Rassawek Spring Jubilee 2015

12 Jun

Each year the Spring Jubilee at Rassawek seems to get bigger and better and 2015 was no exception.

IMG_9130

The weather cooperated to make for a wonderful weekend. The sun was shining brightly in the sky and there was just enough of a breeze to make it pleasant enough to walk around the acres that make up Rassawek. Due to the excellent weather, attendance was up and good will was flowing.

IMG_9118

Live music, wineries, classic cars, historic buildings, crafters, and artisans of all types were on hand to keep the multitudes entertained. An attendee could learn to make a violin or purchase a piece of art at several stops.

IMG_9127

This year they added a new feature as hunting dogs swam the lake after a raccoon or so they believed. The dogs were eager to catch the bait and seemed to really be enjoying the chase!

IMG_9129

People were moved about in many ways including horse drawn carriages and a steam engine. The best way, however, to see everything was simply to walk.

IMG_9118

The Historical Society manned the Saylor Cabin again this year. It seemed that we welcomed almost all attendees through the cabin. The fireplace and the upper floors were the biggest hits. It was a wonderful kick-off to summer for all who attended.

IMG_6326

Thank you to Cheryl Childress, Phyllis Silber and James Richmond for giving time to welcome visitors. The sights, sounds, smells, and good will make it all worth while.

IMG_9131

Villages of Goochland – Paintings Unveiled

3 Jun

Artist Patti Rosner delivering these remarks to the Board of Supervisors

Artist Patti Rosner delivering these remarks to the Board of Supervisors

It was the spring of 2013 that I announced a project concept to weave together ART, HISTORY and COMMUNITY SERVICE. I would paint one village scene from each of our five districts, to represent a walk through our village past from decades ago.

The project would need a home, and when I approached the Board of Supervisors and Rebecca Dickson, County Administrator, I was not sure, that sight unseen they would grant the space. My request was granted and I am honored that they had the faith in my project to give my paintings a permanent home in this administration building. I thank you for that!

Hadensville, Sandy Hook, and Courthouse Village paintings

Hadensville, Sandy Hook, and Courthouse Village paintings

Along with a home, the project needed a mission and funding. I proposed to do the work, create merchandise from digital images, and since this was a community endeavor, I pledged to give the profits back to the community, once all costs were recovered.

I dedicate this group of village paintings to the residents of Goochland County. While the paintings will be housed in the Administration building, these 6 original paintings have been gifted to and are now the property of the Goochland Historical Society. They will see that this collection will always be in the public view for all to enjoy.

Crozier, Oilville, and Sabot Villages

Crozier, Oilville, and Sabot Villages

I will continue to promote and sell the products through the rest of this fiscal year, for the benefactors of this project.

I would like to take a moment to express some appreciation. Thank you to all of the community organizations that allowed me to present and promote the project over the past two years.

Supervisors Robert Minnick, Susan Lascolette, and Ken Peterson looking at the unveiled paintings from their districts.

Supervisors Robert Minnick, Susan Lascolette, and Ken Peterson looking at the unveiled paintings from their districts.

Thank you to the residents that allowed me interviews to tell their personal stories. Their memories helped create the snapshot of people and places that have faded into the mist of time.

Thank you to the patrons that purchased the products to keep the project going from one painting to the next.

Phyllis Silber, Patti Rosner and Sally Graham.

Phyllis Silber, Patti Rosner and Sally Graham.

Thanks to Sally Graham and Adair Roper with Goochland Family Services and their staff of volunteers whose work for our neighbors less fortunate, operates with no federal funding, relying on the community for support. This concept embraces the history and stories told to me as I researched how folks lived and worked in our community years ago. It is nice to know this spirit lives on.

Thanks to Phyllis Silber and the talented folks she attracts to serve the community to preserve our history. She and the staff showed how much they love history by obliging me as I tried to track down every small detail to tell the stories I would paint.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vil8yna4G08

Thanks to my family for indulging my passion for this project! My studio looks like “Pig Pen” has taken up residence, our guest bedroom has become warehouse for merchandise, and our dining room a frame a matting station!

