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Home Again, Home Again Jiggity Jig

The end of a long trip


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & 2005 Migrating by Mercedes & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

March 14th continued
I looked at the local attractions list and saw that Smithfield in Isle of Wight County was nearby, so I decided we should go over there. We went across the James River Bridge (a drawbridge which is 50 feet when down - it is a lift bridge).]
Lift Bridge

Lift Bridge


In 1621, Captain Nathaniel Basse first sailed his ship the Furtherance up the Pagan River to near what is now Smithfield, Virginia and settled a 300 acre parcel of land he called Basse's Choice. John Smith was the first Englishman to explore in this area and much of the land was settled by members of his family. The town has many examples of Victorian houses.
Thomas House-Mansion on Main

Thomas House-Mansion on Main


I took this picture from the car and it had a lot of poles and wires in it. So I've edited out everything in the sky, but the posts still go across the house. The house was built on the site of an earlier house about 1889 for Richard S. Thomas, a prominent Smithfield lawyer and historian. It was the dream house of a newlywed couple who were descendants of early local families. The lady of the house, Francis Boykin Jordan, was connected to Smithfield's own Windsor Castle on her mother's side. Windsor Castle was built by Smithfield's founding father. Richard Thomas was an outspoken attorney. Among other published historical articles, he wrote about activities at the local site that his brother owned, Four Square Plantation. It was a B&B in 2005.

We went to the Smithfield Visitor's Center.
335 Main Street - Hattie Drummond House Visitor's Center (and Bob)

335 Main Street - Hattie Drummond House Visitor's Center (and Bob)


Of course the museum and courthouse were closed because it was Monday. To get a Walking Tour map, first stop here at the Visitor's Center, which is housed in the Hattie Drummond House, which was built circ. 1865. This house was built for Hattie Drummond by her brother, Mr. Watson, to serve as a millinery business shortly after the Civil War. Hattie's husband was apparently an irresponsible roamer, guilty of long and frequent absences. Hattie's brother wanted to provide her with some financial security. The business proved to be so successful that by 1868 Hattie had paid back her brother, and the house and business were deeded to her "free from all marital rights of her husband".
large_2017170-Main_Street_Houses_Smithfield.jpg
The square grey house on the right in this picture is the Britt-Simpson House, built around 1854 by George W. Britt. This house is the last house on the walking tour and is just up the street from the Visitor's Center.This was the home of Frank B. and Emily Delk Simpson. Mrs. Simpson was one of the founders of the Women's Club of Smithfield and the organizer and first director of the Isle of Wight Branch of the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities (APVA).
Victorian Row c 1900

Victorian Row c 1900


These houses are across the street from the Visitor's Center. at 336-346 Main Street. Victorian row , also know as the Painted Ladies, consists of five typical houses of the late Victorian time period (early 1900's), each featuring bay fronts and gingerbread trim. The houses were built around 1901 by Burton W. Hearn, who, himself, lived at 346 Main Street.
We got a walking tour map and then drove out to Fort Boykin.
2017386-Main_Street_Smithfield.jpgStreets near the Visitor's Center

Streets near the Visitor's Center


Fort Boykin, which is north of Smithfield, has a long history. It was originally built in 1623, and was used to defend that part of the James River from the British during the Revolutionary War.
large_100_9550.JPGBob walking toward a well

Bob walking toward a well


Fort Boykin was used again in the Civil War. It changed hands over the years but was given to the State of Virginia by descendants of the original owners.
Shore through railings

Shore through railings


From the ramparts of the fort you can see the mothball fleet up the James River.
Mothball fleet

Mothball fleet


The fort is actually someone's home, and they have a peacock.
Peacock

Peacock

Friendly cat

Friendly cat


We drove back to Smithfield (coming in by the Gwaltney and Smithfield factories). Near the middle 1700's Mr. Malory Todd began curing the meat of the free ranging hogs near Smithfield, Virginia. Thus was born the Smithfield Hams. The local hogs cleaned the peanut fields and developed an oily meat that lent itself to the salt curing process.

Modern combines cleaned the fields so well the leavings were inadequate for the hogs and soybeans were substituted with similarly successful results. Today several areas near Smithfield produce exceptionally fine Virginia Country Cured Hams. The key to quality is the Virginia Dept. of Agriculture's elite award of "Virginia's Finest". This highly respected and coveted designation is a promise of a superior ham.

The process of salt/smoke curing was improved with time and experience. The process was elevated to an art form and family recipes became closely guarded secrets. Modern plants with controlled environment rooms allowed major advances in the uniformity of the hams day after day. The secrets are still handed down from generation to generation as even today the best of Virginia's country cured hams are family traditions. Traditional Virginia Country Cured hams are still packed in the old fashioned cotton bags.

