Henricus to celebrate 400th anniversary during Publick Days

Henricus Historical Park will commemorate its 400th anniversary during Publick Days, Sept. 17-18, a signature annual event that celebrates the establishment of the second successful English settlement in the “New World.”

In September 1611, Sir Thomas Dale, along with soldiers, tradesmen and farmers, ventured from Jamestown to create the Citie of Henricus.  Leaders of Henricus developed the first English hospital, chartered the first college in North America, established tobacco as the first cash crop in Virginia and created a place where Pocahontas lived and met John Rolfe.

Publick Days will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. Admission is free and parking is $5 per vehicle.
 
Visitors to Henricus will be experience encounters with more than 100 period-dressed historical interpreters portraying 17th-century life in re-created English and Virginia Indian settlements.

Activities planned for Publick Days include living history re-enactments; English and Virginia Indian weapons demonstrations; craftsmen and blacksmiths;17th-century medicinal demonstrations; Virginia Indian and colonial songs and dance; hands-on educational activities and crafts for families; storytelling; food and craft vendors.

On the bluff overlooking the James River, re-enactments will explore the military history of Dutch Gap from 1781 to 1917.
 
At 9 a.m. on Saturday a ceremony will take place, “Unity on the James—A Ceremony of Remembrance, Reconciliation and Recognition by Virginia Indians.”
 
On both days of the event 17th-century ship replica, Godspeed from Jamestown Settlement, will be docked at Henricus. Godspeed is a re-creation of one of three ships which transported America’s first permanent English colonists to Virginia in 1607. The ship’s crew will demonstrate colonial maritime skills and examine the historic significance of Godspeed. On Sept. 19-20, the English and Virginia Indian sites and Godspeed will have grade-level appropriate activities available for school group tours by reservation: (804) 318-8797.
 
On Sept. 16, Henricus Historical Park will host a casual reception for Patrons to recognize the arrival of Godspeed from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The event will feature a re-enactment of Sir Thomas Dale’s landing in 1611 by the all-volunteer Henricus Militia commanded by Dennis Strawderman prior to Godspeed’s arrival.
 
“Four hundred years ago the Citie of Henricus was founded and went on to become an essential cultural landmark in the heritage of the United States of America,” said Charles Lewis Grant, acting executive director. “As a living history museum, our mission is to educate the public about the significant historic milestones which took place at Henricus.”
 
Throughout the year, general park admission is free for Patrons, $8 for adults and $6 for children aged 3-12. Henricus Historical Park is located at 251 Henricus Park Road, Chester, Va. 23836. 
 
For a complete itinerary for the Publick Days weekend, visit http://www.henricus.org.
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Discover the many roles African-Americans played in the 150+ year history of Dabbs House, 3812 Nine Mile Rd., from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Meet an African-American Civil War soldier who will share his role in the Battle of New Market Heights. Hear about how the county used the property as an almshouse. Retired and active police will share stories about the time Dabbs House served as a police station. Admission is free. For details, call 652-1426. Full text

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