Yorktown Travel Blog› entry 17 of 29 › view all entries
Yorktown is another wonderful place to visit. I didn't know what to expect with our Yorktown Victory Center tickets. We were very pleased with the center that provided two private tours for the girls in our group. We were the last group coming through (we only saw a few other school groups) and so we had the guide, dressed in period costume, to ourselves.
While Charles slept in the RV, we learned about the Revolutionary war and homesteading life following the war.
The Revolutionary War outdoor area had tents set up so we could see what life was like for a soldier and the commanding officer (hint: you want to be the officer). Surgical tools which appeared painful at best, earthen fireplaces for army cooking, and huts for wives and/or families whoi traveled with the soldier were admired.
Most thrilling was the firing of the musket, which was a complicated and time-consuming process to get the powder loaded, only to have the gun misfire (not work) one in 6 times. Our guide's musket misfired the first time, but fired off on the second try- it was SO LOUD that we could hear the echo off distant trees and nearly scared us out of our skin! A musket cost half what a rifle would, so the minutemen had muskets with the sword on the end to intimidate the enemy. Fascinating stuff!
The Homesteading village had various buildings, crops, gardens, etc, but the tour guide was extremely interesting and knowledgable, again giving terrific history lessons for our many questions. We enjoyed seeing the tobacco note that was given in exchange for a barrelful of dried tobacco leaves. They could use that ledger for credit at the stores.
The movie was a bit gory about the war, but worthwhile and well-done. The exhibits in the museum included "Betsy", remains recently recovered as one of the ships that were skuttled in the harbor of the Jamestown River. Skuttled means the ship is sunk to prevent the enemy from taking it over, when they know they're not winning. Also, ships were perposely sunk in the harbor to provide a blockade.
Anyway, we learned a lot about the growth of our country from about 1770 through the Revolutionary War. We were sorry Charles missed it from being sick, but got him books and such from the gift store, which they kept open for us at the end of the day.
Although they didn't have the ongoing exhibits during this low season, we found the Victory Center to be fascinating and would like to have more time to spend here. Half a day was far too short to read everything in the museum, but we were glad we saw the location of the Yorktown battle- one of the final major battles in the Revolutionary War.
Driving in Williamsburg and surrounding areas is easy. The roads are uncrowded, the Colonial Historical Parkway and John Tyler Memorial Highway are gorgeous and free of other traffic, and parking is plentiful.