‘On the Riverfront’ Kicks Off Tool-Themed Month at Jamestown

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Jamestown Settlement is celebrating "Tools of the Trade" month with hands-on activities like scraping out a canoe with an oyster shell.
Jamestown Settlement is celebrating “Tools of the Trade” month with hands-on activities like scraping out a canoe with an oyster shell.

August at Jamestown Settlement and Yorktown Victory Center is all about tools.

“Tools of the Trade” theme month will highlight tools used in various capacities ranging from household to agricultural to military.

Jamestown Settlement will be kicking off “Tools of the Trade” month Saturday with “On the Riverfront,” a two-day event that celebrates life on the Chesapeake Bay.

In keeping with the emphasis on tools, guests will have the opportunity to scrape out a Powhatan-style canoe with oyster shells just like area Native American tribes would have done.

Additionally, visitors to the settlement can hear authentic sea chanteys, watch interpretive demonstrations and participate in period games, all with emphasis on life on the Chesapeake Bay.

This weekend’s event also provides a good opportunity for visitors to check out “Working and Racing on the Bay: The Chesapeake Log Canoe,” an ongoing special exhibition at Jamestown. Curated tours of the exhibit will be offered at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. each day.

Jeff Hogge will be among the interpreters on site, drawing on his family history to demonstrate modern net-making techniques, crab-potting and oyster tonging. Hogge’s family has worked on the Bay since the 17th century.

There will also be kid-friendly crafts available throughout both days of the event, some of which will continue to be offered throughout the month.

Though “On the Riverfront” will only be held this weekend, “Tools of the Trade” will continue through Aug. 31 and be celebrated at Yorktown Victory Center in addition to Jamestown Settlement.

Between the two locations, guests can compare and contrast tools of the Powhatan Indians, the English settlers and the African slaves and servants.

At Jamestown, daily demonstrations will educate visitors about canoe construction, naval and navigation tools, swivel-gun firing and woodworking.

Yorktown will offer close-up and hands-on experiences based on farming and military tools.

Both “Tools of the Trade” and “On the Riverfront” programs are included with regular admission to Jamestown Settlement and Yorktown Victory Center. Residents of James City County, York County and the City of Williamsburg can get in free with proof of residency.

Additional ticket information and complete program schedules can be found here.