The Little Country Church

Jul. 23rd 2012

During the time that Carolinus Turner owned Belle Grove Plantation; he started slowly acquiring the half acre lots of Port Conway and returned them to the property of Belle Grove Plantation. He did however; donate a one acre lot to the local parrish to build a small church on. This church would become Emmanuel Episcopal Church.

Before 1859, church parishioners had to take the ferry across the Rappahannock River to attend St. Peter’s Church in Port Royal or travel to St. Paul’s in Owens. After 1843, they also could attend St. John’s in King George. Carolinus Turner, owner of Belle Grove Plantation donated a one acre lot of Port Conway to build a church for the local population.

St Peter’s Church
Port Royal

The church was thought to be designed by a Baltimore design firm, architects Nierness and Neilson. J. Crawford Neilson and John R. Nierness were known to have designed other churches in Virginia in a Gothic style similar to Emmanuel Episcopal Church.

J. Crawford Neilson was born in Baltimore in 1817 and studied civil engineering in Brussels, Belgium and established his practice in the United States. John R. Nierness came to Baltimore from Vienna, Austria, where he attended Vienna Polytechnic. In 1848, Neilson and Nierness entered into a partnership.

Emmanuel Episcopal Church is constructed of stretcher-bond brick and has a gable roof. The front of the church is dominated by a 2-story entrance tower. The principal entrance is set with an equilateral arch consisting of paneled double doors topped by a wheel –like motif transom. The windows are elongated pointed arches. There are two windows that face the front and two on each side of the building. There is a basement entrance is located outside of the building on the south wall.

The interior of the church is painted white, but is thought to have had an original decorative paint scheme. There is a central aisle that is flanked by wooden pews that are painted white. These pews have a Gothic ends and are thought to have been varnished and later painted white. The front of the church has a raised sanctuary where the recessed altar is framed by an arch. This part of the interior is thought to date to the 1960s. There is a Gothic style wainscot running along the west wall.

Interior of St Peter’s Church – Port Royal
Emmanuel’s Interior is very similar.

At the back of the church there is a gallery with additional seating. This gallery also contains the original Henry Erban organ which is housed in a Gothic Revival style case. The room is illuminated by a brass pseudo-colonial chandelier.

St Peter’s gallery and organ.
Emmanuel’s interior is very similar.

The side and back section of the church yard contains grave sites that date back to 1800s. The oldest grave site is that of Major Henry and Elizabeth Turner. Their tombstone, which dates to 1751, was moved from its original location to the church. Their bodies were not moved with their tombstones and remains in an unknown location. Notable families that are buried within this small cemetery are the Turners, Strothers, Robbs, Jetts, and Hooker Families. Most of these family members were born, lived or died at Belle Grove Plantation. The exception would be that of the Strother Family. This family was from the Milbank Plantation that is next door to Belle Grove Plantation.

Tombstone of Maj Henry Turner 1731 and Elizabeth Turner 1752
The stone was moved, but not the remains.

Tombstone of Maj Henry Turner 1731 and Elizabeth Turner 1752
English Symbol

Tombstone of Carolinus Turner – Owner of Belle Grove Plantation (1839-1876)

Tombstone of Caroline “Carrie” Turner Jett
Daughter of Carolinus and Susan Rose Turner
Wife of Dr. William Jett
It is her etching in the window upstairs at Belle Grove

Tombstone of George Turner and his wife Jane
Only son of Carolinus and Susan Rose Turner

Tombstone of John Palmer Hooker
Owner of Belle Grove Plantation (1930-1974)

Tombstone of Mary Ensley Murrell Hooker
Wife of John Palmer Hooker
She was the last resident of Belle Grove Plantation (1981)

Tombstone of John Hooker (1929)
Infant son of John Palmer and Mary Hooker
He is the youngest grave in the cemetery

There is one monument other than Major Henry and Elizabeth Turner tombstones that represents a family that is not buried in this cemetery. This monument is the Hipkins-Bernard monument. It is a six foot obelisk that has the date of 1849 and the name J.H. Bernard on it. It also has a plaque that was added in 1983 that states that this monument was once located on Belle Grove Plantation. It was to mark the unmarked grave site of John Hipkins, Elizabeth Pratt Hipkins, Frances “Fannie” Hipkins Bernard, Eliza Bernard, William Bernard II and five of William’s infant children.

