of finding wealth in the New World back in 1607. Many continents had already been claimed, but the continent of North America was virgin territory, though Native peoples had lived here for thousands of years. Chief Powhatan, at that time, was wary of the 100 English settlers who arrived on 3 ships but offered maize, not gold that the settlers were hoping for, in exchange for glass and pottery. Meanwhile, Captain John Smith organized a growing colony exploring the nearby waterways and encountering other tribes. With the arrival of 200 more colonists, Powhatan grew dismayed and refused to continue supplying the English with maize. With their arrival too late in the season, and their poor soil conditions in their exact location, their situation became perilous in the winter of 1609 to 1610. Powhatan ordered a siege and refused to further supply maize, leaving many of the colonists starving, dwindling their population to less than 50. Around 1619, Europeans tried again, bringing more and more labor force, labor which included growing tobacco…..an intensive cash crop. With Virgnia’s soil, the tobacco crop flourished, bringing in more labor….labor which turned into a race-based system. It wasn’t until 1699 that the Capital moved from Jamestown to Middle Plantation, now called Williamsburg. Hunger, survival, luck, love and greed brought different cultures to Jamestown Island. And what a mark it has left being the first permanent English settlement and the birthplace of a new nation.