Greetings from Colonial National Historical Park

I still remember when I fell in love with US History. It was April 8, 1957, at the Hamilton Redoubt at Yorktown. I know this because my dad numbered, indexed, and date stamped his slides. We were there for the Jamestown 350th. I remember scrambling up that redoubt and thinking what it would have been like to do that for real. I was hooked.

And ever since, I’ve thought traveling to the place is the best way to learn about history. Fortunately, my parents indulged this habit. Later that year we made our first trip to Gettysburg and later yet we went to Boston and did all the Johnny Tremain places: Old North Church, Faneuil Hall, Lexington Green, Concord Bridge, etc.

These visits had long-lasting effects. I always used history in my work, I’ve continued to travel to parks, and I spent the last 10 years of my career teaching US History to English as a Second Language students. When it came time to retire last year, no place made more sense: we bought a house whose back property line is the Gettysburg National Military Park. Now I’m a regular volunteer with the park’s resource room and education department and am writing a book about my family’s 76+ year experience exploring national parks.

Sincerely,
Leon Reed

Colonial National Historical Park

Colonial National Historical Park contains several sites of critical importance in the history of America. Historic Jamestown is where the story of Captain John Smith and Pocahontas actually happened, and where the roots of American government first took hold. Yorktown Battlefield was the site of the Colonial victory over British forces in the American Revolution, and where visitors can still view some of the original earthworks constructed by George Washington’s troops. These two sites are linked together by the 23-mile long scenic Colonial Parkway, specifically designed to limit the impacts of the roadway on the surrounding landscape.

State(s): Virginia

Established: 1930

“There is no place on earth where you can see the national wonders or come face to face with the historic events that you can in the national parks. In my encounters with Park Staff, ranger campfire talks, guided walks and at information desks, I have found them to be sincere, knowledgeable, and dedicated. Without national parks, we literally would have lost our history and our greatest scenic wonders.”

National parks represent the best of America. Why do you care about protecting and preserving them? Tell us why parks matter to you!

{{ active ? "Cancel" : "Begin"}}

Success! Thanks for sharing your story with us.

You’ll be notified by email when your story is approved and added to the collection on the My Park Story homepage.

In the meantime, you can share your own story page with your family and friends — and help us spread the word about these priceless memories and priceless places!

Here’s your unique story page link:

{{ storyUrl }}

* indicates Required fields

Click to choose a file to upload

Submitting your story means that you agree to our Terms of Service

More Stories

  • Greetings from Yellowstone National Park

    I was fortunate to participate in the Parks and Tech event hosted by CivicMakers and the Pew Charitable Trust in Feb 2018. Since then, I've been revitalized in helping share the story of why are parks matter and what we need to do to ensure their bounty and beauty is…

  • Greetings from Coronado National Memorial

    In Gilbert, AZ it gets really hot and to escape this heat the best way is to drive up to Payson, AZ to enjoy the pine trees, lakes, animals, fishing, hiking, camping and breathe in cool fresh air from the hot city below. The National Forests can give a stress…

  • Greetings from Cumberland Gap National Historical Park

    I owe my love of nature, national parks, and public lands to my parents. One of the many unforgettable trips we've taken to national parks over the years was to Cumberland Gap National Historical Park in late October 2011. In two days, we saw salamanders and bats in Gap Cave,…

Donate

Preserve Our Parks

Make a tax-deductible gift today to provide a brighter future for our national parks and the millions of Americans who enjoy them.

Donate Now