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The World's Fair and Exposition
Information and Reference Guide

1907 Jamestown Tercentennial Exposition




  • 189 facts and trivia nuggets with 42 links to external resources.

  • The Jamestown Ter-Centennial Exposition on CD is now available. $23.99 each plus shipping. The most comprehensive collection of data ever assembled. Including many hard-to-find images.

  • To Convert Dollar Amounts to the Year 2003: divide the amount by .053



The following categories are on CD
High Resolution Images (4)
more Facts and Trivia (36) Second Leg of Voyage (24)
State and City Buildings (199) Third Leg of Voyage (24)
Aeronautics (26) Battleships and Cruisers (319)
Negro Building (24) Torpedo Flotilla (56)
War Path (54) Mayflower PY-1 (28)
more Great White Fleet (24) Other Ships (165)
Rear Admiral Robley Evans (8) Jamestown History (65)
First Leg of Voyage (42) Postage Stamps (7)
Bonus: 1907 Timeline (32)





  • Title: Jamestown Ter-Centennial Exposition. 

  • Theme: 300th Anniversary of the Founding of Jamestown.

  • Location: Hampton Roads, Sewell's Point (now the Norfolk Naval Base).

  • Dates: April 26 - November 30, 1907.

  • Area: 340 acres of land (other sources indicate 367-474 acres), 40 acres of water.

  • Exposition President: Fitzhugh Lee. Succeeded by Henry St. George Tucker.

  • Director General: David Lowenberg (1902-1905).

  • Commander, Great White Fleet: Admiral Robley Evans.

  • US Army Commander: Major General Frederick Dent Grant (son of Ulysses S Grant).

  • Governor of Exploitation and Exhibits: TS Southgate.

  • Board of Design (6): Douglas H Thomas Jr., J Knox Taylor, JH Parker, John Kevan Peebles, Robert S Peabody, Warren H Manning.

  • Building Categories (3): Amusement, Exhibits, State Buildings.

  • Cost (approximate): $3,000,000.

  • Hours: unknown as of this writing.

  • Daily Admission: 50 for adults, 25 for children (5-12).

  • Attendance: almost 3 million.

  • Profit: none, it was a financial disaster (losing several million dollars).

  • Private Donations: $1,000,000.

  • Preliminary Appropriation (Virginia): $250,000.

  • First Appropriation (US Government): $200,000.

  • Pier Appropriation: $400,000.

  • Total Appropriation (US Government): $1,640,000.

  • Architecture: Colonial Revival.

  • Supervising Architect: J Knox Taylor.

  • Chief Landscape Architect: Warren H Manning. 

  • Participating States: Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia.

  • State Funded Houses (21): Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia.

  • City Funded Buildings (2): Baltimore, Maryland and Richmond, Virginia.

  • Participating US Territories: Alaska, Panama, Puerto Rico.

  • Participating Countries (incomplete): Austria, Canada, Ceylon, China, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Great Britain, Haiti, Holland, Japan, Mexico, Persia, Philippines, Russia, Siam.

  • Official Photographer: Harry C Mann (1866-1926) working for the Jamestown Photographic Corporation.

  • Fire Department Organized: Fall, 1906.

  • Fire Department Chief: Thomas Reynolds. Successor: John T Goddin (August, 1907).

  • Equipment: Nott Steam Engines (2), Combination Hose and Chemical Engines (2), Hose Wagons (2), Hayes Aerial Truck (1).

  • Firemen: 40.

  • Horses: 14.

  • Monuments Erected to Commemorate 300th Anniversary (4): House of Burgesses Monument (July 31, 1907), Pocahontas Monument by William Ordway Partridge, The Tercentenary Monument, Captain John Smith Statue (Bronze) by William Couper.

  • Average Toll Road Expense: 3 a mile.


Facts and Trivia


  • 1901 - The idea for a tercentennial observance was proposed by the Henrico County superintendent of Schools and endorsed by the Association for the Preservation of Antiquities. The proposed location - Richmond.

  • 1901 - James M Thomson (owner of the Norfolk Dispatch) favors an Exposition in Hampton Roads.

  • 1901 - The Virginia General Assembly passes a bill that gives the Governor power to declare a tercentennial celebration.

  • 1902 - Jamestown Exposition Company is founded. Former Virginia Governor Fitzhugh Lee (1835-1905) becomes president.

  • March, 1905 - An Act of Congress provides for a celebration of the three hundredth anniversary of the first English-speaking settlement in America.

  • 1905 - Henry St George Tucker (1853-1932) takes over as Exposition President when Fitzhugh Lee (1835-1905) dies.

  • President Roosevelt issues a proclamation inviting all the nations of the world.