Tombstone Monunment for the Hipkins – Bernard Family
The remains of this family are not located in the cemetery

Plaque for the Hipkins-Bernard Monument – There is a mystery here!

The church is surrounded by a brick wall that was erected sometime in the 1960s. The church was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in the 1970s.

View from the entry of Belle Grove Plantation

In 1861, the Reverend Alexander Shiras was rector for both St. John’s Church in King George and Emmanuel Episcopal Church. During 1862, he reported the following:

“The war borne somewhat heavily upon the Parish (Hanover Parish), scattering its families, carrying off its young men and almost dissolving the congregation. Regular services were steadily kept up and others held for the soldiers occasionally stationed in the neighborhood.”

The area of Port Conway and Port Royal saw many struggles between the Union and Confederate forces during the American Civil War. Most homes were either destroyed or damaged. Churches would also see the same fate. Emmanuel Episcopal Church somehow managed to survive. That is a story that has been handed down as to the fate of this small country church.

During the Civil War, when Port Conway was occupied by Union forces, a soldier walked into Emmanuel Church and sat down at the organ. The building had seen some damage from shots fired at it. The soldier started playing the organ. It warmed his heart and made him homesick for his church back home. He was so moved by it that he convinced the other soldiers not to destroy Emmanuel Episcopal Church. This sweet, little country church was spared and was repaired after the war.

The Reverend Henry Wall, who became the rector in September of 1865, reported the following:

“Emmanuel Church at Port Conway was now fit for occupation. It has been repaired by aid of the liberality of kind friends of the Church in Baltimore and New York and my personal friends of the subscriber in Alexandria.”

Today, Emmanuel Episcopal Church still holds services every 3rd Sunday of the month.

Posted by Michelle Darnell | in Year of the Virginia Historic Homes | 42 Comments »

Reds are red, Dishes are blue, the Plantation is sweet and Babies make two!

Jul. 9th 2012

Rose Hill Plantation

Wow, what a weekend we have had! First let me give a little update on our progress. As of Friday, the property manager informed us that he had been guaranteed by the attorney that we would have our long overdue contract. Today is Sunday and we still don’t have it. Argh! Let’s hope we will get it on Monday. (fingers crossed) Also just a reminder, the plantation is not open to the public yet. If you happen to be in the area, please don’t drive back to the house. The caretaker and his family are there and we don’t want them over run with visitors… yet.

On Saturday, we had an appointment at 11am at the plantation with our landscapers, Arrowwood Landscape Design (www.arrowwoodlandscape.com) to discuss the grading of the property around the house, bluff and driveway. We are also working up the design for the landscaping around the property and putting in sidewalks. At the same time, we had the owners of Enon Hall in White Stone, Virginia ( www.enonhall.com ), Bill and Gay stop by and we showed them the plantation.

Gay’s Chow Chow Relish

Gay brought us a really nice surprise, homemade Chow Chow. If you aren’t familiar with Chow Chow, it is a Southern recipe for a type of relish. It can be made with green tomatoes, cucumbers or cabbage. Its main ingredient is hot peppers. The ingredients are all chopped up and pickled in vinegar.  It’s kind of a sweet and hot favor. I grew up eating it on collard greens, but you can add it to anything from greens to beans to hot dogs to anything you want. I don’t have a good recipe for it, but after tasting Gay’s Chow Chow, I might have to see if I can entice her to giving it up. (Thank you Gay!) Another good thing about their visit was that Bill has the name of a local contractor that works on restoring old dependencies and is going to get us his name. Our poor dependencies, they are in bad need of some attention.

