December 9, 2011

Yorktown to Norfolk in 230 Years

We finally left our campground in Williamsburg this morning.  Five nights was the longest time we’ve stayed anywhere so far.  Maybe we’re slowing down a bit, or maybe there was just a lot to do in the Williamsburg area.  Being in a place where we could use public transportation for two of the days was also a plus and meant we didn’t have to unhook and move the RV.  It was a very easy and enjoyable visit.

We returned to the Colonial Parkway and headed to Yorktown, which is a part of Colonial National Historical Park.  Yorktown was the last major battle of the American Revolution, and the American victory here in 1781 secured independence for the United States.  We drove the battlefield tour that traces the American and French siege lines of the Battle of Yorktown.  We stopped at the Moore House, where officers from both sides negotiated the surrender terms for British General Cornwallis’s army.  

British Inner Defense Line at the Yorktown Battlefield

Moore House
The most interesting item on display at the Yorktown visitor center was General George Washington’s military tents, dubbed “An American Treasure.”  The story of how the tents were saved by Washington’s grandson and later secured by a slave during the Civil War was just amazing.

We made our way south through traffic and tunnels to tour the Naval Station Norfolk, the largest naval base in the world.  We saw aircraft carriers, destroyers, frigates and one of the busiest airfields in the country.  

Retired Aircraft on Exhibit

Another Plane on Exhibit
We also drove by historic houses that were built for the Jamestown Exposition of 1907.  Coincidentally, we had just visited Jamestown yesterday.  I was completely unfamiliar with this exposition. The land on which Naval Station is located was originally the site of the exposition, a celebration of the 300th anniversary of the establishment of the first permanent English settlement in America. 

The exposition planners invited each of the states to contribute a building that celebrated its history.  Twenty-one states responded.  Many of the houses that were built have been preserved and are located on what is now known as Admirals Row.  It was really interesting to see the houses that were selected by each state.

Missouri House from the Jamestown Exposition
We finally left the state of Virginia after a most enjoyable visit and headed toward the Outer Banks of North Carolina.


  1. Stu and I toured Yorktown too. I thought the driving tour really brought the time and place alive. If I remember correctly, Yorktown was also a Civil War battle spot. Glad you enjoyed yourselves! LV

  2. LV, You are so right about the driving tour. And, yes, Yorktown was also a Civil War battle spot. According to the NPS brochure, "Yorktown came under siege again in the spring of 1862 when Union Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan began his Peninsula Campaign to capture Richmond." Sarah