  • President Theodore Roosevelt came to Norfolk aboard his yacht, "Mayflower", to open the Exposition. He would visit again on Georgia Day.

  • Opening day (April 26,1907) was the 300th anniversary of the day when Captain Christopher Newport and the settlers came ashore at Camp Henry.

  • The Exposition site is approximately 30 miles south of Jamestown across Hampton Roads.

  • The Battle of the Merrimac and Monitor occurred off the shores of the US Government Piers.

  • Construction actually continued through October, 1907 and many State Buildings were not completed by Opening Day.

  • Famous visitors included: Booker T Washington, Cardinal James Gibbons, Cornelius Vanderbilt, King Edward VII, Mark Twain, Samuel Gompers, Theodore Roosevelt, William Jennings Bryan, William Randolph Hearst.

  • Battleships were moored at the Norfolk Naval Yard.

  • Sailors from the warships anchored in Hampton Roads competed daily in various athletic contests.

  • The Jamestown Hotel Corporation operated the 1,600-room, 3,000-seat "Inside Inn" along the waters of Hampton Roads. It was named the "Inside Inn" because it was "inside the exposition grounds".

  • The Pine Beach Hotel was outside the grounds.

  • Every US State in the Union provided soldiers for the encampment. Making this the first Exposition to be policed by military troops.

  • Fork Union Military Academy stayed for the last week of May.

  • Foreign Countries sent regiments of troops for the International Encampment. Making it the first time in US history that armed foreign troops visited the country.

  • Brazil sent the battleship Riachuel to Hampton Roads to participate.

  • No official invitations were sent out for foreign participation.

  • The Second International Peace Conference in Hague was also held in 1907.

  • Virginia Governor Claude A Swanson and Maryland Governor Edwin Warfield visited on Virginia Day.

  • On Tidewater Day (June 7th) children paid just 10 for transportation and 10 for admission.



  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute's display occupied three buildings and 500 square feet of space in the Palace of Education.

  • William Jennings Bryan visited on Patrick Henry Day (May 30th).

  • West Point Cadets arrived aboard the USS Sumner (June 5-10, 1907) and performed their famous "Monkey Drill".

  • Samuel Langhorne Clemens (Mark Twain) visited on Robert Fulton Day (September 23rd). Clemens died in 1910.

  • One of the Smithsonian Institute exhibits contained life-sized figures of Captain John Smith trading with the Indians for corn. The costumes for the 22 characters were historically accurate. Even the corn was grown from seed carried to New York by the Tuscarora Indians in 1711 and the boat was a reproduction of the Pinnace.

  • Pocahontas was a nickname. Her real name was "Matoaka" or "Matoax". She died in Gravesend, England

  • The Arts and Crafts Village was constructed in the Beaux Arts style.

  • The largest and oldest oak tree on the exposition grounds was The Powhatan Oak. It was there when settlers came to Jamestown 300 years prior. Decades later the tree succumbed to disease and had to be removed. Entangled within it's roots were the unearthed remains of many Native American Indians buried long ago. They were later reburied in coffins on the same site.

  • Princess Rajah greeted visitors in the Streets of Cairo.

  • The Battle of the Merrimac and Monitor was the most popular attraction.

  • If you traveled to the Exposition by car, you needed a separate license for each state in which you traveled (Delaware being the exception).

  • Jell-O makes an appearance.

  • Formosa Oolong Tea was served next to the Palace of Manufactures and Liberal Arts.

  • Other exhibitors included: Buster Brown Shoes, Crown Cork & Seal and Wingo, Egg-O-See, Ellet & Crump Shoe Company.

  • The National Cash Register Company exhibit featured motion pictures and stereopticons in their white Curtained Miniature Opera Theatre.

  • The Exposition Directors voted to reopen the fair for another year, but due to lack of interest and money it never happened.

  • When the Exposition closed, President Roosevelt sent two squadrons of battleships and cruisers on a mission to sail around the world showing off US military power. It came to be known as the Great White Fleet

  • Many buildings were purchased by the Navy after the Exposition.

  • Many of the State Buildings were sold to private individuals.

  • The Government Pier rotted away.

  • In 1908, the US Navy was behind a Congressional bill for acquisition of the land and buildings for $1,000,000. The bill was defeated.

  • Ironically in 1912, the US Navy rejected a similar bill. And another offer to purchase the site in 1914.

  • It took WWI to generate interest and on June 15, 1917 Woodrow Wilson signs a bill into law authorizing the purchase of 474 acres of land. 367 acres of which, were the old Jamestown Exposition grounds.

  • State Buildings were purchased from their owners and moved to their present day location west of Chambers Field in 1934.

