Category Archives: Bacon’s Castle

Mystery At The Castle

As Motor Man and I were leaving Bacon’s Castle last Sunday at the close of the “Romance At The Castle” event, I recalled this picture of my late Aunt Lucille that was taken of her standing on the old mill stone at the front door.

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So I asked Motor Man to take a picture of me, standing on it.

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Much has changed about the entrance since the photo of Aunt Lucille was taken: the steps are different, the porch has been removed.

But, is there something else different?  Is that, in fact, the same mill stone?

I just always assumed that it was the same one, but it certainly doesn’t look like it when comparing these two photos.

Marshall and I know a couple of folks with ties to the house who may have some answers. We’re going to do a little investigating to determine if we can solve this mystery.

Stay tuned…

~These Days Of Mine~

Romance At The Castle

Those of you who have been following my blog for a while know of my love for and connection to the historic home, Bacon’s Castle. I have several new subscribers, so if you’d like to learn more, please click on the Bacon’s Castle category to the right.

A few weeks ago, I was asked to take part in “Romance At The Castle”,  a Valentine event taking place there last Sunday. The afternoon included wine tastings, food and tours of the house.  Carol, the site manager of the property, asked me to give a sort of “intro” to the tours by sharing my family’s history at the house.

Since Motor Man and I were married in front of the fireplace in the same room where I was to speak with the visitors, we had our picture taken in “our” spot.

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The following video is a little dark, and the audio isn’t great, so I apologize for that. We wanted to be discreet about filming and were limited as to where to place the Go-pro camera.  Several of my family members and friends asked to see my part of Sunday’s program, and the easiest way for me to do that is to share it here on the blog. (Perhaps, if your browser supports it, you can use the full-screen option and “up” the volume a bit.)

There were three tours Sunday, and I spoke to each group. Motor Man and I had a great time; we were honored to be included in such a wonderful event.

As we were leaving, Motor Man took this picture of a contrail. He also captured just a bit of the sunset…

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….as well as a glimpse of that beautiful old house.

It was a nice way to end a romantic afternoon at The Castle.

~These Days Of Mine~

An Honor For Me; A Giveaway For You

You may recall this post from March, 2015, in which I shared that a photo of mine of Bacon’s Castle had been featured in Early American Life magazine. The editors had contacted me to ask permission to use it for the article after first seeing it here on These Days.

In our correspondence, I mentioned that my mother and her family lived in Bacon’s Castle during the 1920’s and 30’s.  The editor then asked if I would consider writing an article for the magazine about my family’s life at “The Castle”.

Of course, I jumped at the chance replied that I would. I never miss the opportunity to share my love of Bacon’s Castle with anyone willing to listen…or in this case, read.

The article is in the February issue, on new stands now. And let me just say that I consider it quite an honor to have my story published.

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(Behind me is a collection of Bacon’s Castle memorabilia: a cross-stitch I did of The Castle, old postcards I’ve purchased on E-bay, a decorative plate given to us as a wedding gift, and a bag for the Bacon’s Castle Brand ham, once private labeled by a local ham company and sold at The Castle. There’s also a sketch of the house drawn by my great-nephew and stitchery by my niece.  Another niece also did a pastel of Bacon’s Castle for me, but it hangs in another location in our home.)

To celebrate my article being published, I’m giving away two copies of the magazine.  Simply leave a comment here on the blog, and your name will be entered.  The winners will be announced next week.

I’m so appreciative to the staff at Early American Life for allowing me to share a little of Bacon’s Castle with their readers.

~These Days Of Mine~

Random Five Friday

Happy Friday! Time for randomness:

1.) The other evening on our way to dinner, Marshall spotted a sun dog in the western sky. (Just one more thing my son has taught me….)

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2.) I do believe that I have my first photo entry for the 2019 Corolla Wild Horse Calendar contest.

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3.) On a recent trip to Clarksville, VA, Motor Man and I discovered yet another LOVE sign.  Virginia’s state motto is “Virginia Is For Lovers”, so signs spelling out the word LOVE are scattered over the state.  Clarksville has many recreational activities related to its lakes, and the land was once home to the Occoneechee Indians (thus the dream catcher) . We thought this was a very original sign.

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4.) Another busy weekend ahead: antiquing and “live” wreath-shopping with a friend tomorrow. We aren’t tackling the horse-head wreaths again this year. We had a fun time making them last Christmas, but it was a LOT of work.

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5.) Santa is scheduled to be at Bacon’s Castle tomorrow.  I may just have to stop by to take photos.  (Any excuse to visit the Castle… )

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Enjoy your weekend!

