People at the Jamestown Settlement and American Revolution Museum at Yorktown plan to opening up again June 24.
“We look forward to welcoming everyone back to our museums,” Christy Coleman, executive director of the Jamestown–Yorktown Foundation stated in a press release. “The past few months have allowed us to think deeply about our work, listen intently and affirm our commitment to serve our communities in a safe and healthy environment with impactful and meaningful experiences about our shared history.”
Visitors to the Jamestown Settlement and American Revolution Museum at Yorktown will be able to see and enjoy a variety of experiences, and there’s something for everyone, Tracy Perkins, the museums spokeswoman, wrote in an email.
“Immersive gallery exhibits and living-history experiences allow visitors to connect to the 17th and 18th centuries in authentic and meaningful ways to learn about lives of the Powhatan Indians, English and west central Africans at Jamestown Settlement, and the Revolutionary War farmers and soldiers at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown,” Perkins wrote.
Visitors to the Jamestown museum will be able to discover how real people lived in North America’s first English Colony which was established in 1607, Perkins wrote.
“They can learn about Pocahontas, Angelo, John Smith, as well as ordinary people from America’s past through artifact-filled exhibition galleries and immersive exhibits and experiential theaters,” Perkins wrote.
The museums have costumed historical interpreters, living history demonstrations and re-creations of a Powhatan Indian village, a Continental Army encampment at the fort and a Revolution-era farm for visitor interaction, Perkins wrote.
The museums will be operating on a limited capacity. Masks will be required in all indoor spaces and encouraged in outdoor settings. Social distancing will also be encouraged, Perkins wrote.
“In the outdoor living-history areas, capacity in the re-created buildings and structures, including access to one of the three ships at Jamestown Settlement, will be limited to a certain number of visitors at a time,” Perkins wrote.
In keeping with the requirements of the state’s Phase 2 of its Forward Virginia Plan, the use of the indoor touchscreens will be prohibited. Plexiglass will be in place in front of all public-facing counters and cash registers, according to a Jamestown Settlement and American Revolution Museum at Yorktown press release.
The release also stated that hand-sanitizing stations will be available throughout the museums.
The museums’ indoor galleries and films capacities will be limited during operating hours from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Aug. 15, the release stated.
The Jamestown–Yorktown Foundation is closely monitoring public health guidance and is working closely with government agencies and will maintain protocols recommended by the state and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Virginia Department of Health and other agencies. For more information, visit historyisfun.org/update.
Reservations are not required to visit Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown. To see a variety of ticket options, as well as value-saving combination tickets for Colonial Williamsburg, visit historyisfun.org/visit/admission-rates.
Poplar Forest, Thomas Jefferson’s retreat home near Lynchburg, opened June 6, and Poplar Forest’s President and CEO Alyson Ramsey said people were glad they were able to visit again.
“It was a great first weekend opening,” Ramsey said.
Restoration at the house and grounds, at 1542 Bateman Bridge Road, in Forest, are ongoing, and people can see what goes into restoring a house and its grounds to their historic, archaeological appearance, Ramsey said.
“We do provide an opportunity for people to come and see a restoration in progress and to see it take shape before their eyes,” Ramsey said.
Poplar Forest’s latest completed restoration project includes a large driveway similar to the one that carriages would have used, Ramsey said. The project was completed with help from The Garden Club of Virginia, which has worked to restore elements of the historic landscape over the last 10 years.
“We were very excited to move into this spring visitation season because we have a new feature of the restored landscape that we’re getting ready to unveil, which is the carriage turnaround in front of the house,” Ramsey said.
Docents will give lectures at Poplar Forest, Ramsey said.
“They’re offered as part of the admission, and those are offered as long as a docent is available to lead them. They shed light on the activities and daily life of the in-place residents which stayed here year-round. Jefferson was an occasional visitor a few times a year,” Ramsey said
Three daily guided tours at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. at Poplar Forest will be limited to 10 people per tour and masks will be required, Ramsey said. People will also be asked to sign a statement that they have not been exposed to the virus and or are not showing symptoms of the virus.
“We are following all guidelines issued by the CDC and Virginia Department of Health,” Ramsey said. “We hope to expand the numbers of tours and the ability for people to walk through the house as things get better with the virus situation. As things improve, we look forward to welcoming visitors to spend more time in the historic house to experience the spaces It’s a great place to just walk and get some fresh air.”
The costs for regularly scheduled tours: general admission is $18 for adults; $16 for seniors (ages 65 and older) and military (must show ID); $10 for college students (must show ID) and teens (ages 12-18); $6 for youth (ages 6-11); and free for children under age 6 and Poplar Forest members.
Admission fees for private tours: $25 for adults (ages 18 and older), $14 youth (ages 6-17) and children under age 6 are free. Private tours must be reserved 24 hours in advance through the Museum Shop.
For information, to make reservations, or to purchase tickets for a guided tour of Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest, please contact the Museum Shop at 434/534-8120, or visit poplarforest.org.