James City County is famous around the world for Jamestown, founded in 1607 as the first permanent English-speaking settlement in America.
The seeds of independence were perhaps sewn as early as 1619 when English leaders ratified The Great Charter of Privileges, Orders and Laws, giving the new colony self-government.
Jamestown, which evolved into James City County, was named for King James I. When King James revoked the charter of the London Company in 1624, Virginia became Englands first royal colony.
By 1634, the colony divided into eight counties, among them were James City and the Charles River - now known as York. The division into counties laid the foundations for strong local government that later served as a model to states as they were admitted into the union.
Jamestown served for a brief time as the political, social and economic center of the Virginia colony. Every year until 1632, the Assembly met at the Jamestown church.
The Assembly also possibly met in the governors home until 1699, when the capital was moved inland to Middle Plantation, which was renamed Williamsburg.
Despite protests from county residents, the county seat for James City was moved from Jamestown to Williamsburg in 1715.
The 400th anniversary of Jamestown was celebrated in 2007. There were numerous celebrations and commemorations. Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, visited our area to mark the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown. It continues to draw thousands of visitors yearly.