Back wall of the Summer Kitchen
Please don’t forget to help us Save these priceless treasure by visiting our site at
http://www.indiegogo.com/bellegroveplantation. A small donation will help us restore and preserve the history at Belle Grove Plantation!

After our appointment and time we spent share Belle Grove with Bill and Gay, we headed over to another plantation on the other side of the Rappahannock River called Rose Hill Plantation. This plantation has also been called Gaymont Plantation. The house of this plantation was originally built in 1797 by John and Elizabeth Pratt Hipkins. You may remember their names from “A Father’s Love” post. John was who bought Belle Grove in 1790 from Captain Francis Conway. In 1791, he built the center section of our current home for his daughter, Fannie Hipkins Bernard and her husband William Bernard. You can see Rose Hill Plantation from the Riverside of our house on a hill across the river. I always say that when John placed his house there, it was to watch over Fannie.

When John passed away, the plantation passed to his grandson and namesake, John Hipkins Bernard and his wife, Jane Gay Robertson Bernard. When John Bernard took possession of Rose Hill, he renamed it Gaymont in honor of his wife, Jane. The recent owners decided to change the name back to the original when they purchased it. John Bernard and his wife, Jane, traveled quite a bit in their life time. When they visited Europe, they brought back furniture and items as well as ideas for their landscaping. Of the four children of Fannie and William Bernard, John Hipkins Bernard was the last surviving member.

Rose Hill Entry
For more picture of Rose Hill not shown in this posting, please visit our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Belle-Grove-Plantation-at-Port-Conway/

I was lucky a few weeks ago when I went to Ferry Farm to come across the entry to Rose Hill and found two workers there. They were able to give me the name of the caretaker, who I contacted about seeing Rose Hill. Douglas took time out of his busy Saturday to come and walk us around the plantation. I didn’t know at the time, but we couldn’t have had a better guide.

View from Rose Hill’s front yard

Rose Hill Main House

As we pulled up to Rose Hill’s main house, our jaws must have scraped the floor. The main house sits on a hill that overlooks the river valley. What a beautiful view it has! To the back of the house, there is a large, I mean really large English walking garden laid out.

Rose Hill – This is only half of the English walking garden! I couldn’t get the whole thing in the picture!

To the left of the house, you could see a small brick house, which we learned later was their Summer Kitchen. It later serviced as the caretaker’s house. Woodson Jones was a African-American caretaker of the Bernard’s. He lived in this one room house, which has only one fireplace and a small loft, with his wife and twelve, yes I said twelve, children. He and his wife lived there until his death in 1925 at the age of 72. He was so loved by the family that they allowed him to be buried in the family cemetery on the plantation. His grave site is in the cemetery, but is sectioned off by fence to keep it separated from the family.

Small House (was Summer Kitchen) that belonged to Woodson Jones

Douglas had be friends with the last owner of Rose Hill for many years. The last owner was James Patton. His wife, Frances Bernard Upton Patton was related to John Hipkins Bernard. James Patton took Rose Hill (then still called Gaymont) and work tirelessly to bring back all the family furniture and items that he could. He also worked to restore Rose Hill to what it was before. Rose Hill had burned in 1958, and all of the house that remained was the frame of the house. During the fire, the family had been able to get most of their belongs out before the fire destroyed them. By the time of his death, he had filled all but one bedroom with the Bernard belongs. He had also compiled the family history which is now preserved at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. James and Frances passed away with no children. James gifted Rose Hill to the Preservation Society of Virginia, who were to safe guard it and to sell it as one whole piece, furnishing and all. Today, you can see the fruits of James’s labor.

Rose Hill’s Fron Doors

As Douglas walked us through the house, he was able to tell us story about some of the furnishing and décor. In the dining room, the wallpaper was from another home. It was going to be trashed until James Patton saved it and brought it to Rose Hill. In the library, you can see all of John Hipkins Bernard’s books that he collected in his lifetime. The painting in the library is of the USS Virginia. It was purchased and brought to Rose Hill by the current owner.

