Riding to History in Virginia

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by The Virginian, Feb 5, 2019.

  1. The Virginian

    The Virginian YouTube n00b Supporter

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    Chillis,

    You don't have to like and post in this thread as all of it a retread from my meanderings thread. It gets to be a hassle chasing around folks threads. Loving your 701 and looking forward towards future adventures! Sure wish I lived closer out there to ride with you.

    Here's one for you from Bourbon. :D
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  2. Chillis

    Chillis Long timer Supporter

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    Was having a pre-senior moment earlier. The subscription post popped up and I thought it was the BS thread. Don't mind me. Sometimes I don't know if the website is having a glitch as I thought I'd already hit the like on these posts and then realized it was your other thread.

    You do have some different pics here though.

    I'll keep checking both and pipe down about my confusion!
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  3. The Virginian

    The Virginian YouTube n00b Supporter

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    Confusion is always welcome so I'm not alone. :beer
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  4. luftkoph

    luftkoph Long timer Super Supporter

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    Having rented a place in Pendleton’ putting the word town with Cuckoo is a bit of a stretch
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  5. The Virginian

    The Virginian YouTube n00b Supporter

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    QFT (quoted for truth!)
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  6. Kiwi Mick

    Kiwi Mick Adventurer

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    Nice thread..... good to see the bikes are the means of exploring places, rather than being the reason for going somewhere.
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  7. sealsam

    sealsam Sam...I am. Supporter

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    Combining a wonderful slice of American history & gorgeous scenery, all while on one bitchin' bike!!

    Awesome Eric.

    Yeah it takes a bit of time putting this all together, but the product is so terrifically done.

    Thanks for the 'nuggets' you package into this thread!!!!!!!!

    :thumb:thumb
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  8. The Virginian

    The Virginian YouTube n00b Supporter

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    Thank you.
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  9. The Virginian

    The Virginian YouTube n00b Supporter

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    The Laurel Hill House
    William Lindsay deserves to be remembered.

    Standing for over 200+ years, the Laurel Hill House was formerly the home of a Revolutionary War hero before eventually becoming a residence for various superintendents of the former D.C. Workhouse and Reformatory.
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    Shortly after the American Revolutionary War, a man by the name of William Lindsay, acquired a 1,000-acre plantation just outside of what today is known as Lorton, Virginia for he and his family to establish their new homestead. Lindsay, who was a part of the Virginia Militia during the Revolutionary War and a contemporary of both George Mason and George Washington, decided he would build his home on one of the more elevated portions of his recently obtained land. Built in 1787, the one and one-half story house he constructed was typical for the colonial time period and would be dubbed “Laurel Hill”, in supposed honor of his family’s original estate back in Northern Ireland. It is rumored that during Lindsay’s ownership, that it was possible to see the Potomac River from the front door of the home (though current urban development and vegetation make this an impossibility today). Sadly, Lindsay would not go on to enjoy his new home for very long, as he would end up passing away from gout in 1792. Lindsay would end up being buried only a couple hundred feet away from the backside of the house, and his Laurel Hill property was soon passed around within his extended family.
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    The home would see many different owners throughout the 19th century, and by 1906, the property would come into the possession of a Washington D.C. attorney by the name of Howe Totten. Totten would utilize the home as a “country house” and also as a place for him to breed his championship Great Danes. It is believed that during Totten’s ownership that the first add-ons were made to the house, including the two room additions to the eastside, the rear room addition, and the wrap-around porch. By 1910, the D.C Workhouse Prison (also known as the “Occoquan Workhouse”) would be established only a couple miles down the road from the Laurel Hill House. Totten was not very pleased with his new neighbors and began sending letters to the editors of local newspapers complaining about the prison’s lack of security, among various other issues. In 1914, the federal government purchased 153 acres of the Laurel Hill property to use for an adjoining reformatory for inmates with longer sentences of the D.C. Workhouse Prison, this purchase would also include the Laurel Hill House.
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    Once under the authority of the D.C. Workhouse and Reformatory, the Laurel Hill House would become the residence of many different staff members of the prison, including mainly its superintendents. It was also during this time of new ownership that the final add-ons to the house would be made, with the inclusion of 3 new room additions to the eastside, a bathroom to the southside, and shed dormers on the 2nd level (a garage and shed were also featured during this time, but both would eventually be demolished in the early 21st century).
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    By the early 1970’s, the Laurel Hill House had been vacated and left abandoned. Pictures from this time period show that the house was still well-maintained, but the many decades of neglect that would follow began to slowly send the house into a state of disrepair. By 2002, the D.C. Workhouse and Reformatory had dissolved, and ownership of the house and 2,400-acre prison property would be obtained by Fairfax County. The entire former D.C. Workhouse and Reformatory property, including the Laurel Hill House, would be established as a historic district and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2006. The former Workhouse would be converted into a Cultural Arts Center in 2008, and the prior Reformatory is currently being re imagined into a new urban living community known as “Liberty”. According to numerous online resources and reports made available by Fairfax County, the Laurel Hill House has been in consideration to be restored since 2007. The county prepared a Historic Structure Report for the house in 2008, describing three different potential treatment plans listed for its restoration. Today, these plans have yet to come to fruition and the house still stands in a decrepit state seeking many major repairs to hopefully restore it to its former glory.
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    The Laurel Hill House as she was sketched in 1880.
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    I took the Benelli TnT 135 to seek this small piece of history.
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  10. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

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    Damn ... you nailed the perfect perspective on that first picture!
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  11. Chillis

    Chillis Long timer Supporter

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    Look at those jealous cows!

