Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Civil War Homes Tour
On Saturday the "Ghost Gals" checked out the Civil War Homes Tour offered by Roanoke County. There were eleven different locations that could be viewed over a two day period. We toured seven in one day. I would have liked to visit them all but time ran out and didn't want to spend Mother's Day finishing up.
Besides the fronts of most of the homes being very similar in style, the other constant factor was this flute playing guy.
He was like Mary's Little Lamb...everywhere we went he was sure to follow. At first we thought there were different flautists at each location and when we realized it was the same guy it was sorta freaky.
I thought it was a nice tour. The owners of the homes we visited were gracious hosts for opening their houses to the public and the period dress costumes enhanced the experience.
I suggested a drinking game whereby every time "Yankees" was said we'd take a shot, "damn Yankees" warranted a double, but we didn't have any alcohol so that didn't fly.
The majority of the homes were beautiful inside...
...and the grounds magnificent.
I could well imagine someone gazing out the window looking towards the fields waiting for their loved one to come back from war.
I was drawn to the original structures where you could feel the past in the present. If you look closely, in between the bricks, you'll see a traveller's note dated July 24, 1887.
This is where the Black Horse Tavern, 1782, once stood.
As I was walking nearby I saw something sticking out of the ground and used my sneaker to dig away at it. I found this door hinge, which very well may be the original from the tavern door.
We handed it over to the owner who didn't seem as excited as I was to have found it. I also discovered shards of pottery where the tavern stood. If I owned that property I would definitely have an archaeological dig.
I was very happy we visited the Stoner House which Deedie Kagey owns.
I told Deedie, (second from the right) how much I loved her History of Roanoke County book and picked her brain a wee bit as part of research I'm undertaking for my next book. She was very helpful and showed me some old maps of Botetourt County.
Since it's been challenging to find out the answers to questions I have regarding black communities from the Civil War days and beyond, she suggested I visit the Hollins library or talk to the folks at the Harrison Museum. Deedie was such an informative guide and a truly nice person and she'll probably regret saying I should call her.
All in all it was a really nice day and a job well done by Roanoke County...