Rose Hill’s Dining Room

Close up of the wallpaper

Rose Hill’s Main Hall going back to the Music Room
Does the arch look familiar? Our arch in our Main Hall is the same. Could they have had the same builders? Our house was built in 1791 and Rose Hill was built in 1797.

Rose Hill’s Music Room

Rose Hill’s Main Hall from Music Room to Front Door

Rose Hill’s Library. All these books belong to the Bernard Family

Rose Hill’s Library

Rose Hill’s Library – The painting is of the USS Virginia

Our first big surprise at Rose Hill came in the first bedroom. There we saw the painting of Sarah “Sallie” Bernard Lightfoot. I have a copy of that painting, but never knew where the painting was. You may remember that I also have copies of Fannie Hipkins Bernard, William Bernard II, his wife Sarah Dykes Bernard and Jane Gay Robertson Bernard.

Rose Hill – Original Painting of Sarah “Sallie” Bernard Lightfoot, daughter of Fannie Hipkins Bernard and William Bernard. She was born at her grandparent’s home before moving to Belle Grove with her mother and father in 1791.

Our next big surprise came upstairs in the last bedroom. There on the wall, I saw two prints of a man and woman. As soon as I saw the woman, I knew it was Jane Gay Bernard from her other painting I have. But I wasn’t sure who the man was. I told Brett; wouldn’t it be so cool if it is John Hipkins Bernard? I have long searched for his picture, but have never been able to find one. This is really unusual since he was such a well-traveled and educated man. Douglas told us to look on the back of the print, since he knew James Patton was good about noting who painting were. There we saw it was indeed John Hipkins Bernard! Our long lost picture! I was so excited!

Rose Hill – John Hipkins Bernard, son of Fannie Hipkins Bernard and William Bernard. John was born at Belle Grove Plantation and died at Rose Hill Plantation.

Rose Hill – Jane Gay Robertson Bernard, wife of John Hipkins Bernard. Rose Hill was renamed in her honor as Gaymont by her husband.

After our tour the house and small brick house to the side, we walked back to the front of the house. I took the steps, made of four mill wheels, which Douglas said were original to the plantation, down to the lower terrace to take some pictures of the house. As I started back to the steps, I looked down and there at my feet was a plate shard! It was larger than the ones I had found at Belle Grove and from the markings looked like a Flow Blue plate or saucer. I walked back up to Brett and Douglas and showed them. When I went to hand it to Douglas, he told me to keep it! I said I couldn’t because it belonged to this plantation. But he told me that the owners wouldn’t mind if I took it with me. I was so excited! If it dates to the time I am thinking, it could have belong to the daughter of John Hipkins Bernard!

Rose Hill – Caretaker’s home and former Summer Kitchen

Rose Hill – Mill Wheel Steps

Rose Hill – Front view from second terrrace

Rose Hill – Plate Shard found. The markings look like Flow Blue.

From there we walked down the drive to a grove of large Tulip Poplar Trees that from their looks were ancient old soldiers that have been watching over this plantation for years! I almost tripped and fell as I walked under them, looking up through their out reached “arms”. It was so breath taking! As we passed through them, Douglas told us that there are pictures of Civil War soldiers sitting under them eating their meals.

Rose Hill – Tulip Poplar Tree

After we passed through the trees, we head down a slope into a wooded area. Here we came to the family cemetery. As we walked through, I saw names like Bernard, Lightfoot and Robb. I knew these names from my research of Belle Grove. The first person we came across that I knew was France Bernard Upton Patton. She was James Patton’s wife. Then we saw James beside her. We also saw the fenced off area with Woodson Jones. Then we saw them, John Hipkins Bernard and his wife Jane Gay Robertson Bernard! I just knew they were here! I had known that John Hipkins, his wife Elizabeth Pratt Hipkins, France Hipkins Bernard, William Bernard II, Eliza Bernard (Fannie’s youngest daughter) and five of William Bernard II’s infant children were buried at Belle Grove. But we had never known where John Bernard and his wife Jane were.