  • Thirteen surviving state houses are on Dillingham Boulevard (Admiral's Row) at the Norfolk Naval Station and house high-ranking Naval officers. I believe the 13 former State buildings are: Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia.

  • Pennsylvania House remains.

  • As well as the Baker's Chocolate House.




  • Location: Raleigh Court, Lee Parade.

  • Sculpture: The Buffalo Hunt by HK Bush-Brown, Newburg, NY.

  • Adjoining Buildings: Palaces of Education, Fine Arts Building, Marine Exhibits Building.

  • Used for conventions, receptions, lectures.

  • Housed the "reportedly" largest pipe organ in the world.

  • Was the central focal point of the Exposition.

  • Illuminated with 100s of electric lights at night.

  • Was destroyed by fire (caused by faulty wiring) on January 26, 1941.


Jamestown Exposition Yacht Races


  • Dates: September 11-20, 1907.

  • Loving Cups Awarded (4): Jamestown Exposition Cup, King's Cup, President's Cup, Sir Thomas Lipton Cup.

  • Jamestown Exposition Cup Winner: "Little Rhody" (Providence, Rhode Island).

  • King's Cup Winner: "Manhasset" (owned by Clarence Robbins of Long Island, New York).

  • President's Cup Winner: "Sue" (owned by Edwin R Luckenbach of New York).

  • Sir Thomas Lipton Cup Winner: "Eleanor" (owned by FW Fabyan of Boston, Massachusetts).


Mother's and Children's Building


  • Architecture: Beaux Arts.

  • Location: Willoughby Boulevard near the Inside Inn (facing Hampton Roads).

  • Buildings: 2 cottages.

  • Sponsors: National Congress of Mothers.

  • The Playground Association of America operated the playground. They also had a display in the Palace of Social Economy.

  • Contained: bath houses, conference room, kindergarten, library, nursery, playground.


Negro Development and Exposition Company


  • Chartered: August 13, 1903.

  • Headquarters (3): Richmond, Virginia - Norfolk, Virginia - Washington, DC.

  • President: W Isaac Johnson.

  • Vice-President: Reverend A Binga, Jr.

  • Director General: Giles B Jackson.

  • It was noted that President Roosevelt invited the nations of the world to participate in the Jamestown Exposition but not African-Americans.

  • The Negro Development and Exposition Company was created for the purpose of celebrating the 3OOth Anniversary of the Founding of Jamestown from an African-American perspective.


The Palaces


  • I haven't been able to locate much information about the numerous Palaces and their exhibits. What follows is the little bit of information that I've found as of this writing.


  • Palace of Commerce.

  • Location: entrance to the War Path.

  • One of the "Palace" buildings was nicknamed the "Japanes Palace of Commerce" due to the fact that it ciontained mainly Japanese wares.


  • Palace of Education (Educational Palace).

  • Sculpture: The Buffalo Hunt by Henry Kirke Bush-Brown of New York.


  • Palace of Historic Art.

  • State Contributors: Georgia, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey, New York, North 
    Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia

  • Contributors: Colonial Dames, Daughter's of the American Revolution, Episcopal Church.


  • Palace of Machinery and Transportation.

  • Location: East of Raleigh Square.

  • Resembled the Palace of Manufacturers and Liberal Arts.

  • A Wrenn & Sons of Norfolk, Virginia was the largest local exhibitor at the Exposition. The 
    company was established in 1852 and produced over 6,000 buggies and surreys every year


  • Palace of Manufacturers and Liberal Arts.

  • Exhibits: Lithography and Printing Processes .

  • Exhibitors included: National Cash Register.

  • Japan: 4,600 square feet.


  • Palace of Social Economy.

  • Location: Commonwealth Avenue, opposite the Palace of Mines.

  • Exhibitors: American Federation of labor, numerous Blind Institutions, National Society for 
    Study and Prevention of Tuberculosis


Philippine Reservation


  • Location: outside the War Path zone.

  • Area: 5 acres.

  • Tribes: 5.

  • Villages (5): Bagobos, Ilocanos, Moros, Tagalos, Visayans.

  • Philippinos: 147.

  • Features: bazaar building, exhibit hall, iron and wood shops, trades building, Moro Fort and 
    the 5 villages

  • The Aguinaldo Orchestra gave daily concerts.

  • Prince Sansaluna was ruler of the Moros. His father was killed by American troops.


US Government Building


  • Location: adjacent to the Smithsonian Institute Museum.

  • Departments Represented: Army, Interior Department, Fisheries Commission, Navy, Post Office, Treasury.

  • Building A: Departments of Agriculture, Interior and Treasury; Library of Congress, US Post Office.

