Virginia Mountains - Vistas, History, & Wineries

Discussion in 'Travel Stories' started by giradman, Aug 23, 2015.

  1. giradman

    giradman
    Expand Collapse
    iPad Expert

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2011
    Messages:
    7,524
    Thanks Received:
    7,403
    The museum gift shop is special - not sure that originals are sold (which would be quite expensive) but good quality posters and prints are available @ a modest fee - below is a description of a poster - I actually wanted to purchase a few reproduction photos but we have SO MUCH artwork on our walls that there is just no room left!

    But we do have some unique Ansel Adams prints of Half Dome in Yosemite Park - made 'to order' from his original negatives, as also described below - our two photos are also shown (detail is MUCH better 'in person' - these images are only 500+ KB on disc) - SO, if you are really into 'steam locomotives' and have plenty of wall space in your home, I cannot imagine you walking away w/o a couple of these train pictures. Dave :)
    .
    Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 10.27.20 AM.png Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 10.29.11 AM.png Adams_HalfDome1 copy.png Adams_HalfDome2 copy.png
     
  2. giradman

    giradman
    Expand Collapse
    iPad Expert

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2011
    Messages:
    7,524
    Thanks Received:
    7,403
    Lexington, Virginia - My Favorite Town in the Shenandoah Valley - Part 1

    Lexington is my favorite town in the Valley for many reasons: 1) History & the Civil War; 2) Natural beauty; 3) Burial sites of Robert E. Lee & Stonewall Jackson (sans left arm); 4) Washington & Lee University w/ the Lee Chapel; 5) VMI (Virginia Military Institute); and 6) George Marshal Museum & Library. Over two posts, I'll briefly discuss all of these topics - quoted below just an introduction to the town (check link for more info!).

    The town is surrounded by beautiful mountain vistas (see first pic) and the downtown is hilly (2nd pic of Main Street looking toward the gray VMI). The visitor's center is excellent and horse carriage rides are a delight (below a carriage stopped near the Stonewall Jackson house); the rides meander the back streets w/ views of historic and wonderful houses, including the President's House of Washington & Lee University.

    Thomas J. Jackson (1824-1863) (a.k.a. Stonewall Jackson after First Bull Run), a West Point graduate, was a VMI Professor at the start of the Civil War - after the first battle of Bull Run (discussed in one of my other travelogues), he became Robert E. Lee's best tactical general - see second quote below for a description of his war accomplishments. His house is shown below and can be visited - he was an eccentric person so the stories are fun to hear while in awe of being there. He was wounded by his own men after the Battle of Chancellorsville and his left arm had to be amputated - he died from complications about a week later; his left arm is buried just below Fredericksburg but the 'rest' of him is in the Lexington Cemetery named in this honor (see the couple of pics below; his burial monument is there and was visited by his commander, Robert E. Lee).

    Washington & Lee University is considered one of the best 'liberal arts' schools of higher education in the Southeast (see third quote below). During the Civil War, the institution was known as Washington College (named of course after the First President of the USA); after the war, Robert E. Lee was named President of the College (which was subsequently renamed in his honor) - Lee and his invalid wife lived in the President's House shown below - Lee's horse, Traveller, outlived his rider and is buried on the grounds. Lee Chapel on the University grounds is a MUST visit (shown below near bottom) - there is a small museum and the tomb of Robert E. Lee.

    Next post on VMI & George Marshall - Dave :)

    .
    1Lexington_Vista.jpg 2Lexington_DowntownMainVMI.jpeg 3Lexington_CarriageRide.jpg 4Lexington_HistoricHouse.jpeg 5Lexington_JacksonHouse.jpg 6Lexington_JacksonGrave.jpg 7Lexington_JacksonLeftArm.png 8Lexington_WandLeeUniv2.jpg 9Lexington_WandLeeUniv.jpg 10Lexington_PresidentHouse.jpg 11Lexington_LeeAsPresident.png 12Lexington_LeeChapel.jpg 13Lexington_LeeChapelMuseum.jpg 14Lexington_RELeeTomb.jpg
     
