Monday, October 15, 2012


 Monday morning, I got up early with my husband, so that I could take him to the golf course for his first round of golf at the Williamsburg National Golf Course.  That way, we would have access to the car and not be "stuck" in the condo.  

So after eating breakfast in the condo, Janice, Leon, and I went to Lee Hall Mansion in Newport News.  It is the only large antebellum plantation house remaining on the lower Virginia peninsula.  It was completed in 1859 and three years later, planter Richard Lee and his family had to leave the house because the peninsula became one of the first battlegrounds for the Civil War.  The three story red brick house was beautiful and I can't believe I didn't take a picture of it.

We had planned to see another plantation nearby, but Wayne called and said he had finished playing earlier than he had expected, so we skipped it to go pick him up.

For lunch this day, we decided to try a local place that had been recommended to us by the concierge at King's Creek called the Old Chickahominy House.  It was an old two-story house that had a small restaurant and gift/decor shop on the main floor and more items (Christmas) for sale on the second floor.  The food was very good and Janice and I really enjoyed shopping/looking.  Could have looked and shopped more but we had a little drive to get to the Berkeley Plantation.  

The Berkeley Plantation is located on the James River about 30 miles from Williamsburg.  This was the first time any of us had visited this site.  I didn't realize how much significance it had in history when I suggested going there.  We all learned a lot that afternoon.

After we turned off the highway to the entrance of the plantation, we were greeted on the road by a very noisy and "unwelcoming, aggressive" goose.  He was IN the road and wouldn't move as I slowly eased along the road.  Everyone kept telling me to drive on and he would move, but he wouldn't.  He finally moved to the side of us and Janice got this picture....quickly... as he started to "attack" the door.  When we mentioned him to a lady at the house, she said he had just shown up there one day.  That he wasn't part of the plantation.

This is the entrance we saw as we drove up to the house.  This is the entrance that would have been used by George Washington and the next nine presidents of the United States, to name a few.  Benjamin Harrison, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and son of the original builder of the house in 1726, was born in this house.  William Henry Harrison, Benjamin's son and the ninth president of the U.S., was also born in this house. 

This painted wooden sign was at the entrance. It had been covered with plastic to protect the sign, but it made it hard to get a good picture of it. The James River wasn't shown on the map, but it would be at the top.

This view of the house shows the side view and the side facing the James River.  I waited until the next tour group had gone around to the front door so that I could get a "postcard" picture of the house. Actually, I don't know which was considered the "front" door....the door that opens to the road or the one that looks down on the river. 

This is the view of the house from the river.

It was on December 14, 1619 that early settlers from England landed here and celebrated the first official Thanksgiving almost 2 years before the pilgrims held their famous 3-day Harvest Feast with their Indian friends.  

The part at the top of the plaque that I cut off when I took the picture says:

Another  "sign" that commemorates the First Thanksgiving.


My last sign picture at Berkeley Plantation that list other significant historical events at this site.

Another historical fact is that TAPS was composed here in 1862 at the Civil War headquarters of Gen. McClellan.

The picture I shared at the top of this post was taken on the banks of the James River at Berkeley Plantation.  It was taken by another tourist at the site.  She also took this picture of Janice and me.  I love it.

Here is another picture I took of the James River.  You can see how wide it is here.  Not sure what my husband and Leon were looking for/at?

As we left Berkeley Plantation, we dropped by Westover Plantation, built by William Bryd II, founder of Richmond, in the 1750.  It is open by appointment but for $2.00 you can walk on the grounds.
It also faces the James River.  Originally the right wing looked like the west wing.  It was destroyed during the Civil War when Gen McClellan was encamped there and the new updated wing was built in the early 1900s.  Also at this time the two separate buildings were joined to the main house to make it one long building.  As we were walking around, the owner of the plantation, Frederick Schilling Fisher, III and his sister, walked up and we visited with them.  He has lived there since his family moved there in 1942 when he was 2-1/2 years old.  His family has owned the plantation since the early 1920s.  

It was a beautiful experience to add to our day before going back to Williamsburg for dinner.  

Speaking of dinner, we enjoyed a delicious dinner at Food for Thought.  Would highly recommend it if you are in the area.  

Read from the beginning HERE.

Read what's next HERE. 

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