My daughter and son-in-law, Kari and Amin Reyess, owners of Courthouse Pizza and Market, have always supported the community with donations and they have graciously supported this project allowing the full purchase price to go back to the project and the community.

Thanks to everyone on any level that has supported this project.

Patti Rosner

A Nation Remembers Appomattox

15 Apr

 

Goochland Courthouse Green with the Civil War monument in the foreground.

Goochland Courthouse Green with the Civil War monument in the foreground.

 

On Thursday, April 9, 2015, people across the country came together for a bell ringing ceremony to commemorate the end of the American Civil War. 150 years ago, Gen. Grant and Gen. Lee ended their meeting in Appomattox marking the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia. Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, the site of the McLean house and the meeting between the two Generals, was the location of the first bell to ring on the 9th.

Rev. Lauren Lobenhofer

Rev. Lauren Lobenhofer

At 3:15, bells across the land began ringing and continued to do so for four minutes, one minute for each year of the war. This event brings a symbolic end to the Sesquicentennial Commemoration of the Civil War. The gathering in Goochland was held on the steps of the historic Court house. Society President Wayne Dementi welcomed all who attended and then introduced Rev. Lauren Lobenhofer, pastor of Gum Spring United Methodist Church who provided a prayer for the occasion.

(Kneeling, l to r) Jacob Massey, J.T. Massey (Standing l to r) Sophia Pryor, Dr. James Bowles, Isabelle Duke, Ned Creasey, E. Steve Fleming.

(Kneeling, l to r) Jacob Massey, J.T. Massey (Standing l to r) Sophia Pryor, Dr. James Bowles, Isabelle Duke, Ned Creasey, E. Steve Fleming.

The ringers then stepped up and began tolling the bell. One of the ringers, Isabelle Duke, had a great-grandfather who was among the men from the Army of Northern Virginia who was at Appomattox for the final meeting between Grant and Lee. She remembered stories from her childhood that he would tell about the meeting and the fact that he walked home afterwards. Proof that 150 years is not as long ago as it seems.

Dr. Bruce Venter

Dr. Bruce Venter

Once the ringing ended, Dr. Bruce Venter read from several eye witness accounts to the event. He concluded by talking about the more than 750,000 lives lost during the 4 years of the conflict and the fact that Lincoln’s assassination occurred just a week after the meeting. It was a somber ending for the solemn event.

People

The Historical Society would like to thank everyone who participated in this commemoration.

Y History Walkers

3 Apr

IMG_8709

The Goochland County Historical Society has partnered with the Goochland Family YMCA to offer the upcoming Y History Walkers Series. The tours will be open to everyone and are free of charge. The first tour will be on April 26, 2015 at Tucker Park at Maidens Crossing at 3:00 pm. Please register at the Goochland Family YMCA membership desk or by calling Member Services at 804-556-9887.

ymcaLogoAssociationbannerrollover

Bells Across The Land

26 Mar

bell ring 3April 9, 2015 on the Courthouse Green   3 pm

In conjunction with a major event at Appomattox Court House National Historic Park, the Goochland County Historical Society will join in a national commemoration to mark the beginning of the end of the American Civil War. The bells will ring first at Appomattox at 3:00 p.m. on April 9, 2015. The ringing will coincide with the moment the historic meeting between Grant and Lee ended. The Goochland event will begin on the Courthouse Green in Goochland at 3:00 p.m. After an invocation the Courthouse bell will be rung at precisely 3:15 p.m. for four minutes, each minute symbolic of a year of war. The public is invited.

To find out more about Bells Across The Land, visit the National Park Service Website by clicking here.

bell ring 2

Ben Lomond

25 Jan
ben-lomond-1976-before-restoration

Ben Lomond in 1976 during the fateful restoration.

