Sunday, August 29, 2010
The Lure of Times Past, part 1
We arrive down the winding dirt road of two miles to find the James River in its stunning and calm morning glory, only the wave left over from a passing boat lapping the shore. We decided this morning to head out just wandering; towards Charles City, which is renowned for several major plantations. We’ve stumbled upon the first by mere chance; a highway sign, but things bode well since we’re the first to arrive and will have it all to ourselves.
Westover Plantation is probably one of Virginia’s oldest, dating from 1730 and built by William Byrd II, who is buried on site under a monolithic monument in his lovely gardens. Today it is privately owned by the Fisher family who are in residence but graciously allow others to share in their bounty by touring the grounds and gardens and some outbuildings at will for the nominal sum of $2. It is still a working farm, growing seed corn and soybeans, redolent of the lush Virginia countryside.
It is very beautiful here and captures our hearts and imaginations as we explore under the two hundred year old elms and tulip poplar trees which sport their own individual lightning rods so they are not destroyed in thunder storms. One has to wonder about a family given such grace as to occupy this space, yet generous enough to share it to the point of seeing strangers wandering their grounds daily.
We marvel at the outbuildings we are allowed to enter and love the detailing of things like all the old iron gates; both carriage and garden. A laughable 5 hole communal “necessary room” complete with fireplace makes our day. (to be continued)