Posts Tagged ‘Virginia’

Scenic Sunday: The World Turned Upside

May 22, 2011

The Surrender Field at Yorktown, Virginia. June 22, 2007.

This is my post for the Scenic Sunday meme, which shares beautiful scenes from around the world.  To see more Scenic Sunday posts, or to join and show your own pictures, click HERE.

This peaceful — and scenic — spot near Yorktown, Virginia, was the site of the surrender of the British army of Lord Cornwallis to the allied armies of America and France on October 19, 1781.

The British had been trapped in Yorktown by the Allies on September 28, 1781. Formal siege operations began o September 30, 1781, and the Americans and French began bombarding British positions on October 9.  On October 14 the Americans and French captured two redoubts (small fortified positions) in front of the British lines, which made the British position untenable.

When the British actually surrendered, French troops lined on side of the road in the picture above, and the Americans lined the other side.  The British laid down their arms and flags in the field on the far side of the road.

Tradition says that as the British marched down the road to the surrender site, their bands played a tune called “The World Turned Upside Down”.

Close Enough

May 12, 2011

Black bear seen along Skyline Drive in Virginia. August 6, 2010.

As most of you know, Betsy and I do a fair amount of hiking in our search for waterfalls.  Many of the trails are in remote areas, but we’ve always enjoyed them.  We’re often the only people on a trail, and that’s fine with us.

We have a friend who is scared to death of bears.  Just the mention of the word can upset her.  Betsy and I have encountered bears on the trail only once.  We were hiking near the entrance to Cade’s Cove in the Smokies and saw a Mama Bear and two cubs cross the trail quite a way ahead of us.  We stopped and watched the three of scamper up the side of  the hill.

The picture above was taken at an overlook on Skyline Drive in Virginia back in 2010.  The bear was close enough to be easily seen, but this picture was taken with my long lens, so he really wasn’t that close.  But just between us, I’m glad he didn’t come any closer.

Scenic Sunday #131: Schooner Alliance

January 23, 2011

The schooner Alliance, Yorktown, Virginia. June 19, 2007.

This is my post for the Scenic Sunday meme, which shares beautiful scenes from around the world.  To see more Scenic Sunday posts, or to join and show your own pictures, click HERE.

I must confess that I love tall ships and consider them very beautiful and thus scenic.  This is the schooner Alliance, which sails out of Yorktown, Virginia, from April thru October of each year.  The Alliance is a 105-foot three-masted schooner and offers 2-hour river cruises during the season.

We weren’t able to take a cruise on the Alliance when we were in Yorktown, but I think the possibility of a cruise is a great reason for going back.

Down Memory Lane: Blue Ridge Parkway

September 30, 2010

On our way home from Williamsburg, Virginia, in 2007 we traveled part of the way along the Blue Ridge Parkway.  We chose that route so that we could visit some waterfalls along the way.

Summer is not a great time for waterfalls, especially if they are small and there hasn’t been much rain.  But the drive along the Blue Ridge is beautiful any time of the year and the hikes to the falls were through beautiful woods and along pretty streams.

It may have taken us longer to get home by taking this route, but it certainly made the trip more enjoyable.

To see these pictures and others, click HERE.

Skywatch Friday: Virginia Skies

August 13, 2010

Blue skies along the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia. August 5, 2010.

This is my post for Skywatch Friday, a meme for sharing views of the sky from all over the world.  To see more, or to join and share your own photos of the sky, click HERE.

On Betsy’s birthday last week we drove north along the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia on our way to Betsy’s birthday surprise.  During the early part of the day the skies were blue with white clouds creating pretty pictures.

Stormy skies near Roanoke, Virginia. August 5, 2010.

But later in the day the clouds got lower and darker.  When we were north of Roanoke the rains came, as you can see in the picture above.

Sky at sunset, Peaks of Otter, Virginia. August 5, 2010.

We drove in wind and rain for a while, but the skies started to clear as we got near our destination, the Lodge at Peaks of Otter.  And sitting on the patio after dinner we were treated to beautiful skies as the sun set.

Watery Wednesday #100: Rakes Mill Pond

August 11, 2010

Rakes Mill Dam, Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia. August 5, 2010.

This is my post for Watery Wednesday.  To see more of our beautiful watery world, or to join and post your own pictures to share, click HERE.

We celebrated Betsy’s birthday by traveling up to Virginia.  Although we travelled on the interstates early in the day, we moved over to the Blue Ridge Parkway near Floyd, Virginia.  Just about any stretch of the Parkway is beautiful and we stopped at a number of overlooks just to enjoy the view.

One of our first stops was at Rakes Mill Pond.  The pond was formed when a miller, Jarman Rakes, built a dam for his grist mill.  Rakes was something of a marketing genius — he allowed his customers to fist for brook trout while waiting for their grist.

Rakes Mill Pond, Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia. August 5, 2010.

