NPS archeologists called this "brick house" S44; it is the structure that finally passed into Walter Chiles' hands. Governor Sir John Harvey identified Kemp's house as the first brick structure at Jamestown, and two eyewitnesses described the house as "faire." It has been suggested that the brick for Kemp's house was made from materials found on site, but this is not certain.
Jamestown's first brick building was a simple one-room structure with no special features other than its size and material. It had an entrance on the east side of the building and windows on the north and south sides. The roof was made of wood and covered an area about 20 feet by 12 feet. The walls were 1 foot thick and there was a firebox in the center of the floor. The bricks used to build this house were obtained from local sources and may have come from demolished buildings or from stockpiled materials. No evidence has been found to indicate that the colony's original settlers were skilled brickmakers or even knew how to make bricks. They probably learned their trade in England and brought their knowledge with them when they came to America.
The exact date that Kemp's house was completed is not known, but it must have been sometime between July 21, 1619, the day that Captain Smith arrived with the first group of colonists, and October 31, 1619, the date that the last person recorded as living in Kemp's house died.
The new governor's mansion was inspired by one of two massive "row houses" discovered by Preservation Virginia's Jamestown Rediscovery archaeological excavation at Historic Jamestowne, the site of the fort established by English colonists who landed in Virginia in 1607. The other house is now located in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
The first row house was constructed around 1720 for Governor William Dandridge. It is a 1-story, five-bay wide structure with a low-pitched gable roof and interior end chimneys. The second row house was built about 1770 for Thomas Jefferson, then serving as the nation's third president. It is a 2-story, six-bay wide structure with a low-pitched hipped roof and interior end chimneys.
Both houses are well-preserved examples of colonial architecture and were originally painted white with black shutters but many details, such as window and door frames, have been lost due to weathering and alterations over time.
The current governor's mansion was built between 1904 and 1907 as a gift from Mrs. Harry A. Bassett to her husband, a wealthy Virginian who served as governor from 1906 to 1910. He had this building erected near where the first British settlers lived in what is now Virginia.
We've always lived in historic houses and been captivated by them. Our childhood home was constructed in 1812 in a tiny, rural town and had so many unique stories and quirks that it felt like it had its own personality.
Row homes erected in the twentieth century, as early as 1910, have a Colonial Revival feel to them, occasionally replicating existing brick Federals. What exactly is a brownstone?
The cornice, belt courses, windows, and front door indicate the style and, hence, the year of construction. Row homes erected in the twentieth century, as early as 1910, have a Colonial Revival feel to them, occasionally replicating existing brick Federals.
The structures were most likely built between 1610 and 1614, based on their placement in the fort, historical references, and the finding of high-status objects in the region, and the one recreated at Jamestown Settlement may have functioned as the colonial governor's home. The original houses were probably made of wood, but they were replaced with brick ones after the fire.
Early settlers built many more houses than those at the Jamestown Colony site today. They were generally one and two stories tall, with front doors and windows, and sometimes garrets (roofs with small rooms). There were no such things as apartments in 17th-century London or Virginia. The houses were usually built along the street, which meant that their ground floors were open spaces where shops could be located. The first floor consisted of large rooms which might be used as living quarters, while the second floor would be given over to servants or other employees.
Houses like these were also built across early America in places like Boston, Philadelphia, and New York. But by the time Virginia became a colony, most people there had already moved away from townships and into suburban neighborhoods.
Townships are urban or rural areas designated for civil administration under a general law or charter. In Virginia, these were established by the government at its founding in 1619. The first townships were located around the new settlements at Charles City County and James City County.
Small, single-room cottages were erected by the early English immigrants in America. Many of these houses were "wattle and daub." They had wooden frames with sticks filling in the gaps. After that, the holes were filled with a sticky "daub" consisting of clay, dirt, and grass. The roofs were made of wood or thatch.
These houses would not have been very safe from storms. By the 1750s, many people were building their own bricks and using them to build larger and better-protected homes. The pioneers built what we now call American houses.
They were usually made out of logs or lumber and had only one room on the bottom floor and another above it. There was no such thing as a kitchen downstairs in those days! People cooked on open fires in outdoor kitchens called "dining rooms." Sometimes there were even tents outside the house used for dining rooms!
There were also two stories in some houses. The upper part was usually just that: an upper part. It might have had windows or not. It could be anything from 1 to 4 rooms depending on how rich the owner was. But never down below! That's where you kept your slaves and dogs and other poor people!
Bathrooms didn't exist back then.
These houses were commonly referred to as "soddies." Dugout dwellings were constructed by burrowing into the hillside. Homesteaders would dig a pit and then cover the top with poles, grass, and soil. The heat from the sun would melt the ice in the river and create water for drinking and cooking.
There are several different types of soddies. The most common type is the one-room log cabin with a lean-to roof. There was usually no basement under the house because settlers did not want to waste energy on heating or cooling an underground space when they could use it instead for their own needs.
The second most common soddy type is the two-room cabin with a lean-to roof. These cabins were often built close together so families did not have to travel far for help if they needed it. Sometimes more than one family would live in each soddy because there were never enough rooms for everyone who wanted to go home empty-handed.
Sodiers would often make their own furniture: beds, tables, and chairs. They also had access to the tools around them for making items such as pots and pans. Some sodiers even made themselves a loom out of wood and rocks to weave cloth.
Food was an important part of living on a homestead.