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Friday, August 21, 2009

Virginia Scenic Highway Five


George and I celebrated our wedding anniversary in June of 2007 by taking a nine day trip through Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia. We drove both going and coming on the Blue Ridge Parkway. During the nine days, we took in 11 new waterfalls, visited Williamsburg, Jamestown, Yorktown, Petersburg, Appomattox Courthouse, Charlottesville and Lexington. We experienced history first-hand. It was an awesome trip!!!! Today I want to share the part of our trip on Virginia Scenic Highway Five.

When we left Jamestown, we headed toward Petersburg driving along the James River on Scenic Highway 5. There are many plantations located on that route--so we want to go back sometime and visit more of them. On this day we visited the Westover Episcopal Church and the Shirley Plantation. This was Robert E. Lee’s mother’s childhood home. His mother was Ann Hill Carter and his father was “Lighthorse Harry” Lee.

The picture above is Westover Parish. Westover Parish was established about 1613. They moved to this location about 1730. Below are more pictures.




After the Civil War, this church was restored in 1867--and still is an active parish. George is standing at the front door.




The inside is so gorgeous. Several Presidents have worshipped here. I love visiting old churches out in the country. There was nobody around --yet everything was open.




Being a music person, I was so fascinated with the organ. GORGEOUS!




Outside was a beautiful and BIG Magnolia tree. I wanted to take this TREE home.. Don’t think there was room in Mrs. P!!!!??? ha




The Shirley Plantation is America’s OLDEST Plantation (1613).




The present mansion was completed in 1738 and is largely in its original state. Ann Hill Carter, mother of Robert E. Lee, was born and raised at Shirley.





Looking at Shirley from the ‘river side’; It is located on the banks of the James River. The entire drive along the St. James River was gorgeous. There were several plantations similar to this one, along that route.





In Colonial times, the James River was the primary means of transportation.





The grounds at Shirley were GORGEOUS. There are 800 acres, and 4 superb outbuildings.





This big willow oak tree is over 300 yrs. old!




Although we loved seeing the outside, being inside Shirley was even more incredible. Pictures were not allowed inside---so you'll just have to visualize it!!!

It was a wonderful day on that vacation, and if you ever get to eastern Virginia, be sure and check out the plantations along Virginia Scenic Highway Five.

Hugs,