  • Building B: Departments of State and Justice, Navy and War Departments.

  • Exhibitors (west wing): Army and Navy.

  • Exhibitors (east wing): Interior Departments, Post Office, Treasury.

  • One of the displays was a replica of a 16 inch breech-loading rifle used during the Spanish-American War. Including the 640 pound charge of powder and 2,400 pound projectile.

  • The Post Office display included a two man, seven dog mail sled capable of carrying up to 400 pounds of mail through the northwest territories. Mail delivery could take up to 90 days.


US Government Pier


  • Architecture: Colonial Style.

  • Superintendent: Major Spencer Cosby, USA Corps of Engineers.

  • Builders: Scofield Company of Philadelphia.

  • Appropriation: $400,000.

  • Pier: 1,200 feet long, 847 feet wide.

  • Water Basin: 280 acres.

  • Grand Basin (surface area): 1,280,000 square feet.

  • Basin: 1,163 feet long, 547 feet wide.

  • Pylons or Pillars (2): 80 feet high.

  • Bridge Span: 151 feet.

  • The piers were not completed in time for the opening ceremonies.

  • The US Government operated a wireless telegraph from the bridge.

  • The bridge over the basin was a gift from Japan. The bridge was destroyed soon after December 7, 1941.


State's Exhibit Palace



  • Location: Main Entrance, Spotswood Circle, Lee's Parade, opposite the Arts and Crafts 

  • Area: 116,000 square feet.

  • Size: 300 feet by 500 feet.

  • Exhibits related to: agriculture, fish and game, forestry, horticulture.

  • Participating States included: California, Connecticut, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, 
    Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia


The Great White Fleet


  • Originally called the Atlantic Fleet battleships and later became known as "The Great White Fleet".

  • The American ships were painted all white except the gold gilded scrollwork on the bows.

  • Commander: Rear Admiral Robley Dunglison Evans. aka "Fighting Bob" and "Gimpy Evans".

  • Tour of Duty: December 16, 1907 - February 22, 1909 (14 months).

  • Area Covered: 43,000 miles.

  • Port Calls: 20.

  • Continents (6): Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, South America.

  • Battleships (16-18): Alabama, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Kearsarge, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, Ohio, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin. The official records indicate 16 main battleships but I found references to 19.

  • Sailors: 14,000.

  • Was the longest cruise ever made by any Navy.

  • Six Destroyer's and numerous auxiliary ships known as the "Torpedo Fleet", accompanied the "Great White Fleet" on the first leg of the journey.

  • Most of the ships had to be repaired, painted and furbished with coal, provisions and new fire-control equipment.

  • The ships sailed 400 yards apart.

  • Hampton Roads to San Francisco: 13,750 miles.

  • The journey went down the Atlantic coast to Trinidad and Rio De Janeiro. Around Cape Horn to Valparaiso, Punta Arenas, Callao, Magdalena Bay and San Francisco. Onward to Hawaii, Auckland, Sydney, Melbourne and Albany. Manila, Yokohama, Japan, Colombo, Aden, Suez, Port Said, Naples, Villefranche, Marseille, and Gibraltar.

  • Ironically, the US fleet was outdated by the time of this journey.

  • Argentine, Brazil, and Chile were the only South Ameican countries to send warships.

  • NavSource Naval History - Photographic History of the US Navy - Over 26,000 images.

  • Battleships Photo Archive - NavSource Online.

  • Destroyer Photo Index - NavSource.


Some Timelines

  • Port-of-Spain, Trinidad: December 23, 1907.

  • San Diego: April 14, 1908.

  • Equator: January 5, 1908.

  • Auckland, New Zealand: August 9, 1908.

  • Sydney, Australia: August 20, 1908.

  • Tokyo Bay: October 18, 1908.

  • Suez, Egypt: January 3, 1909.

  • Port Said, Egypt: January 4, 1909.

  • Gibraltar: February 6, 1909.


Links, Resources, Sources




Resources, Sources - Books


  • Jamestown Exposition, April 26 to November 30, 1907. 16 page brochure published by the Jamestown Exposition Company.

  • Jamestown Exposition, Beautifully Illustrated. Jamestown Official Photograph Corporation. Isaac H. Blanchard Company, New York. 1907.

  • Jamestown Exposition, American Imperialism on Parade, Volume I by Amy Waters Yarsinske. Images of America Series. Arcadia Publishing. 1999.

  • Jamestown Exposition, American Imperialism on Parade, Volume II by Amy Waters Yarsinske. Images of America Series. Arcadia Publishing. 1999.

  • The Jamestown Exposition Illustrated. Jamestown Official Photograph Corporation. 1907.



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