America’s Historic Triangle: Yorktown

Tobacco at Yorktown

We started in “America’s Historic Triangle”: Yorktown, Williamsburg, and Jamestown.  They are all within a 15 mile radius of each other, and about an hour’s drive from Richmond.  This is where American history books began.  I had never been to Yorktown or Jamestown as far as I know.  I know that I had been to historic Williamsburg as a child on a school field trip because I remember my teacher taking my sweater away from me because I couldn’t decide if I wanted to keep it on or off.  These days the only reason I would go to Williamsburg is for the outlets that there.  However, on 7/26/12 the LL Bean outlet closed, and I am saddned by this, but I digress.

We made a weekend out of it.  I looked online through the historic Williamsburg website for tickets, package deals, and any other interesting things that might be going on for the time we were going to be there.  We g0t the Historic Triangle tickets which gives you access to all three areas for 7 consecutive days.  Since Jamestown and Yorktown are primarily reconstructed areas there are central entry points through a welcome center, but I wondered how passes would work in Williamsburg since it is basically restored to how it was during colonial times and has no central entry point.  We discovered that in Williamsburg you cannot get into any of the re-enactment areas, such as the Blacksmith, without showing your pass.  So that’s how the passes work in Williamsburg.

I should note that when we do these trips we are not staying in fancy places.  However, we might splurge on food.

We started in Yorktown on a Friday afternoon.  Yorktown was where Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington to end the Revolutionary war.  We probably spent about 2 hours there.  I think that the coolest part of it was when they set off the mortar.  We learned the difference between a canon and a mortar.  A canon was used for long range destroying, and a mortar was used for short range destroying.  A mortar could, also, be angled to fire over walls and other blockades.

Firing the mortar

We learned a lot at Yorktown.  What I think I was most surprised about was the fact that the colonies were not allowed to trade with each other and there were no banks.  Virginia did have a tobacco based economy.  I am sure I had learned that in some history class at some point in time, but had forgotten it.   We, also, learned that peanuts, sweet potatoes, okra, some type of hot pepper, and white squash among other things are not native to this continent and were brought over from Africa.

That night we ate at the Riverwalk Restaurant at Riverwalk Landing.  I would suggest making reservations.  The cobbler was so good!  You have to order it when you order your food because they make it from scratch and bake each one for 45 minutes.  Paula Deen would have been proud.  There must have been 2 sticks of butter and a 1/2 pound of sugar it, but it was such a good indulgence especially a la mode.  There is a nice paved walk along the York River behind the restaurant.  There are lots of point of interest plaques along the walk.  For instance we learned that Yorktown is at the edge of massive impact crater from a meteor that hit that part of the planet millions of years ago.


Colonial surgery tools- Ouch!

Tobacco drying- looks like really big ugly bats

colonial military camp- reminds me of tent city from my summer camp

Categories: Historical | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “America’s Historic Triangle: Yorktown

  1. This is great! Now I want homemade cobbler a la mode. Yum. Can’t wait for your next adventure!

  2. Marianne

    My family and I are new to Virginia and we have family visiting. We thought a trip to the Historic Triangle would be fun but I had no idea what to expect because we have never been there. I stumbled upon your website and am so appreciative!

    I look forward to referring to it often as we are also trying to explore the state we live in.

    • Welcome to Virginia! I hope that you find some of the information useful. If there is any information that you think I should include let me know. I would love to hear about your adventures. Happy exploring!

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