Much of the pond has filled in over two hundred years, but the pond is still large enough to capture the reflections of trees and clouds.

Down Memory Lane: Shirley Plantation

January 18, 2010

Our visit to Shirley Plantation, Virginia. June 23, 2007.

While we were in Virginia back in 2007, we visited Shirley Plantation, located on the James River between Williamsburg and Richmond.

Shirley Plantation is Virginia’s first plantation (1613), established by royal grant only six years after John Smith’s settlement at Jamestown.  Shirley Plantation is the oldest family-owned business in North America dating back to 1638.  Construction of the present mansion began in 1723 when Elizabeth Hill, great-grandaughter of Edward Hill, the first owner, married John Carter, eldest son of Robert “King” Carter.  Completed in 1738, the mansion, referred to as the “Great House,” is largely in its original state and is owned, operated, and lived in by direct descendants of Edward Hill.

I really wanted to see Shirley because Anne Hill Carter, the mother of Robert E. Lee, was born at Shirley.  She married Henry “Light-Horse Harry” Lee in the parlor at Shirley.  George Washington was one of the wedding guests.

Robert E. Lee spent quite a bit of time at Shirley as a youngster, and I thoroughly enjoyed being able to see this house and grounds.

To see these pictures and others, click HERE.


I’m grateful for the opportunity to visit historical places and experience where events in our past took places.

Westover Parish Church

January 14, 2010

Scenes from Westover Parish Church, Charles City, Virginia. June 23, 2009.

On our anniversary trip in 2007 Betsy and I drove toward Richmond after leaving Jamestown-Yorktown-Williamsburg.  Our route took us parallel to the James River, which was the ‘highway’ of colonial Virginia.

About halfway to Richmond we came to Westover Parish Church.  I knew that Westover was one of the earliest Virginia plantations, so we decided to stop.

Westover Parish was formed in 1613 and a church was constructed between 1630 and 1637 on Westover Plantation.  The present church building was completed about 1730.  Between 1803 and 1833 the church was abandoned and used part of the time as a barn.  But in 1833 the building was repaired and restored and religious services were revived.  Westover Church was badly wrecked by Federal troops during the Civil War, but it was restored again in 1867 and has been in continuous use ever since.

Through the years farmers, plantation owners, slaves and presidents have worshipped at Westover Church.  The presidents include George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler (whose plantation is nearby) and Theodore Roosevelt.

To see these pictures and others, click HERE.


I’m grateful to the people who love and preserve the history of this wonderful country.

Down Memory Lane: A Second Day at Williamsburg

January 11, 2010

Scenes from our second day at Williamsburg. June 22, 2007.

A couple of days ago I posted about our first day at Williamsburg.  Betsy and I went back a second day to see more of the historic area.

We visited the Museums of Williamsburg — the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum and the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum.  Both museums were wonderful and they had excellent collections.  Betsy was especially impressed with the grandfather clocks we saw (she has always wanted one).  Fortunately we had to check our back packs before we went in and she couldn’t fit one in her pocket!

We also visited the College of William and Mary, where we toured the Wren Building, the oldest academic building still in use in America.  Construction on the building began August 8, 1695.  It was destroyed by fire three times, but was always rebuilt.  Today it looks very much as it did in 1723.  It was the first major building restored by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., after he began Williamsburg’s restoration in the late 1920s.

We also enjoyed a military review on Williamsburg’s Market Square by the 2nd Virginia Regiment and the Fife and Drums Corp.  The review included drills, musket firings and the firing of a cannon.

To see these pictures and others, click HERE.


I’m grateful for the blue skies we enjoyed yesterday after a week of dreary gray skies.

Down Memory Lane: Colonial Williamsburg

January 9, 2010

Scenes from our visit to Colonial Williamsburg. June 21, 2007.

In 2007 Betsy and I went to Virginia on our anniversary trip.  We went primarily because it was the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown, but while we were in the area we also visited Yorktown and Williamsburg.

Williamsburg was the capital of Virginia from  1699 to 1780, when Virginia was the largest, most populous, and most influential of the American colonies.  George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and George Mason all spent time in Williamsburg during this time.

In 1780 the capital of Virginia was moved to Richmond and Williamsburg reverted to a simple, quiet college town, the home of the College of William and Mary.  In 1926 the rector of Bruton Parish Church in Williamsburg talked to John D. Rockefeller, Jr., about preserving the city’s historic buildings.  That was the beginning of Colonial Williamsburg, which today encompasses approximately 85 percent of the 18th-century capital’s area.

On our first day at Williamsburg we visited the Governor’s Palace, the Capitol, Bruton Parish Church and had lunch at the King’s Arms Tavern.  We also saw a performance by the Colonial Williamsburg Fife and Drums.

To see these pictures and others, click HERE.


I’m grateful to the young adults in the Sunday School class at Mom and Dad’s church who have taken Mom and Dad under their wing and are helping them with chores around the house.