Rose Hill Cemetery

Rose Hill Cemetery – John Hipkins Bernard

Rose Hill Cemetery – Jane Gay Robertson Bernard

As we drove out, my heart was so full. It was such a great day for us. The house give us some inspiration on how to decorate our plantation and it filled in holes of my research to help us come closer to knowing these families that curved out Belle Grove. We could have been more appreciative of the time Douglas gave us!

Once we left Rose Hill and grabbed some lunch in King George, we had some time to kill as we waited for our son and his girlfriend to arrive. Our son, Tyler wanted his girlfriend, Leah to see our plantation. So with an hour or so to kill, I dropped Brett off at Belle Grove and yes, headed out to a new antique store! It’s call A Unique House and it is located in King George, Virginia.

http://www.auniquehouse.com/

It is an antique mall with lots of things to see. The most important thing was the level of service I got at this store! Most antique malls, you just walk around and never see anyone. But the owner came up as I was browsing and asked if there was anything I needed. I thanked him and said no. He then asked me if I would like something cold to drink. With it being 100 plus outside, I have to say I was a little thrust. He ran and got me a bottle of water, for free, that had been allowed to ice up inside! What a welcome that was! And what a surprise at the customer service level! I did get to look for about an hour and Score! I found a tea pot, ten butter pats and four tea cups! What else could have made this day more perfect?

Butter Pat Plates

Belle Grove – Our son Tyler and his girlfriend Leah on the Plantation side front portico

When I got back to the house, we walked the kids through the house and grounds. While we were up on the Riverside balcony, I was able to capture some pictures and a video of our new babies! Yes, James and Dolley our resident ospreys have two babies. They are big enough now to peak out of the nest and be seen. Earlier in the day, while the landscapers and Bill and Gay were at the plantation, we saw two eagles come in towards the nest. It was a tense time as Dolley flew over and sat on the nest and James challenged the eagles. Finally James was able to lead the eagles away from the nest and all were safe.

Belle Grove – Our baby ospreys

Belle Grove – Our baby osprey
Check out the video of the babies on our Facebook page!

After we finished at the plantation, we head with the kids over to Port Royal for some dinner. We have found one of the best new restaurants in the area! It’s called River Haven.

http://www.facebook.com/#!/RiverHavenVA

River Haven – Steve and Dave, owners

River Haven – Port Royal, Virginia

It just opened in March and we have had several opportunities to eat there. Dave and Steve, the owners, were two chefs from Fredericksburg that decided to open this place. Their food is to die for! For dinner I had the Supreme Macaroni and Cheese, made with three cheese, penne pasta, and applewood bacon and bread crumbs. Brett had a Crab Melt on an open face English muffin and fries. Tyler had Stuffed Flounder with Scalloped Potatoes and Cheese. Leah had Pull Pork BBQ with Baked Beans and Cole Slaw.

River Haven – Port Royal, Virginia – Tyler’s Stuffed Flounder and two side orders of Scallop Cheese Potatoes

River Haven – Port Royal, Virginia – Brett’s Crab Melt and Fries

River Haven – Port Royal, Virginia – Leah’s Pulled Pork BBQ, Baked Bean, Fries and Cole Slaw

River Haven – Port Royal, Virginia – My Supreme Mac and Cheese. You can’t tell it, but this bowl is huge!

And you couldn’t beat the view of the Rappahannock River and our plantation just across the way! We have jokingly considered a ferry that travels to and from our places so they can deliver their food for us!

River Haven – Port Royal, Virginia – Just to the left of the window, you can see a little of Belle Grove Plantation.

As we drove home, hearts and stomachs filled, I just couldn’t image any better day than this. That was until we got up the next day and decided to go look at antique furniture in Gloucester, Virginia and ended up somewhere new.

More tomorrow on our Sunday surprise!

