Decide what to be and go be it.


My husband and I share an interest in the Civil War. (No, not the Cub/Sox battle that we wage each baseball season.)  In recent years, we’ve visited some battlefield sites and homes.  They are interesting trips, but at the same time, they’re sad.  Walking through the battlefields, it’s easy to imagine the battle that took place.  But it’s also hard to imagine what it actually felt like.  It’s bittersweet….it’s a piece of history tinged with such heartache.

This summer, we decided to visit Richmond, Virginia.  We toured several battlefields, a shrine to the fallen General Stonewall Jackson and Appomattox.  We wanted to see where the surrender took place…where finally someone decided enough was enough. They call it the place where the country was reunited.  I like the sound of that better!

Appomattox is a really a neat little town.  Old storefronts, antique shops, a book store.  Yes!  A book store.  I was beginning to think they were a thing of the past…thanks to Mr. Kindle.  We wandered through an antique store where there were some quilts for sale at a very reasonable price.  But they weren’t very pretty and were pretty well-worn.  So, I left them there.

One of the small shop owners recommended the Babcock House for lunch.  Her reason for recommending it…you won’t find anything fried there.  At that point of the trip, that sounded great!  So off to the Babcock House for lunch.  The Tarragon Chicken Salad was awesome!  We had to try the Hummingbird Cake.  It was terrific.  But the calories I saved from the no-fry zone were spent on dessert!  Worth every one of them….  I might have taken a picture of our lunch but I was too busy enjoying every bite of it!

A stop at the Museum of the Confederacy was next.  There were a lot of really neat things there.  I was interested in the uniforms.  They were displaying the uniform that General Lee wore to his meeting with Grant.  I’m still amazed at how well-preserved many of the uniforms are.  Imagine this!  I even bought a quit pattern there!

Into Appomattox Courthouse.  It was a little town at the time of the war and it’s been restored by the National Park Service.  The building that I was most intrigued with was the McLean House.  This is where the papers were signed.  The house was initially taken apart around 1900.  A company was going to bring it north and rebuild it as a tourist attraction.  The company went bankrupt and the National Park Service rebuilt it on the original site using what they could salvage.  It’s only off by a quarter of an inch they tell me.  Most of the furniture and quilts are period pieces although they did not belong to the McLean family.

This is a bed and trunk that was in the guest room.  That quilt is actually around 150 years old.  (I’d like to look that good now!)

This quilt is also around 150 years old.  It’s in the master bedroom.  It’s in beautiful condition.  Fortunately, you can get a little bit closer to this quilt than the others.

This old sewing machine was in one of the bedrooms.  We’ve come a long way, Baby!  Imagine trying to maneuver a quilt under that needle!

This is maybe my favorite.  Love the colors! It was in the slave quarters.  I love it because it’s scrappy and well-loved…and it’s easy to believe this one is as old as it is.  I wish the antique store had one of these!

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19 thoughts on “Virginia

  1. Thanks for sharing about your wonderful Civil War trips. The quilts at McLean House are fabulous! I love traditional quilts!

  2. We took a vacation in Richmond and had a wonderful time. Did you go to Cold Harbor? My husband’s great grandfather was in the battles there. You’re right, it is sad.

    • We did go to Cold Harbor. It was a blistering hot day but we walked the battlefield with a ranger. Cold Harbor had to be one of the most brutal battles. I guess they fought differently then but I still can’t understand how you can send wave after wave of men across an open field to be mowed down while the enemy was hidden in trenches. Apparently, that was the beginning of trench warfare. The north hadn’t gotten the memo at that time. I think they learned quickly after that.

      We also went to Fredricksburg and Chancellorsville. I love the ranger tours…they’re so informative. And when it’s as hot as it was, the groups are very small (cuz only the crazy walk outside in that heat!) and you get a very personalized tour.

  3. mary on said:

    I wanna take a Civil War tour. But I wouldn’t know where to start and it would need to be closer to home. I think TW would like that.

  4. Wow! It looks like an amazing place to visit! I love history in person! It really lets you see how our ancestors lived… I’d love to have that sewing machine! LOL!

  5. Great post. It felt like you took us on tour with you! Haha. I, too, love history, old quilts, vintage fabrics & lace… sigh. Lately I’ve been finding some great “treasures” in thrift stores. It’s a lot of fun to explore in different areas of our country.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the post. I do love history and old quilts. I find it’s interesting when I visit quilt shops when on vacation to see what’s popular indifferent areas of the country. My sister lives in SW Florida….try to find reproduction prints there! It’s a challenge! Everything is so bright there!

  6. Go White Sox!! Oh and what beautiful quilts, I can’t hardly believe that they’re that old and look that good!

  7. Try getting a quilt under the needle? How could you possibly negotiate the quilt? There is zero table space! I’m feeling pretty spoiled now.

    • Me, too! Give me my Bernina any day! I’m not sure if they actually quilted with those machines. It would be difficult if they did. However, so would seeing one of those voluminous dresses they used to wear!

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