    #92 giradman, Sep 8, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2015
  3. giradman

    giradman
    Expand Collapse
    iPad Expert

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2011
    Messages:
    7,524
    Thanks Received:
    7,403
    Lexington, Virginia - My Favorite Town in the Shenandoah Valley - Part 2

    Well, there is more to see in this mountain town, which like Roanoke is also near the Blue Ridge Parkway - once we were on the Parkway in Virginia and I got off, drove into Lexington where we took a carriage ride and had a light lunch - :)

    But this post will center on the Virginia Military Institute, George Marshall, & his Museum and Library. A brief history of the military college is quoted below, the campus shown on the attached map, several road plaques further elaborating on the school's history, a few images of the cadets, and finally a monument on the campus to Stonewall Jackson.

    George C. Marshall (1880-1959) graduated from VMI in 1901 - his military, leadership roles, and accomplishments are described in the second quote and included: 1) Chief military advisor to President Franklin D. Roosevelt; 2) Secretaries of State & Defense; 3) Co-ordinator of the Marshall Plan; 4) Nobel Peace Prize recipient - his picture, honorary monument, and Marshall Plan proposal are shown below. Finally, the George Marshall Museum & Library is not to be missed.

    SO, hopefully in these two posts, the reasons I love to visit Lexington should be evident - Dave

    .
    VMI_1_Map.png VMI_2_RoadPlaque.png VMI_3_RoadPlaque2.png VMI_4_Cadets.jpg VMI_5_Cadets2.jpg VMI_6_JacksonMonument.JPG VMI_7_GeorgeMarshall.JPEG VMI_8_MarshallMonument.png VMI_9_MarshallPlan.png VMI_10_MarshallMuseum_Library.jpg
     
  4. scifan57

    scifan57
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2011
    Messages:
    30,183
    Thanks Received:
    12,118
    Thanks for the wonderful posts. You should try writing travel books, your posts are that good.
     
  5. giradman

    giradman
    Expand Collapse
    iPad Expert

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2011
    Messages:
    7,524
    Thanks Received:
    7,403
    Thanks Scifan.. for your kind comments - for 34 years, I was an academic radiologist and wrote or co-wrote over 200 medical articles and over 40 book chapters, in addition to writing or co-writing nearly a dozen books. So, helping out on a variety of forums keeps me in practice and is enjoyable. I'm glad others appreciate the efforts. Dave :)
     
  6. giradman

    giradman
    Expand Collapse
    iPad Expert

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2011
    Messages:
    7,524
    Thanks Received:
    7,403
    Lexington, Virginia - Where General's Horses are even famous! :)

    Well, I was going to stop w/ my previous post but there is yet another story about two horses named Traveller & Little Sorrel - opening paragraph quoted below from this interesting LINK. Lee acquired the 4-year old Traveller in 1861 - the horse was said to be 16 hands (see definition quoted below). After the war, the horse relocated to Lexington, Virginia, when Lee accepted the presidency of the then Washington College. Lee died in 1870 and the horse a year later; in 1907, the skeleton was mounted and returned to Washington and Lee University, and was on display until 1929. The bones were finally reinterred outside of Lee Chapel in 1971, one hundred years after the horse’s death.

    Little Sorrel was a gelding captured at Harper's Ferry in 1861 and was 15 hands - Jackson liked 'smaller' horses and was riding the horse when wounded on May 2, 1863 at the battle of Chancellorsville. In 1883, Little Sorrel was donated to the Virginia Military Institute (VMI), where the animal grazed the parade grounds for the next two years; the horse was then relocated to the Confederate Soldiers’ Home in Richmond, Virginia, where he in 1886 at 36 years of age; a taxidermist named Frederic Webster was asked to preserve Little Sorrel’s remains. Webster mounted the hide on a framework of plaster, keeping the animal’s skeleton for himself. In 1949, the hide was returned to VMI where it remains on display to this day. That same year, the horse’s skeletal remains were given to VMI, and in 1997 were cremated and interred on the school’s parade grounds at the foot of the Stonewall Jackson statue.