"Genuine Smithfield hams [are those] cut from the carcasses of peanut-fed hogs, raised in the peanut-belt of the State of Virginia or the State of North Carolina, and which are cured, treated, smoked, and processed in the town of Smithfield, in the State of Virginia."
1926 Statute passed by General Assembly of Virginia

When I was a kid, my mom used to buy Smithfield ham (which was black on the outside and very hard) to have with turkey at Christmas. She also had an hors o'euvre recipe that she got in Italy which called for Prosciutto ham cut thin and draped over melon slices. She substituted Smithfield ham and had it as part of an elegant luncheon.
One of Smithfield's water towers

One of Smithfield's water towers


and after we drove around town a bit,
The Grove on Grace Street

The Grove on Grace Street


The Grove was built between 1780-90 for Thomas Pierce. This brick residence once stood in a grove of oak trees, which was cut down and sold to the Russian Navy during the Crimean War. The building was once used as a boarding house and a hotel. It was restored in 1956 by Lieutenant Governor and Mrs. A.E.S. Stephens.
867478072017392-Pictures_of_..Smithfield.jpgDowntown

Downtown

Street near the Visitor's Center - Smithfield

Street near the Visitor's Center
The Smithfield Historic District (added 1973 - District - #73002022) is roughly bounded by Pagan River, Little Creek, and town line, Smithfield
Architectural Style: Georgian, Romanesque, Federal
Period of Significance: 1750-1924
South Mason Street

South Mason Street

Mary Jackson House

Mary Jackson House

large_849121532017388-Pictures_of_..Smithfield.jpgBrick church buildings

Brick church buildings

On Cedar Street looking toward Church

On Cedar Street looking toward Church


The large light colored building on the left is Christ Episcopal Church at 111 South Church Street built circ. 1830. The church was built in 1830. The church bell is said to have been tendered to the Confederate Ordinance Department in 1862 during the Civil War.

The red brick building at 117 South Church Street is Wentworth-Barrett House

The square grey house on the near right corner at 130 South Church Street is the Chapman House which was built around 1892 in the typical Victorian style. It was remodeled in the 1930's to its present hipped-roof Georgian style. Once used as the town's bakery, and later as a library. It is now a Bed & Breakfast named "The Library"
Wentworth-Barrett House

Wentworth-Barrett House


This beautiful brick home at 117 South Church Street was one of the first homes built in the newly established town of Smithfield. It was constructed in 1752 for Capt. Samuel Wentworth, a wealthy merchant. He resided here with his wife, Mary, and their five daughters until his death in 1767. The home remained in the Wentworth family until 1802, when it was purchased by Mallory Todd, who cured and shipped Smithfield hams. The Wentworth home was conveyed to Mallory Todd's son and in 1851 he sold it to Robert F. Barrett for $1800. The home would remain on the Barrett family for the next century. By 1954, the Wentworth-Barrett was unoccupied and in need of restoration. Robert F. Barrett's grandson, Frederick Barrett II, restored the family home and introduced the modern conveniences of running water and electricity to a home that had never experienced them.
Hill Street church circ. 1832 across the parking lot

Hill Street church circ. 1832 across the parking lot


The Hill Street Baptist Church was built about 1832 by the Baptists at 110 Hill Street. Two other congregations have since used this church.
large_336082112017387-Pictures_of_..Smithfield.jpg
1876 Pembroke Decatur Gwaltney House (First)

1876 Pembroke Decatur Gwaltney House (First)


This house at 226 South Church Street, which is Victorian in style was built in 1876. Mr. Gwaltney founded the peanut business in Smithfield and later re-established the meat curing business started by Mallory Todd. It had scaffolding on in when I took the picture
Folk house porch

Folk house porch


William D. Folk House (circa 1876) This is a picture of the porch of the Folk House at 309 South Church Street. Built in 1876 and painted red during Victorian times, this was the home of William Folk, Mayor of Smithfield, from 1884-1893. Since that time it has been the home of two more of Smithfield's mayors - Howard W. Gwaltney (1950-1961) and Smithfield's first woman mayor, Florine H. Moore, elected in 1986
Goodrich House c 1886

Goodrich House c 1886


This house at 334 South Church Street was built about 1886. It is elegantly Victorian and is distinguished as the only home in Smithfield with a Mansard roof and stained-glass cupola.
Victorian House and gate

Victorian House and gate


we stopped at Smithfield Station. This is a hotel and marina on the Pagan River - the hotel has a reproduction of the Hooper Strait Light from St. Michaels which you can spend the night in.
Lighthouse part of the hotel

Lighthouse part of the hotel


The lighthouse suite is $229/night.
Lighthouse Hotel in Smithfield VA

Lighthouse Hotel in Smithfield VA


While I was waiting for Bob to finish in the bathroom before we went to our table to eat, I talked to the marina manager. I had read in "Chesapeake Bay" magazine that this might be an interesting place to visit by boat. The marina is pretty close to the town. He told me that the transient rate for the marina is $1.25/ft which includes electricity.
Marina from land

Marina from land


Porch where we ate

Porch where we ate


We had dinner here to avoid the rush hour in Norfolk on the way home. I decided I should have some ham dishes since we were in Smithfield,
so I had the
Smithfield Sampler appetizer for $5.95

