What’s new at old Henricus?

A Living History Educational Museum

09/01/2014  | 

Henricus Historical Park—housing the recreated site of the second successful 17th century English colony in the New World —is working steadily to make 17th century Virginia history come alive, both by searching for the past and by re-creating it for visitors today and tomorrow. 

Archaeology excavations, new buildings, intensive research into primary source materials, more interpretive and education staff and better ways to get the information to teachers, students and to the general public are all included in our new Five-Year-Plan.

Henricus helps to trace the past and the historical contributions of personalities such as Pocahontas and Chief Powhatan and of Sir Thomas Dale and John Rolfe. Henricus is all about the Age of Exploration and the beginnings of the economic and social revolutions in what was to become America. It’s all about comparing and contrasting early American cultures —Virginia Indian and English —as they met on the James River in the early 1600s. Currently, we have 14 major colonial buildings, Powhatan Indian structures and numerous sub structures in a functioning site. So, now What’s NEW at Old Henricus?

Archaeology is NEW at Old Henricus! Working with Longwood University Department of Archaeology, we are trying to find the original Citie of Henricus. As the 1611 – 1622 site was probably covered by tons of soil during the Civil War-era cutting of the Dutch Gap on the James River, it might be buried quite far down. We also use the archaeological process in some of our middle school programs – how do we know how to re-create the 400-year-old “Citie”? Join us for our archaeological program, People in Environment (middle school), and for our children’s day camps: Archaeology at Henricus (spring break camp) and Camp Pocahontas (summer camps). Interns throughout the summer will staff the dig site to discuss our work with the general public; join us and check out our progress.

A Colonial Church and Meeting Hall is NEW at Old Henricus!

What would have been one of the first buildings constructed at the 1611 site of Henricus, a colonial church and meeting hall, is currently being recreated with an expected completion date of November 2014.This will be the15th building or major structure at the park. The church and meeting hall, which recreates an Anglican church of the era, will be ready by Fall to be used in school programs for elementary and secondary grade students: The Two Lives of Pocahontas (grades three through five), Colonial Cultures of the James River (grades six through nine) and Religion of 17th Century Virginia (middle through high school grades). It will also become an integral part of the daily public interpretation of the site.

Project-Based-Learning and STEM Education are NEW at Old Henricus!

Project-Based Learning helps students to take the information they learn from school books and create their own projects. Middle and high school students are instructed to take from our programs and primary source information, information and “artifacts” to create their own “at school” museums. How does a history museum provide STEM education? By tracking how science and technology improved 17th century navigational tools and weather studies to make early travel from Europe to the New World for colonization possible.

Join Henricus for new middle school programs “17th Century Sciences and Math and Mapping the James River.” Our elementary level programs all touch upon comparing and contrasting Indian and English technology and how these technologies helped distinguish each culture within their Eastern Woodlands environment.

An Expanded Indian Village is NEW at Old Henricus!

We are currently working on expanding our re-created Indian village of Arrohateck. Our Virginia Indian interpreters are adding tool and pottery-making sites, new fish net stations, a hunting station, a chief’ longhouse and expanding our village planting fields and native plant area. Interact with these new areas through “People of the River: Powhatan Indians, Two Lives of Pocahontas and People in Environment” programs.




To plan your school trip to Old Henricus, visit www.henricus.org
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