Jamestown Rediscovery, Norge Depot Association Earn Preservation Awards

WYDaily.com is your source for free news and information in Williamsburg, James City & York Counties.

Representatives of staff for the Jamestown Rediscovery Project pictured with members of the James City County Historical Commission. (Courtesy of James City County)
Representatives of staff for the Jamestown Rediscovery Project pictured with members of the James City County Historical Commission. (Courtesy of James City County)

Teams working to uncover the early years of Jamestown and preserve Norge’s railroad history have been recognized for their accomplishments by the James City County Historical Committee.

The Jamestown Rediscovery staff and the Norge Depot Association each received the 2015 Historic Preservation Award during the Sept. 22 board of supervisors meeting.

During the award presentation, Jamestown Rediscovery was lauded for its excavation work, which has uncovered more than 2 million artifacts, the remains of James Fort, forensic evidence of survival cannibalism and the graves of four “key players” in the first years of English settlement on Jamestown Island.

Dr. Bill Kelso, director of archaeology at Historic Jamestowne, said it was an opportunity for the whole 11-person team to be recognized.

“Oftentimes I get all the credit and it’s really the team that does the work,” Kelso said. “They’re so talented and experienced.”

He said it was also a chance to thank the James City County Board of Supervisors for their support since the excavations began in 1994, calling the board a “partner.”

Representatives of the Norge Depot Association pictured with members of the James City County Historical Commission. (Courtesy of James City County)
Representatives of the Norge Depot Association pictured with members of the James City County Historical Commission. (Courtesy of James City County)

Norge Depot Association’s achievements range from developing a museum inside of the restored early 1900s train depot, collaborating with the Ford’s Colony Model Railroad Club to build a model train that includes a replica of the depot and securing the donation of a 1945-era Georgia Railroad caboose.

Chris Hamilton, president of the Norge Depot Association, said her mother began advocating for the depot’s preservation in the 1980s. Today, more than 15 volunteers contribute to what the depot is today, she said.

“Very few of these awards are given out, and I’m just so flattered they would think about giving it to us,” Hamilton said. “Getting this award is just amazing.”

Last year Richard Costello, president of AES Consulting Engineers, received a preservation award for donating engineering services to the Norge train depot preservation effort.

Looking ahead, Kelso said Jamestown Rediscovery will focus on mapping out the expanded fortified area of Historic Jamestowne and prepare for the 400th anniversary of the representative assembly in 2019.

Hamilton said the Norge Depot Association will work on restoring the Georgia Railroad caboose and building restrooms at the depot that, from the outside, look like historic coal sheds.