Smithfield Sampler appetizer for $5.95


which was thin sliced ham with melon and other fruit (grapes, a strawberry and orange slice). Bob had fried scallops ($19.95 with a huge baked potato, coleslaw and mixed vegetables), and I had a Station Burger ($10.95) which 8 oz. of beef with cheddar, ham, and bacon, and topped with a large amount of crab meat. It came with fries and slaw.
Station Burger ($10.95)

Station Burger ($10.95)


Marina through the screen from the table

Marina through the screen from the table

Historic sign at twilight

Historic sign at twilight


The historic marker in town says:
"The town was established in 1752. The Masonic Hall was built in 1753. Benedict Arnold occupied the town , January 15, 1781. At Cherry Grove Landing near by, skirmishing took place on April 13-15 1864, and the Confederates made a daring capture of a Union vessel on December 5, 1864."
Pagan River at sunset

Pagan River at sunset

Smithfield factory water tower at dusk

Smithfield factory water tower at dusk


March 15th -

We checked out and got fuel at a Crown station that Bob had seen yesterday where the fuel was only $2.099.
Battlefield

Battlefield

Historic Yorktown

Historic Yorktown

large_3560655-Vistors_Center_And_Battlefield.jpg
We stopped at Yorktown Battlefield visitor's center to get our passport stamped,
Flags

Flags


Map of town

Map of town

On Map at the Visitor's Center #11

On Map at the Visitor's Center #11

large_3560656-Vistors_Center_And_Battlefield.jpg
Battlefield

Battlefield

Yorktown Battlefield

Yorktown Battlefield


and then drove through town and I took a picture of the Dudley Digges house
5051197-From_the_front_Yorktown.jpgDudley Digges house

Dudley Digges house


2015825-Dudley_Digges_house_Yorktown.jpgClose- up of the gable

Close- up of the gable


Since Bob's grandmother was a Diggs (without the 'e'). I was always interested in finding information about the family. I was told that the Digg's were two brothers descended from Sir Dudley Diggs (England) and that one settled in Matthews CO VA and spelled the name Diggs and were Catholic and the other family went to MD and spelled the name Digges and was Protestant. That seems backward to me since MD was settled by Roman Catholics, and also since my husband's family was Episopal and were in MD. I found out later that Bob's grandmother's family had originally settled in Virginia. In any case, these were Digges (with the E) and they were in Virginia and probably Church of England (aka Episcopal) Yorktown lawyer Dudley Digges built this classic Virginia style Colonial home in 1760. Like his father Gov. Edward Digges and relatives, Dudley was active in Colonial politics and served as Virginia's Lieutenant Governor and a member of the Virginia Assembly. On June 4, 1781, British forces under Tarleton raided Charlottesville, and captured several legislators, including Yorktown's Dudley Digges and Daniel Boone. Governor Jefferson escaped by hiding in the woods near Monticello. The Dudley Digges house is the only wood-frame building to survive the Siege of Yorktown and the Great Fire. It is one of the oldest surviving buildings in Yorktown. After the siege of Yorktown, the house was used as the headquarters of General George McClellan. After moving through Yorktown, the Union forces used the house as a post headquarters for Fort Yorktown in Yorktown Village.The house was restored in 1960. The house is privately owned and not open to the public. However, it can be seen from Main Street in Yorktown.
Also took photos of the Cole Digges house (the latter is now a restaurant).
2015859-Cole_Digges_House_Yorktown.jpgCole Digges House

Cole Digges House

large_2015837-Historic_Yorktown_the_Town_Yorktown.jpg
We stopped for lunch in Tappahannock at Lowery's. They had shad roe on the menu (that's what my mother and I would have when we would travel through here in the early 60's), but I thought there would be too much to eat. Bob got a tuna salad sandwich and chips for $4.99, and I got a vanilla milkshake (only two scoops of ice cream and not thick - they warned on the menu that it would not be thick, but it was real ice cream), and a pulled chicken bbq sandwich with fries and slaw.
x100_9695.jpgLowry's

Lowry's


We got home about 2, and Bob tried to fix the back bathroom so the pipes would not leak. We turned on the water, and I cleaned the toilet in our bathroom. I got the wireless network set up again. Bob got the TVs plugged back in and attached to the correct cables, and I called DirecTV to get it turned back on. I also called the phone company to switch from message rate service to 65 local calls for free (instead of 8 cents each), and the newspapers to have them started. Then I went to get the mail. We went out for dinner.

March 16th Bob tried refix the plumbing and then to get my car to run, but it would not So he went to get some groceries.

We spent the summer with visits from the children and grandchildren. And also helping with comments, editing and photos for a Intercoastal Waterway Guide called Managing the Waterway They used one of my photos on the cover
large_waterway.JPG

Our next trip in 2005 was a repositioning cruise

Posted by greatgrandmaR 16:35 Archived in USA

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