Maine's First Ship is dedicated to building and operating a reconstruction of Virginia, the first English ship built in North America in 1607.
England’s presence in North America dates from 1497 when John Cabot reached these shores. But the English were slow to claim land in the New World. The Spanish moved into the southeastern part of the continent, which they called Florida. The French explored Canada. England finally claimed the land between Florida and Canada and named it Virginia. By the 1570’s, rumors in Europe told of a fabulous land, Norumbega, where the inhabitants wore rich furs and adorned themselves with pearls and ornaments of gold and silver. Norumbega lay along the coast of England’s northern Virginia, in present-day New England. The rumors spurred English interest, but early attempts to colonize Virginia failed.