Thursday, May 21, 2009

Plantation Gems & Hidden Treasures

Well, we finally made it out to the Jamestown Plantations on our last day in the Historic Triangle. The places that we visited represented estates from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.

We started at Shirley Plantation, where 11 generations of the Carter-Hill family have lived continuously since 1638. The photos below show the mansion and the separate kitchen building which was used all the way into the 1940's, when a kitchen was finally added to the main house. I love the way the pictures turned out!

Our next stop turned out to be one of the highlights of our vacation. Edgewood Plantation ws built in 1849 and is now owned by a delightful woman named Dot and her husband. We ran into her working in her backyard, and she spent the next couple of hours giving us a tour and telling us the history of this 7,000 square foot Gothic mansion. A true Southern Belle originally from Richmond, she had a bigger than life personality and the charisma to match! The plantation is now also a Bed and Breakfast.

Not only is this home listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it's also said to be haunted by the ghost of a young woman named Lizzie Rowland. The story goes that Lizzie died of a broken heart after her beau from nearby Shirley Plantation was killed in the Civil War. In fact, Edgewood is going to be featured on the TV program "Ghost Hunters" later this summer.

When you look at the pictures below, it's hard to believe that this home had fallen into disrepair by the time it was purchased in 1978 by Dot and her husband for just $75,000. If you're ever in the area, you should make it a point to visit. A truly wonderful experience!

Pictured above is Berkeley Plantation. Built in 1726, it was the home of Benjamin Harrison the 5th, a signer of the Declaration of Independence; and the birthplace of two presidents, William Henry Harrison and Benjamin Harrison. "Taps" was composed here during the Civil War when the home was occupied by Union troops and used as a headquarters for the Army of the Potomac.

We're on our way home, and staying in Ohio this evening. It's been a great vacation, and after stepping back into history we're back in the real world tomorrow. I'm very excited to see Toby (and the cats too!).

No comments:

09 10