53 Chapters
Medium 9781588438690

St. Michaels & Tilghman Island

Norman Renouf Hunter Publishing ePub

The Town That Fooled The British

Numerous charming, historic small towns dot the coastline of the Chesapeake Bay, but you will be hard-pressed to find one more pleasing than St. Michaels (www.bluecrab.org/st.michaels). The initial land grants for this area were given in the middle of the 17th century, but the town derived its name a couple of decades later from the Episcopal Parish of St. Michael the Archangel, established here in 1677. Shipbuilding and tobacco were the earliest major industries, but active growth did not start until the Revolutionary War. Then, and during the War of 1812, St. Michaels was an important center for the building of privateers, blockade runners and naval barges. Inevitably, this brought unwelcome attention from the British naval forces. It was during an attack that St. Michaels earned its nickname, The Town That Fooled The British. On August 10th, 1813, a number of British barges shelled the town, but the residents had been forewarned. They cleverly raised and secured lanterns to the masts of ships and the tops of trees. As a result, the incoming cannon balls overshot the buildings. So effective was this ploy that only a single house was struck; to this day, it is known as the Cannonball House.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781588438690

Mountain Lake

Norman Renouf Hunter Publishing ePub

Try Dirty Dancing for Good, Clean Fun

There are only two natural freshwater lakes in the state of Virginia, and they couldn't be more different, either in location or style. One - the one that doesn't concern us here - is Lake Drummond, in the Dismal Swamp near Norfolk. The other is across the state, 3,872 feet above sea level in the Allegheny Mountains. No wonder it's called Mountain Lake.

This lake is said to be over 2,000 years old, but the first recorded sighting was on May 11, 1751, by the famous surveyor and frontiersman, Christopher Gist. Before his employment by the Ohio Land Company, for whom he was working at the time of this discovery, Gist undertook missions for the Colony of Virginia. His leader on those occasions was no less a personage than George Washington, whose life he is reputed to have saved on two occasions.

Scientists have determined that Mountain Lake was formed when a rock slide dammed the north end of the valley and collected organic debris which filled in around the rocks to form a watertight seal. It is just under half a mile wide and 0.7 miles long; and although the southern end is shallow, it deepens, gradually, to reach a maximum of 100 feet at the northern end. The water, fed by underground streams, is not warm, and the temperature rarely rises above 72F. The setting, though, is really stunning. Thousands of trees fill the land surrounding the lake, which drops steeply down to the water's edge, the altitude giving the impression that you are standing on top of the world.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781588438690

Middleburg

Norman Renouf Hunter Publishing ePub

Where the Wine is Fine & the Hunt is On

Middleburg was named entirely for its location, halfway between Alexandria and Winchester on the 18th-century Ashby Gap trading route (today's Route 50). While Middleburg got its name in a mundane manner, it is anything but.

Located in the very heart of the lush, rolling countryside - with the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains slowly rising to the west - this area retains the aura of the 1700s. Here you will not only feel you've traveled back in time, you'll also think you've been transported to a village in the English countryside. If you time it right, you'll even see fox hunters riding to hounds. This is horse country with a capital 'H.' All around the area, you will notice huge well-kept equestrian estates. You'll also note that many of the village's specialty shops are laden with horsey and hunting items. And everywhere, the fox motif! Make no mistake, this is an affluent area. However, don't expect people to show it in their dress. In Middleburg, dressing down has been elevated to a fine art.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781588438690

Hanover County

Norman Renouf Hunter Publishing ePub

A Railroad Town Sets the Stage for Romance

Located about 15 miles north of Richmond and 85 miles south of Washington, DC is a county both rich in history and typically Virginian.

The history of this area's original inhabitants is recalled by the Pamunkey River on the county's northern boundary. It was named for the Indians who still maintain a reservation on the lower part of the river in neighboring King William County. In the late 17th century, English colonists patented this land and developed warehouses here to house the area's tobacco crop. During the 18th century, Hanover County was at the very center of Virginia's "Great Awakening," which was led by the Reverend Samuel Davies, founder of the Hanover Presbytery. During this period - in 1749, to be exact - Newcastle was incorporated as Hanover's first town. (It only narrowly missed becoming the state capital!) The county was also the birthplace of two great orators - Patrick Henry and William Clay - both of whom who helped shape this country's early history. Hanover's strategic location just north of Richmond made it the site of numerous battles and skirmishes during the Civil War. After that, the residents settled down to a quiet, rural life - until the coming of the railroad.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781588438690

Scottsville

Norman Renouf Hunter Publishing ePub

This Sleepy River Town is a Dream Come True

Let your imagination roam. Where do you want to take the love of your life for a peaceful and undisturbed romantic break?

How about an early 19th-century house that was once left to ruin, but has now been lovingly and painstakingly restored? Each of the rooms has been individually furnished with a tasteful combination of antiques and fabrics. The proprietor is an accomplished chef capable of whipping up distinctive European and Mediterranean cuisine. It has its own vineyards yielding delicious wines. Located on 50 acres dotted with gazebos, ponds and forests, it is high on a hill above the James River. It boasts both spectacular views of the distant Blue Ridge Mountains and proximity to a 250-year-old town of considerable historical interest.

High Meadows Vineyard & Mountain Sunset Inn is all of this - and more. Toward the end of his 30-year service in the Navy, Peter Sushka and his partner Mary Jae Abbitt were stationed in London, where he was the US/UK liaison naval officer. During this period they became interested in country inns and auberges - so much so, that they decided to open one in the US after his retirement. Planning ahead, they accumulated antiques and other unique pieces of furniture while still in Europe. During visits back home, they started searching for a suitable property. Finally, in 1984, they discovered and fell in love with High Meadows. The original Federalist-style building dated from 1832 and a Victorian addition was made in 1882. By 1984, it was merely an empty shell. But this did not discourage Peter and Mary Jae. They purchased the property in 1985 and began the arduous task of restoration. First came extensive hours of research and documentation. They wanted to capture the original character as authentically as possible, while adding the modern facilities expected by discriminating guests. A 1-acre vineyard was installed, and High Meadows' high quality Pinot Noir grapes now produce over 180,000 bottles of wine annually.

See All Chapters

See All Chapters