Virginia's Henricus Historical Park
October 2, 2004
Filed under Destinations
Located on a bluff overlooking one of the most scenic areas of the James River, the
original Citie [sic] of Henricus is the site where Sir Thomas Dale, following instructions
from the London Company to find a more suitable location for the colony’s seat of
government other than the Jamestown site, led 300 settlers in the building of Virginia’s
second English settlement in the New World. What transpired had an unprecedented impact on
the growth and destiny of America. Numerous firsts in America’s history occurred here at
the original Citie of Henricus: the first hospital (Mount Malady), the first example of
free enterprise, the first private ownership of land and the start of a democratic economy.
Pocahontas lived here for a time, and was baptized with the Christian name of Rebecca.
Divided into venues, the 32-acre site in Chesterfield, Virginia, includes a partially
re-created settlement with watchtowers, barns and gardens. Recent additions to the park
include a Native American encampment with a longhouse and gardens. Native plants that the
colonists would have found, such as holly, bayberry and blueberry separate the venues. Work
on the site will continue through 2007. Costumed reenactors and interpreters dramatically –
and sometimes humorously – tend gardens, prepare food and demonstrate the spinning and
carpentry crafts that typically marked English life in early Virginia. Henricus Historical
Park, (804) 706-1340, www.henricus.org.