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The mission of Historic Jamestowne is to preserve, protect and promote the original site of the first permanent English settlement in North America and to tell the story of the role of the three cultures, European, North American and African, that came together to lay the foundation for a uniquely American form of democratic government, language, free enterprise and society.
Historic Jamestowne is owned and managed through a private/public partnership. The Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities (Preservation Virginia) acquired 22.5 acres in 1893. The National Park Service acquired the remaining 1500 acres in 1934. During the early decades, the activity on the Island could be characterized as quiet but cooperative in welcoming visitors, providing research and interpretation. Jamestown Rediscovery is committed to supporting preservation, education, and the archaeological investigation of Historic Jamestowne, the original site of the first permanent English settlement in America.
In the early 1990's, the 60-year old partnership took a quantum leap. In anticipation of the 400th anniversary of the landing at Jamestown, the NPS and Preservation Virginia launched extensive archaeological assessment and research--all to address the under-explored 17th century, our nation's origin. NPS conducted an assessment of its massive collections from the region and Preservation Virginia initiated its Jamestown Rediscovery project to search for the original 1607 fort, long thought lost to the James River. Interest in the research has resulted in international attention from scholars, historians, and the general public.
Today Historic Jamestowne is jointly administered by the National Park Service and The Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation (on behalf of Preservation Virginia) and preserves the original site of the first permanent English settlement in the New World.