Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Natural Bridge and Monacan Village

The girls and I always enjoy our visits to Natural Bridge and the Monacan Village.  
In 1774, just prior to the American Revolution and writing of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson purchased the Natural Bridge and 157 acres of surrounding land for 20 shillings from King George III of England.  

It is believed that George Washington surveyed the Natural Bridge and carved his initials on the wall of the bridge.  The girls always remember to look for George Washington's initials.  The little white rectangle is a great reminder.  

"According to tradition, the Monacan Indian people called the Natural Bridge “The Bridge of God” after discovering it while evading an advancing enemy centuries ago. Today the Monacan Indian Nation and Virginia’s Natural Bridge Park have joined together to construct a living history exhibit, which is popular with education programs and visitors alike.  Guests have the opportunity to step back in time over 300 years to visualize what life was like in a typical Monacan Indian settlement. The exhibit is along the Cedar Creek nature trail, just past the Natural Bridge. Learn about cooking, tool production, pottery, basket weaving, gardening, and more."
The Monacan Village is an exciting area to explore.  The daily activities change seasonally, so my girls learn something new with each visit.  Over the last few weeks, we've been learning about the different Native American tribes throughout the United States, so it was great for them to see the settlement and daily chores of Native Americans that actually lived in our area.  

At the Trading Poft, they recognized many of the trinkets that were traded by the Europeans and Native Americans.  

In the Men's Workshop, they learned about how the Native American made axes and bows and arrows.  

Not only did the Monacan Indians trade with Europeans, they also traded with the coastal Native Americans.  They used the received shells as a communication device.

The girls enjoyed exploring this little area.  It had many treasures, including toys that the Monacan children would have played with.  

They were able to easily recognize the round house and the long house.  The Monacans' used round houses as their living quarters and the long house for special gatherings and ceremonies.  

They were thrilled to see and watch the female Native American.  They loved her outfit and quickly requested one too.  They were a little surprised to find out about the women's daily chores.  

 After thoroughly exploring the Monacan Village, we continued to explore the Cedar Creek Trail. 



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