Thursday, June 11, 2009

Richmond, Virginia, Maymont Mansion

Today Bill & I started out by going to McGeorge's Rolling Hills RV Store for a couple of screws for our ladder. We figured if they didn't have them we could always go to Lowe's. Well, after spending money on a folding step, a new slinky for the sewer hose, toilet paper that was on sale, we came out with 2 bags, a box & no screws. So off to Lowe's we go. The picture below is right across the street that goes to McGeorge's & the entrance street to Bass Pro Shop where we went yesterday. After securing the needed screws at Lowe's (Thank you Bob - our friend from Ashland that works there), we set out for Richmond to see if we could find our way around a little. This man on a horse looked like he was riding out of the sky right down Rt. 161. Bill snapped the picture & found out it was Stonewall Jackson. (statue of course!) But look at the trees, you can tell how big it was!
This is a typical colonial style home here in Richmond. Can't you just place yourself back in that time period?
Another statue Bill snapped Upon a closer look we found it was Christopher Columbus.
We finally arrived at our destination - Maymont, A Gilded Age Estate on 100 acres of beautiful gardens, park, arboretum. In it's prime, it was cared for by 40 gardeners/caretakers. Again, I'm sorry you can only see pictures of outside, once we got to the home where the real beauty lay, you couldn't take any pictures. Snookie, where are you when I need you???? There was only our tour guide, Don, Bill & I, a babysitter & 3 elementary children in our group. There was no "hip shooting" here!
This was one of the beautiful gardens behind the Carriage House. Beautiful lilies
I only snapped this picture because those of you back home reading this will know why. Betsy Adams was the name of a neighbor girl where I grew up. Her father sang at Bill's & my wedding.
The following pictures depict the mode of travel during this era. They were absolutely gorgeous. Very well taken care of.
The sleigh had just been refurbished by the Amish of Pennsylvania. Bright colors were used so they would show up in the snow.
Look at that wax job!
I hope you can read most of the signs. I don't want to retype what is on them. It's going on 11pm!

Three other styles of horse drawn carriages.
The trees on the land were just beautiful & HUGE!
This is a side view of Maymont. It has 33 rooms in the mansion. It is a rare home in that no intervening families or adaptive conversion separate what we see now from the original owners 32 year occupancy.
The home was owned by James & Sallie Dooley. They lived in this home from 1893 until her death in 1925. The furnishings are almost all original, many from France & Italy. Mr. Dooley was known as the business leader of the New South. The area was a war-torn region & he provided major investments in rebuilding & linking small, scatter rail lines that had been destroy during the war. He knew what needed to be done to get the infrastructure of Virginia on the right track after the war & he had the means & the knowledge. He was very goal oriented. He was from a wealthy family & at the time of his death he left 3 Million Dollars to St. Joseph Orphanage. Also, the grounds & building were to become open to the public as a museum upon the death of his wife. She lived here until her death in 1925. Within 6 months the home was open to the pubic, March 1926. Mrs. Dooley loved gardens, writing poetry & stories. These writings expressed her passion & love of gardens. She, too, left a great deal of money to the Episcopal Church when she died.
You would be very impressed with the inside of this mansion. If you are ever in Richmond, VA, please visit. It was only a donation of $5.00/person & well worth the tour. Bill was very impressed!
This shows the portico where you would be let out of your carriage.
This is the side door where our tour began with Don, a former principal. Notice the lights at the side of the steps. I took a close up later.
This was a side/front view.
One of the many gazebos on the property.
Another huge tree called a Deodar Cedar.
Looking toward the top
A close up of the ornate wrought iron lights.
Our guide told us many, many interesting facts both about the home & the life style of the wealthy, social families that visited the Dooley's.
That about ends our day. It was very hot & humid again today. My ankles & feet are swollen by the end of the day! Time to go to bed & put them up!
Tomorrow we will be going to Scotchtown with our friend Linda A. to see where Patrick Henry lived from 1771 to 1777.
So, until next time.................The Traveling Cardinal's

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