~These Days Of Mine~

Thanking The Giver

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“Count your blessings….and thank the Giver.”  (unknown)

~These Days Of Mine~

“47th Cousins, 20 Times Removed”

A couple of years ago, I received notification of a new comment on this blog post that I had written the previous year. The commenter’s name was Megan, and she had discovered the post while researching Smith’s Fort Plantation in Surry County.  Megan and I began communicating by email and soon learned that we are very distantly related.

In that post, I wrote that this property was purchased by Thomas Warren in the 1600’s from Thomas Rolfe, the son of Pocahontas and John Rolfe. And I just happened to mention that Thomas Warren was my 8th great grandfather.

Turns out, Thomas was Megan’s 10th great grandfather.  Megan and I became friends on Facebook, and she said that when she visited this area again, she would contact me so we could meet. (She lives in Ohio.)

We finally met in person on Wednesday. Megan, her mom, and her best friend were in the area visiting nearby Williamsburg. We decided to meet at (where else?) Smith’s Fort Plantation. We had our picture taken in front of a huge old magnolia tree. Hmm…wonder if it was there during Thomas’s time?

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Smith’s Fort wasn’t open for tours on Wednesday, but while we stood out front, chatting, a car pulled in the drive. The driver was a man named Tom, and although I didn’t ask what his exact title was, I’m guessing he may be the site coordinator for Smith’s Fort. When he found out we were Warren descendants, he offered to show us the house.

What a great tour we had. And a special surprise: in one of the upstairs bedchambers, a King James Bible, printed in 1621, is on display. Megan’s mom, Linda, asked Tom if he would look  inside to see if the name John Bill was shown as the printer.  John Bill was one of Linda’s ancestors and was a printer for King James during that time period.  Tom checked for us, and sure enough, John Bill was the printer.

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Here’s a close-up.  Just under the words  “Printed In London”, you can see the names Bonham Norton and John Bill.  And note the Roman Numerals for 1621.

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My online research regarding the King’s Printing House returned this: “In the Jacobean period the King’s Printers were Robert Barker (1570–1645), and the two Shropshire men, Bonham Norton (1564–1635) and John Bill (1576–1630). At this time the office of the King’s Printer included the privilege to print the Bible and the Book of Common Prayer in English.

Since Megan’s connection to Smith’s Fort was on her father’s side, we all thought it quite interesting to find the name of one of her mother’s ancestors in an artifact within the house.

After our tour, Tom graciously agreed to pose for a picture with Megan and me.

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We left Smith’s Fort, and on our way to Smithfield for lunch, we stopped briefly at Bacon’s Castle, just because I can’t pass up a chance to share that special old house with those who’ve never been there. It, too, was closed that day, but we took photos of the exterior and I told them a little about the house and property. That’s Megan’s friend, Diana, on the right.

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Our visit ended with lunch at Smithfield Station and a photo of the four of us. Linda, Megan’s mom,  is on the left.

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(Last week,  I told Marshall that I was going to meet my “47th cousin, twenty times removed”.  Maybe one day, if we compare our genealogy notes, Megan and I can determine what our exact relationship is.)

~These Days Of Mine~

Blessing Of The Hounds

Motor Man and I had a new experience yesterday. We were invited to attend the Blessing of the Hounds ceremony prior to a fox hunt being held at Bacon’s Castle.

Eddie, who invited us, is a local resident, and we’ve known each other since childhood.  His wife is one of the masters of the hunt organization. Eddie and I are friends on Facebook, and he had seen the photos I post of “my” Outer Banks horses. He thought I might like to be there to take pictures of the horses on the Castle property. Motor Man and I knew nothing about fox hunts, but Eddie was nice enough to explain much of it to us.

We didn’t know beforehand, but a friend of ours officiated in blessing not only the hounds, but also the riders, the horses and the property owners.

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Following the Blessing and the riders partaking of the Stirrup Cup, Motor Man and I watched as they headed toward the fields for the hunt.

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You know I was a happy girl: horses and Bacon’s Castle, all in the same morning.

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Motor Man and I rode with Eddie in his truck to the fields behind the Castle. He positioned his vehicle so we could watched as the hounds and riders approached.

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The event was originally scheduled for last month, but inclement weather forced it to be postponed until yesterday, when the weather definitely cooperated.

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I’m glad Eddie realized this was something I’d like to see, and thank him for teaching us a little about the sport.

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It’s a nice addition to my Bacon’s Castle memories.

(If you’re new to the blog and wondering about Bacon’s Castle, this post will explain my connection.)

~These Days Of Mine~