Sunday, August 15, 2010

Virginia in August, Day 2

When we started visiting Colonial Williamsburg several years ago, I began to appreciate the role Patrick Henry played in the histories of Virginia and our nation. Because Henry lived in over a dozen different homes across Virginia, visiting all of them could take some time, so we finally got around to visiting one of Henry's better known homes: Scotchtown.

Built in 1719, Henry didn't own and occupy this 3,100 square foot home until around 1772. This is actually the back of the house, but I think it's more photogenic than the front, and this is the direction from which visitors to the property approach now. Several reconstructed outbuildings surround the yard now, although there were doubtless many more on the 960 acres when Henry lived here.

The plaque placed by the APVA also notes Dolley Madison's presence here for an indeterminate period during her childhood.

This is the less-than-impressive front view of Scotchtown, along with the approach to the home which is obviously not frequently used today. This gate is at least 100 yards off the road, so there may have been a long lane leading to the front entrance when the Henry family lived here. I certainly hope Mr. Henry was more fastidious about pruning the bushes than the current caretakers are.

This small building covers a dry well in the backyard that is 29 feet deep, and reported to hold a temperature of 42 degrees F all year round. Is that possible? Our tour guide thought it was unlikely that they used this pit for ice storage, and suggested they probably had a dedicated ice house somewhere else on the property.

Finally, back to Lily's polonaise gown progress. These pieces compose the back of the garment, and have been hand sewn together with Lily's typical care.

Here's a closer view of the stripes coming together at the seam. Don't feel bad, Lily, you can always try to match them better next time.


  1. Our family has been to Williamsburg many times but were unaware of all the wonderful historical sites outside the village itself. Thanks for sharing. We'll have to check these out next time we go.


  2. "Don't feel bad, Lily, you can always try to match them better next time." Heh heh... do we have a young perfectionist on our hands here? It's PERFECT!!!!!!

  3. Victoria -- we decided to branch out a little this time since our passes were expired, and we only had a few days to occupy...

    Annette -- the perfectionist tendencies don't seem to be going away...

  4. OOOHHHH, Lily!!!! It looks amazing! You *seriously* need to start a blog and chronicle your sewing ventures... I am not kidding.