Posted by Michelle Darnell | in Year of the Virginia Historic Homes | 41 Comments »

Bringing Home the Bacon

Jul. 1st 2012

Today I had the privilege to meet one of our fellow bloggers, Dianna. She lives close to us here in Chesapeake and had invited me to come a see her ancestral plantation near Smithfield, Virginia. What an honor it was to see this beautiful home and plantation!  The plantation home is called “Bacon’s Castle” and it is located in Surry, Virginia.

Below is a brief history on this plantation that I took from Wikipedia:

Bacon’s Castle, also variously known as “Allen’s Brick House” or the “Arthur Allen House” is Virginia’s oldest documented brick dwelling. Soon after Surry County was formed in the Royal Colony of Virginia in 1652, Arthur Allen built a Jacobean brick house in 1665 near the James River, where he and his wife Alice (née Tucker) Allen lived. He was a wealthy merchant and a Justice of the Peace in Surry County. Allen died in 1669, but his son, Major Arthur Allen II, inherited the house and property. Major Allen was a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses.

Bacon’s Castle is a rare example of American Jacobean architecture and the only surviving “high-style” house from the 17th century. It is one of only three surviving Jacobean great houses in the Western Hemisphere — the other two are in Barbados. Notable architectural features include the triple-stacked chimneys, shaped Flemish gables, and carved compass roses decorating the cross beams in many of the public rooms. The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

About mid-September, 1676, a number of the rebel followers of frontiersman Nathaniel Bacon seized the brick house of Major Allen and fortified it. The garrison, commanded at various times by William Rookings, Arthur Long, Joseph Rogers and John Clements, retained control of the house for over three months while their cause declined. The death of Bacon in October left his forces under the leadership of Joseph Ingram, who proved to be unsuited to the command. Ingram dispersed his army in small garrisons, and as the demoralized troops began to plunder indiscriminately, the condition of the colony was soon deplorable.

Royal Governor Sir William Berkeley began to conquer the isolated posts one by one, some by force and some by persuasion. On December 29, a loyal force aboard the vessel Young Prince captured an unidentified “fort” which many historians have identified as Bacon’s Castle. After withstanding a brief siege early in January, 1677, the loyalists used the “fort” as a base of operations for the last engagements of the rebellion, which ended before the month was out.

The Allen family’s brick home became known as “Bacon’s Castle” because it was occupied as a fort or “castle” by the followers of Nathaniel Bacon during Bacon’s Rebellion in 1676. However, contrary to popular folklore, Bacon never lived at Bacon’s Castle, nor is he even known to have visited it. Bacon was the proprietor of Curles Neck Plantation in Henrico County; about 30 miles upriver on the northern bank of the James River. Many historians believe the name “Bacon’s Castle” was not used until many years after Bacon’s Rebellion. In 1769, the Virginia Gazette newspaper in the capital city of Williamsburg used that name when it published several articles about Bacon’s Rebellion.

Between the mid to late-nineteenth centuries, Bacon’s Castle underwent several modifications. An original one story service wing was replaced by a taller Greek Revival wing. Around this time, the entrance was moved from the center of the main block to the hyphen between the original house and addition, and diamond-pane casement windows were exchanged for double-hung sash windows. Moving the door left a scar in the location of the original pedimented surround. All of these changes were maintained in the restoration.

Bacon’s Castle was acquired by Preservation Virginia (formerly known as the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities) in the 1970s and restored. Preservation activities continue while guests visit the Site. Bacon’s Castle now operates as a house museum and historic site with 40-acres of outbuildings and dependencies including barns, slave and tenant quarters, smokehouses, and a rare example of a 17th-century English formal garden.”

When we pulled up this morning, they were not yet open, but because Dianna knew the place so well, she was able to give me a personal tour of the grounds before they opened. We viewed the garden and the back outbuildings.  It was great because she could point out things like an old tree stump that had been there since her childhood and was able to tell me about personal memories of her time there.

