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ANNOUNCEMENTS: We will use this space to call attention to events relating to the history of this land. New announcements will be briefly noted here with more detail by clicking on the title.

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Introduction: Governor’s Land at Two Rivers is a residential community in Williamsburg, Virginia. It includes the Two Rivers Country Club and golf course. Our land has a rich history dating back to the earliest days of the landing of the English at Jamestown in 1607. Native American occupation of the land goes back with evidence of activity dating back several thousand years.

This presentation was developed by the Governor’s Land Foundation Heritage Committee. It contains information about the history of Governor’s Land and the extensive archaeology that was conducted here before the completion of the golf course.

We thank Dr. Beverly (Bly) Straube, the former Curator at Historic Jamestowne, for submitting the following paragraph as part of the Introduction to this site. Dr. Straube was one of the archaeologists on the Governor’s Land project and cataloged the historic artifacts in the survey collection.

The Governor’s Land archaeological sites are highly significant for understanding Virginia Indian settlements and the first English colony established amongst them in the early 17th century. The work shown here by the Governor’s Land Foundation Heritage Committee is a perfect example of what can be accomplished by developers, homeowners, and archaeologists working together to preserve the historical and archaeological resources for the future to enjoy.

Navigation: The menu choices above or on the sidebar to the right will lead you to additional menus for each category. The PDF files for the archaeology reports may have a blank page at the beginning. Simply scroll down to read the report. To close a PDF file, simply choose the BACK arrow on your browser.

Artifacts: The padlock pictured here was chosen as the logo of the GLF Heritage Committee. It is an English padlock recovered along the 1st fairway, no doubt used to secure the possessions of an English settler. The second picture taken on the first fairway shows the padlock on a dustpan as it was recovered along with a heavily encrusted rifle barrel on the tarp, and a bill in the archaeologist’s hand. The bill, often called the bill hook, was a machete-like weapon mounted on a long pole. The hook was originally designed to pull combatants off their horse, but was also useful in close combat and as an agricultural tool. All three artifacts, preserved in a lengthy preservation process compliments of Historic Jamestowne, are on display in the display cabinet in the Cypress Room of the Two Rivers Country Club.

The third photo, hardly recognizable after almost 400 years underground, shows three elongated native copper beads that were once part of a necklace. Research by the archaeologists confirmed that the beads were fashioned from English copper which was frequently used by the colonists in trade with the Paspahegh Indians (see Archaeology paragraph below) from the village here. As noted in the caption, the archaeologists returned all of the jewelry items recovered from Native American graves with the reburial of the owners in a site noted with a marker near the first tee on the golf course.  So this is your only opportunity to see these items.

See more photos of excavations and artifacts in Photos, including several more of the artifacts in the display cabinet in the Club.

JC298[105 Gun barrel, basket hilt, bill hook, lock from 105

Recovery of Padlock (in dust pan) gun barrel and Bill

Settler’s Padlock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Native Copper Beads with Cordage recover from and returned Native grave

Native Copper Beads with Cordage recovered from and returned to Native graves.

Archaeology: In 1607, when the English arrived in Jamestown, the nearest Native American village was where the 18th fairway of the Two Rivers Country Club golf course is located today. The Native American tribe on our land was the Paspahegh, part of the Powhatan paramount chiefdom which was incorporated into the chiefdom a decade earlier. Archaeological excavations unearthed the village and evidence of habitation going back at least 5,000 years as well as a later English village established as Company Land, income from which was to support the Virginia Company of London, the group of investors who sponsored the expedition that established the settlement in Jamestown and the expansion to what became the Virginia Colony. An Introduction to the Archaeology at Governor’s Land is found under Archaeology. It has links, also found under Archaeology, to the highlights of the two thousand pages of searchable reports on archaeology that are included on this website.

History Articles: Over the years, residents of Governor’s Land have written articles on our history, several of which have appeared in GLF Current newsletters. Choose History Articles for a selection including information on street names, the nineteenth–century pier on the Chickahominy River to carry lumber harvested here, and articles on the relationship of our land to Jamestown.

Photos: The Photos link in the main menu takes you to a gallery of photos of the excavations and artifacts discovered during the archaeology conducted at Governor’s Land. It also includes maps and charts of the areas explored.

Further Resources: The final link in the menu at the top of the page is designed to connect you to the ‘world beyond’ what we have done on this site by providing additional links to resources on other websites. We hope to add more sources to the Further Resources page as we learn of interesting research and references to the history of the Paspahegh tribe on land that is present-day Governor’s Land and to the early English settlement at Jamestown and the smaller settlements that were once here. Be sure to check the first link that is posted under Further Resources. It contains a short video with a virtual model of the Paspahegh Village based entirely on the archaelogy done here and reported in the documents on this site. It also provides many interesting facts about the Paspahegh and their village here.


We hope that this site stimulated your interest in the significant history of Governor’s Land as it did the members of the GLF Heritage Committee who worked on it. Pick up a copy of the Committee’s brochure, Our Place in History, at the desk near the entrance to the Club. Share what you have learned with neighbors, friends and visitors and take them to the Cypress Room to view the artifacts in the display cabinet and give them a little tour of the artifacts and the 18th fairway based on your tour through this site. Most of all, ENJOY!

Acknowledgments: While this website was mostly the work of two members of the GLF Heritage Committee, a number of others assisted greatly in the effort. Special thanks to Daniel Turner for Technical Assistance and Graphic Design for this website.  Thanks also to the contributors of the articles in the History Articles pages. The are acknowledged with their article. And thank you to many Governor’s Land residents and members of the Heritage Committee who commented on earlier versions of this website.

This is still a work-in-progress, so we would welcome your comments as well. Additional links and references, or additional material that can be added, would be particularly welcome. Send an e-mail to both of us.

Earl Hopgood, Chairman, GLF Heritage Committee       [ehopgood@cox.net]

William K. Holstein, Editor     [WilliamHolstein1@Gmail.com]