    First pic below Jackson on Little Sorrel & Lee on Traveller - their last meeting before Jackson's demise. Next four images related to the story of Lee's horse above, and the remaining pics to Jackson's horse - much of the above writing has been 'condensed' from the link. Dave :)

    .
    LeeJackson_LastMtg.jpg TravellerRoadSx.jpg Traveller_Lee1.png TravellerBones.png TavellerGrave.png LittleSorrel.png LittleSorrel2.png LittleSorrelBones.png
     
  7. scifan57

    scifan57
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2011
    Messages:
    30,183
    Thanks Received:
    12,118
    Thanks. I learned something new today. I didn't know the post-war story of the horses until I read your post.
     
  8. giradman

    giradman
    Expand Collapse
    iPad Expert

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2011
    Messages:
    7,524
    Thanks Received:
    7,403
    You're welcome - some great stories - love horses and their history w/ humans (remember some video production that was excellent but cannot recall the name - you probably own it?).

    About 10 years ago, Susan & I started taking 'horse lessons' together @ a local ranch - we bought shoes, helmets, etc. and loved being around the animals - very friendly (at least the ones we rode) - however, one of her friends (about our age), fell off a horse and broke her pelvis in 3-4 places, so we gave up the activity - we actually took our helmets & shoes along on car trips and sought out horse riding experiences - below a pic of us at Myrtle Beach in '09 about to ride through the woods and onto the beach w/ a guide - Dave :)

    P.S. I think that I've lost some weight - hooray! :D
    .
    MB_Horse3Web copy.jpg
     
  9. giradman

    giradman
    Expand Collapse
    iPad Expert

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2011
    Messages:
    7,524
    Thanks Received:
    7,403
    Abingdon, VA & Bristol, TN/VA

    Well, there is yet another destination to mention along I-81 in the southwesterly direction toward the Tennessee border, i.e. Abingdon, Virginia - see quote below. The town is probably most famous for the Barter Theater, the state theater of Virginia and puts on numerous plays, dramas, and musicals (check the link if traveling through the area for the schedule) - we've probably attended 4-5 productions mainly musicals (one about Jimmie Rodgers and another about the Carter Family). A short drive for us - see the maps below, just up HW-52 to I-74/77, then I-81. We always stay @ the Martha Washington Inn, a historic site (see 3rd paragraph in the first quote below) - click on the link for some gorgeous pics of the inside; the restaurant went a little 'downhill' in our last stay, but hopefully has improved - just a really short walk to the theaters (a few pics of the Inn attached); the Barter Theater has an older building and a smaller Annex across the street - we've been in both; the town has a few museums, carriage rides, and plenty of shopping including a converted train depot w/ multiple artisan places to visit.

    A short drive down I-81 toward the Tennessee border is the town of Bristol, which straddles the VA-TN state line - there in the summer of 1927, Ralph Peer recorded a number of 'Appalachia mountain music' performers including Ernest Stoneman (not shown), Jimmie Rodgers, and the Carter Family (Maybelle left; AP, center who was married to Sara, on the right in the pic - Maybelle later became Johnny Cash's mother-in-law). These are known as the Bristol Sessions - check the link for more details, plus the second quote below w/ some selected paragraphs. The building where the sessions were recorded no longer exists but a wall mural (also below) dedicates the site and frequent musical performances take place on the modest stage. Many, many country music musicians and stars were from these mountain areas in the states seen - another from nearby (not in the 1927 sessions) were the famous Stanley Brothers. This small corner of Virginia where North Carolina & Tennessee meet is quite special. Dave :)

    .
    AbingdonMap1.png AbingdonMap2.png MarthaWashingtonInn2.jpg MarthaWashingtonInn1.jpg BarterTheater1.jpg BarterTheater2.jpg MainStCourtHouse.jpg Abingdon_ArtsDepot.png Bristo_Sign.png RalphPeer.jpg JimmieRodgers.png CarterFamily.png StanleyBros.png
     
  10. scifan57

    scifan57
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2011
    Messages:
    30,183
    Thanks Received:
    12,118
    That was quite interesting, learning about the roots of modern country music.
     

Share This Page


Search tags for this page
booker t washington birth place
,
label shenandoah valley on map
,
lee grant appomattox court house national geographic
,
shenandoah mountains fall
,
shenandoah mountains virginia map
,
shenandoah valley map
,
shenendoah valley va
,

thomas jefferson house poplar forest

,
va shenandoah valley