Berkeley Plantation’s Thanksgiving Festival

The culmination of the day’s events is a short play done to re-enact the settler’s 1619 landing at the Berkeley Hundred.

This past weekend my wife, son, and I journeyed up the James River to Berkeley Plantation as planned. It was an enjoyable weekend – even if it did rain and remain somewhat cloudy the entire time. Here are a few pictures of our time there, as well as more shots illustrating just how beautiful Berkeley Plantation is. I quite enjoyed being there in November, as the leaves were changing all along John Tyler Highway, and along the James River.

Chickahominy and Rappahannock Natives displayed their dress and ceremonial dances.

I enjoy history like very few people do, but my favorite part of this trip was watching my son’s excitement. He wanted to go here, and do this, and see that. By the end of the day only excitement kept him awake as we returned home. His excitement is exactly what I was looking forward to as a history-loving parent. Noted author Jeffrey Shaara of God’s and Generals fame shared a story about how his father Gettysburg author Michael Shaara instilled a passion for Civil War history by taking him to view Gettysburg when Jeff was 12 years old. It was that moment that Jeff fell in love with what his father had already loved for quite some time, thus instilling Jeff’s passion and drive.

Johnny running up Berkeley’s terraces.

I’m not saying that I am by any stretch of imagination a Michael Shaara, nor am I saying that Johnny will become the next Jeffrey. What I am saying is that a father’s being able to share his passion with his son is an incomparable joy. Our living in Virginia is the perfect place for me to pass my passion down to my sons. What an awesome privilege!

The main Thanksgiving Monument at Berkeley Plantation. Of note, Woodliff descendants, both young and old, were in attendance for the ceremony.
Berkeley’s riverside entrance.
Beautiful gazebo overlooking the northern section of the plantation.
Johnny and Zandra playing the Game of Graces – sort of, Graces is played with two sticks and a hoop.
Other Colonial pastimes on display.
A settler encampment with a reenactor boiling water over a small fire.

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