Friday August 10th 2018
After three straight days of touring I planned to take today off from touring. The weather forecast for the weekend changed my mind. The tropical rain pattern we experienced a couple of weeks ago is returning. Heavy rain is forecast for both Saturday and Sunday. I went to Yorktown to visit the American Revolution Museum and the Yorktown battlefield.
The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown is run by the same Commonwealth of Virginia agency as the Jamestown Settlement I visited yesterday. In my opinion this museum is much better than its sister museum in Jamestown. Some of that is because it is only a year old and uses technology better. It covers the period leading up to the Revolution all the way to the adoption of the Constitution in 1789.
My museum visit started with the overview movie. In used an innovative approach to story telling that kept your attention, but ended with a message that keeping the freedoms earned in the revolution is a continuous fight. Other areas of the museum used shorter video to emphasis particular points or explain battles. The most creative video was used in a multi sensory presentation on the siege and battle at Yorktown. The semi circle theater had vibrating seats and artificial smoke to put you in the middle of the battle.
Another nice thing about the exhibits in the museum were the extensive number of actual artifacts. There were uniforms, muskets, swords, hand guns and cannon on display. Many of the cannon were in a temporary exhibit on the artillery of the revolutionary war.
Outside the museum there was a reenactment of a colonial bivouac with the obligatory musket firing example. I’ve seen a musket fired at Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown Settlement and at the American Revolution Museum. Behind the bivouac was a recreation of a revolutionary war era farm that provided an opportunity to present another aspect of life during the war. It struck me as a nice exhibit looking for a purpose.
From the American Revolution Museum I drove over the Yorktown Battlefield run by the National Parks Service as part of the Colonial National Historical Park. I watched the movie and toured the little museum on the Yorktown battle. It provided a little more information on the Yorktown area events. I started visiting the outside locations and driving the auto tour around the battlefield, but the weather got in the way. A mid afternoon rainstorm cut my visit short. I returned north to my RV site mostly along the National Park Service Colonial Parkway. The road wanders along the side of the York River and through dense forests as it winds inland.