In 1893, the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, which is currently known as Preservation Virginia, purchased 22.5 acres of land within Jamestown Island, the land where Captain John Smith had utilized to establish the first permanent English settlement of “Jamestowne”. The association worked diligently to prepare for the upcoming 300 year anniversity of Jamestown.
The National Society of Colonial Dames of America contracted Boston architects Edmund Wheelwright and Ralph Adams Cram to create a replica of the Jamestown Church where the Virginia General House of Burgesses first met on July 30th, 1619. The church was modeled after St. Luke’s Church in Smithfield, Virginia and used bricks from two historical buildings located within Hampton, Virginia. In 1907, National Society of Colonial Dames of America donated the church to Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, and had the building placed on top of the original church building site.
A statue to Captain John Smith, who became the first governor of Virginia, was erected yards away from the enterance of the 1907 Memorial Church.