    Are those your interior shots?

    Kind of creepy.
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  12. The Virginian

    The Virginian YouTube n00b Supporter

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    Yes, I took those pics which aren't very good. The home was fenced off and very secluded but vandals have beat down the fence in some areas so I hopped in, snapped a few pics and bounced quickly. Honestly the structure looked sketchy and I wasn't comfortable lingering or venturing in much further then the doorway. Old homes don't really creep me out so I never had that feeling.

    Thanks for stopping by and reading.
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  13. B10Dave

    B10Dave Long timer

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    Interesting!! Thanks Eric.
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  14. DCrider

    DCrider Live from THE Hill

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    My 1st "job" post HS in 1983 was as a park ranger at then still being developed and not yet opened Occoquan Regional Park on land that was formerly part of Lorton Prison, which I assume was also originally part of Laurel Hill. Every few months the escape sirens would go off and guards would come down to the park asking if we saw inmates, kinda scary a few times. Never knew Laurel Hill House was there, great find!
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  15. The Virginian

    The Virginian YouTube n00b Supporter

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    Flint Hill, VA

    When I roll up visit my family I stop in Flint Hill, VA and have never written about it. Here's a small snip on some history of Flint Hill..
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    The following is extracted from Chaplains in the Civil War:

    ...Albert Gallatin Willis was offered a chaplain’s pardon to avoid a hanging execution by Union soldiers. His response was quite
    remarkable.

    He had been serving with Confederate Colonel John Singleton Mosby’s rangers for several months. Though born into a wealthy
    Virginia family, Willis chose to pursue a life of gospel ministry and was, at the time the war broke out, studying to be a Baptist
    preacher. Willis had been looking forward to seeing his home as he headed toward Culpeper, Virginia on October 13, 1864. Mosby’s
    men enjoyed frequent furloughs as their lightning-quick, hit and run missions allowed them to return to their homes and farms often.
    But Willis’s horse came up lame near Flint Hill, forcing him to stop at the local farrier’s shop at Gaine’s Crossroad. Suddenly, Willis and
    an unnamed companion were surrounded by troops of the 2nd West Virginia Cavalry. Taken prisoner, the two soon learned their fate.
    One of them would be hanged. That order had come from General Ulysses S. Grant as retribution for Federals Mosby had killed.
    Grant’s order required that one Confederate be hanged “without trial” for each Yankee killed by Mosby’s men. (those of you remember me chatting about Front Royal, VA and how Lt. Col. George A. Custer who was stationed at Front Royal hanged and shot 6 of Mosby's men and one young man not affiliated)

    Speaking with the two young men separately, Union Brigadier General William H. Powell informed them they were to draw straws to
    determine which man would die. Powell also informed Willis that he could claim a chaplain’s exemption, if he so chose. Willis had not
    yet been ordained and did not believe he deserved such consideration. He refused Powell’s offer. The two prisoners were brought
    back together and ordered to draw straws. Willis’s unnamed companion drew the short straw and then burst into tears crying, “I have a
    wife and children, I am not a Christian and am afraid to die!”

    Upon hearing those words, Willis spoke up: “I have no family, I am a Christian, and not afraid to die.” Due to Willis’s willingness to
    stand in his stead, his companion was released. Within moments and after praying for his executioners, Albert Gallatin Willis was
    hanged. Today his remains rest inside a white picket fence in the tiny graveyard of Flint Hill Baptist Church in Flint Hill, Virginia....
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  16. Chillis

    Chillis Long timer Supporter

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    Powerful stuff!
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  17. The Virginian

    The Virginian YouTube n00b Supporter

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    The ruins of Barbourville in Virginia Thomas Jefferson had a hand in the building of this place back in 1812 it was built for James Bourbour who is the governor of Virginia at the time and one of Thomas Jefferson's good friends. This was a short ride about 45 minutes from my cabin.
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    James Barbour and B. Johnson Barbour deserve to be remembered.