Todd, Site Coodinator for Bacon’s Castle.
Special Permission by Bacon’s Castle for interior photos

On entering the home, we were warmly greeted and allowed to walk around before our tour.  We also had the opportunity to meet Todd, the Site Coordinator. After telling him about our journey in opening Belle Grove Plantation and that we also had a blog documenting our adventures, he was gracious and gave me special permission to photograph the interior of Bacon’s Castle to use on the blog.  He also gave us access to the house at our own leisure since Dianna knew it so well. So off I went on my own special tour with my own personal tour guide! I felt like mistress of the manor!

English Wine Bottle Artifacts
Special Permission by Bacon’s Castle for interior photo

Nathaniel Bacon Stained Glass
Special Permission by Bacon’s Castle for interior photo

Dianna walked me from room to room, showing me the old construction and pointing out restorations and preservations that had been done. She also pointed out personal spots such as the wood carved initials for her ancestors and etching in the windows.

Special Permission by Bacon’s Castle for interior photos

Special Permission by Bacon’s Castle for interior photos

Wall Drawing exposed during restoration
Special Permission by Bacon’s Castle for interior photos

What the rooms would have looked like back in the late 1600s. Exposed wood ceiling and diamond cut frosted windows. The furniture is also period.
Special Permission by Bacon’s Castle for interior photos

Second view of room
Special Permission by Bacon’s Castle for interior photos

Up to the Attic – Dianna
Special Permisson by Bacon’s Castle for interior photos

Looking down from Attic Space
Special Permisson by Bacon’s Castle for interior photos

Attic Space – This is where the servants would sleep
Special Permisson by Bacon’s Castle for interior photos

Basement Kitchen
Special Permisson by Bacon’s Castle for interior photos

Ladies Parlor
Special Permisson by Bacon’s Castle for interior photos

Ceiling Beam Detail
Special Permisson by Bacon’s Castle for interior photos

Wood Craving made by Dianna’s Uncle
Special Permisson by Bacon’s Castle for interior photos

Window Etching
Special Permisson by Bacon’s Castle for interior photos

Main Room – This is where they ate, drink tea and meet for business
Special Permisson by Bacon’s Castle for interior photos

After our tour of Bacon’s Castle, Dianna took me down the street to the cemetery that her ancestors and previous owners of Bacon’s Castle rest. In the cemetery, there is the ruins of a brick church that was built in 1639. The church, Lower Surry Church in Lawns Creek Parish, burned in 1868 and was later damaged during Hurricane Isabel in 2003. They are currently working on restoring the church.

Lower Surry Church Lawns Creek Parnish built in 1639 -burned in 1868

After we finished touring the cemetery and she took me back to my car, I headed back into Smithfield to, yes go antique shopping! You may remember Smithfield from my “Hamtown” post. While I was there, I found some really nice pieces to add to my tea sets. Today, Smithfield was having their “Heritage Days Festival”. They had closed off the main street and had booths lining the street for five or six city blocks. There was food, art, crafts, and much, much more! And the antiques didn’t disappoint! I stopped by Olde House Antiques to see Patsy and she had some butter pat plates and a beautiful rose plate for me!

Olde House Antiques – Patsy
Stop by and tell her Belle Grove sent you!

Butter pat plates

It was another great time in Smithfield and Surry, Virginia. If you have a love for beautiful old historic homes, you must make a point to visit Bacon’s Castle. You can check out their information through their links.

http://www.facebook.com/#!/baconscastle

http://preservationvirginia.org/visit/historic-properties/bacons-castle

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g58227-d102538-Reviews-Bacon_s_Castle-Surry_Virginia.html

 

If you would like a personal view of Bacon’s Castle – you can visit Dianna’s blog – Look under Bacon’s Castle

http://thesedaysofmine.com/category/family/bacons-castle/page/3/
http://thesedaysofmine.com/category/family/bacons-castle/page/6/
http://thesedaysofmine.com/2011/10/13/my-performance/

Thank you to Dianna and Todd for a great day!!

 

Posted by Michelle Darnell | in Year of the Virginia Historic Homes | 47 Comments »