Goochland’s Ben Lomond is named after a mountain on the banks of Loch Lomond in Scotland. The name Ben Lomond comes from the Scottish Gaelic Beinn Laomainn which translates to Beacon Mountain. In 1736, Isham Randolph, Sr. of Turkey Island in Henrico County, was granted a Royal Patent for 3,000 acres in Goochland County. It was on a part of this land that he built his mansion, Dungeness. Isham’s grandson, Archibald Cary Randolph bought the property that comprises Ben Lomond from the Dungeness estate in the late 1700’s and built his own house. An 1801 insurance policy shows that the original house was roughly the size of the central portion of the house as shown in the picture above. One of Randolph’s passions was horses and it was on this farm that famed racehorse Sir Archie was foaled in 1805.

The ruins of Ben Lomond

The ruins of Ben Lomond

In 1806, Archibald Cary Randolph was forced to sell Ben Lomond and his horses to pay debts. Archibald was also known to be particularly bad with money.  In a case heard before the Supreme Court, Archibald along with his two brothers, were said to be “notoriously insolvent” and had wasted their father’s estate. Archibald sent Sir Archie went to his partner William Tayloe and Ben Lomond was sold to Benjamin Watkins. The property passed down through the Watkins family for several generations and then went through a succession of owners: Van Mater, Schuett, Hazelwood, Rutherfoord, Bremner, Lewis, Hicks, Woodruff and Liebert to name a few.

The house has been described as a two-story, central passage plan house that was popular in the eighteenth century. Houses built in a similar style in Goochland include Tuckahoe, Rock Castle. In the 1970’s, Ben Lomond was undergoing an extensive restoration and renovation  project when it caught fire. Neighbors could only stand in awe as the historic structure succumbed to the intense heat before the fire department could arrive. All that remains today is the western chimney, brick foundation and the steps. Strewn amongst the ground cover are fallen bricks from the massive eastern chimney, broken glass and pieces of metal. Two beautiful magnolia trees and scattered boxwoods give evidence of the park-like grounds that must have once existed. A few crumbling outbuildings stand as reminders of the once magnificent farm are slowly following the manor house into oblivion.

SONY DSC

Past the decimated structure and just beyond the edge of the wood line is a square stone wall, the age of which is unknown. Inside this enclosure is speculated to be the grave of Sir Archie (1803-1833). He was the greatest racehorse of his day and sired many champions in his years at stud. His line went on to produce Man O’War, Seabiscuit and Secretariat to name just a few. Part of the mystery surrounding Sir Archie is his burial place. Sir Archie spent his last 17 years at stud at Mowfield Plantation, just west of Jackson, North Carolina which also lays claim as his place of burial. For decades, this has been a heated debate.

Burial place of Sir Archie?

Burial place of Sir Archie?

The loss of Ben Lomond was another devastating blow to this part of Goochland. By the time of the fire, the historic area of Rock Castle had already lost Dungeness and Mannsville, both with Randolph connections, and Bolling’s Orapax. Today Ben Lomond survives as a haunting ruin that can only hint at it’s former glory.

To learn more about Ben Lomond: read Volume 3-1 of the Goochland County Historical Society’s magazine.

2014 Holiday Meeting

31 Dec

On Sunday, December 7, 2014, the Goochland County Historical Society held its annual Holiday meeting at historic Ben Dover in Manakin-Sabot.

Ben Dover

Ben Dover

The 1853 house was a big draw for the approximately 100 people who attended. Owner Louisa Preston gave us a quick history of the house and grounds and then the meeting moved on to Society business. President Wayne Dementi proposed the 2015 Board. Christina Dunn and Peter Gretz were then named and approved as the two newest Board members.

Delicious treats!

Delicious treats!

Lord Cornwallis (Bruce Venter) was our speaker for the day. His entertaining and informative performance kept everyone’s attention.

Lord Cornwallis (Bruce Venter)

Lord Cornwallis (Bruce Venter)

A big thank you goes out to the Preston family for making Ben Dover available for our meeting. Thanks very much to Louise Thompson for making sure the spread of treats was laid out for everyone to enjoy. Thank you to outgoing Board members Temple Bayliss, Bruce Venter, Sam Smith and Richard Carchman for your service to the Society. Also, thank you to our members for your support in 2014. Here’s to hoping that 2015 will be even better!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 29 other followers