    James Barbour

    Preserved as a ruin after its destruction by fire on December 25, 1884, Barboursville was one of the largest and finest residences in the region. The only building in Orange County known to have been designed by Thomas Jefferson, Barboursville was constructed between 1814-1822 for Jefferson's friend James Barbour, who served as governor of Virginia, U.S. senator and secretary of war. A brick Flemish-bond mansion with a hipped roof, Barboursville stood two stories high over an English basement. After the fire, the family renovated a pair of brick dependencies to the west of the mansion. Today the estate is run as a vineyard.
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    Until it burned on Christmas Day 1884, Barbour's house stood essentially as completed, c. 1822, from designs by Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson designed the house in the then fashionable Neo-Palladian style.
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    Only two one-story side Porches appear to have been later additions. Though large in scale, the house contained only eight principal rooms, as the hall, and dining room were two-story chambers. The entrance facade featured a projecting Roman Doric tetra-style portico which covered the recessed front wall of the entrance hall. On the garden front, the walls of the octagonal drawing room projected into a similar portico, as at Monticello.
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    The octagonal dome which Jefferson proposed in his drawing was omitted during construction; it is uncertain whether the Chinese latticework railing which appeared in Jefferson's drawing around the base of the roof was ever installed. Although the dining room had no chamber over it, Jefferson indicated a faux window on the second floor level in order to keep the garden front symmetrical. This feature was omitted and consequently gave that side of the house an unbalanced appearance. There is little evidence as to the appearance of the original interior architectural trim.
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    Benjamin Johnson Barbour

    Benjamin Johnson Barbour was born on June 14, 1821, at Barboursville, the large and elegant Orange County estate of his parents, James Barnour and Lucy Johnson Barbour. He was the last of their four sons and three daughters and was given the same name as their second son, who had died in July 1820. Barbour received his first schooling in England while his father was serving as minister plenipotentiary to Great Britain. He later attended private schools in Virginia and was a student at the University of Virginia from 1837 to 1839, winning the honor of selection as final orator of the Jefferson Literary Society in 1838.
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    B. Johnson Barbour, as he was always known, spent much of his life out of the public eye as a planter and gentleman scholar. He inherited Barboursville when his father died in 1842, and by 1860 he was the wealthiest man in Orange County, with 7,000 acres of land and 150 slaves. Barbour was active in the Virginia State Agricultural Society from its revival in 1853. Widely known as a student of literature and a scholar of Shakespeare, he befriended such literary figures as John Reuben Thompson and W. Gordon McCabe. Barbour was one of the most popular public speakers in Virginia, renowned for long, elaborate orations, replete with literary and classical allusions. He was also an important lay leader in the Episcopal Church, often serving as a delegate to the council of the Diocese of Virginia and in 1880 as an alternate delegate to the national convention.
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    Barbour was outspoken in his support for the Whig Party and Henry Clay. He delivered the dedicatory address for the statue of Clay that was unveiled in Richmond on April 12, 1860, more than a decade after his mother spearheaded the fund-raising campaign for the monument. Barbour opposed secession until after the firing on Fort Sumter in April 1861, and he took no political or military part in the Civil War. In the first election held after the end of the war in 1865, he ran for the House of Representatives on a platform of sectional reconciliation and states' rights. He overwhelmed his two opponents, former congressman John Strother Pendleton and Richmond political gadfly Martin Meredith Lipscomb, but the House of Representatives refused to seat anyone elected in the southern states that year, and Barbour never served in Congress.
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    Barbour's most important public role centered on the University of Virginia. He was prominent in its General Alumni Association, serving four consecutive one-year terms as president starting in 1873. From 1865 to 1873 he sat on the board of visitors, and he was the rector of the university 1866 to 1872. As rector, he attempted to reduce the university's emphasis on classical studies in favor of a more practical curriculum, including the education of public schoolteachers, and he oversaw the establishment of schools of applied mathematics, civil engineering, and applied chemistry. Barbour often faced opposition from conservative faculty members intent on shifting power over the university's administration from the board to themselves. Combining his interests in education and agriculture Barbour served from 1879 until his death on the board of the university's Miller Fund, which supported the school's Department of Agriculture, and he served from 1876 to 1878 on the board of the Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College in Blacksburg.
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    During Reconstruction Barbour became a Democrat and later opposed the Readjusters, who wished to reduce the taxpayer-funded principal of the state's antebellum public debt and who also courted African American voters. In 1879 he won election to the House of Delegates. During his one term he chaired the Committee on Schools and Colleges and led its investigation into the strife-torn administration of the Agricultural and Mechanical College, which resulted in the appointment of a new board of visitors for the college. In 1885 Barbour unsuccessfully sought the Democratic Party's nomination for the Senate of Virginia, and four years later Governor Fitzhuh Lee named him one of six delegates to a convention in Saint Louis to promote the inflationary free coinage of silver.

    Barbour married Caroline Homassel Watson on November 7, 1844. Of their six sons and five daughters two sons and three daughters survived childhood. Barbour suffered serious injuries when he fell into a ditch in Charlottesville and died a few weeks later at Barboursville on December 2, 1894. He was buried in the family cemetery at Barboursville.
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    Peace and safety to all,

    Eric
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  18. kneeslider

    kneeslider Insufficient privileges!

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    Hard not to find history in Virginai, but you better see & record it fast before all the haters tear everything down & bury history!
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  19. B10Dave

    B10Dave Long timer

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    Thanks Eric. Interesting as always.
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