Category Archives: Bacon’s Castle

It’s A Halloween Tradition

Being the proud Mom that I am, each year, on Halloween, I share a video. Not just any video, but the one that was filmed at Bacon’s Castle, and features my son, Marshall, who was an interpreter there at the time.

Here’s a little background for those of you new to the blog:

In 2007, just in time for Halloween, our local PBS station, WHRO, planned a series of video vignettes about supposedly haunted places in the Hampton Roads, Virginia area. 

The folks from WHRO visited Bacon’s Castle and decided that a video about the “Castle Light” would be part of the series.  The video would be just a few minutes in length, and would air with other videos in one of two thirty-minute shows.

WHRO staff members visited the Castle a few weeks in advance and, while there, met Marshall. They asked him on the spot if he’d play the “male lead”, and he agreed.

Of all the stories, pictures and events involving my family and Bacon’s Castle, the two most special to me, by far, are my wedding to Motor Man that took place there in 2002, and Marshall appearing in this video.

~These Days Of Mine~

 

 

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Make Your Voice Heard

Now, doesn’t that sound official?

As I mentioned recently,  it seems that writing my blog sometimes seems like homework “these days”.  I’m contemplating perhaps going to no schedule and just posting at will.

So I thought I’d conduct a little poll, my first ever, I believe. If you would, please select what subject you like to see MOST here on the blog.

 

Hopefully this will give me the little push I need, so that blogging will be more fun than “work”. Writing is easy: it’s the subject matter that’s tough.

Thanks for reading and sharing your opinion.

~These Days Of Mine~

 

 

Eight And Counting

Eight years ago tomorrow, I published my very first blog post. If you’d like to read it, click here. From my first thoughts of having a blog, I knew my initial post would be about Bacon’s Castle.

So to celebrate my “blogaversary”, I thought I would post eight thoughts about blogging:

1.) In the beginning, I blogged seven days a week. Looking back, I don’t know how I came up with that many topics. Some weeks now, I struggle to write three posts.

2.) At one time in my blogging career, I had an average of 30-40 comments per post. But I think many of those comments were left by fellow bloggers, many of whom are no longer blogging. (And apparently, no longer reading my blog.)

3.) On average, on days that I publish a post, around one hundred people read visit my blog. On days that there is no published post, that number is around fifty. But apparently, these are VERY shy folks, because comments usually range around ten per post.

4.) Blogging about Bacon’s Castle has reconnected me with at least one long-lost relative. Those posts have also brought me in contact with some distant relatives whom I would never have known if not for blogging.

5.) I’ve met several bloggers in person: a few who are fellow Virginia residents, but also blogging friends from Michigan, Alaska and Texas. Those out of state gals were visiting Virginia at various times and for various reasons, and we were able to meet.  There are still a few more bloggers on that to-meet list.

6.) Although my comments are few in number now, I do have faithful readers who comment on every post.  And I look forward to their input on my posts. And it’s always fun to run into friends and acquaintances in town and hear them say: “I love reading your blog!”.

7.) There have been times that I kept a close eye on my “stats” showing how many times each post has been viewed, but I really don’t give that much thought these days. In fact, I had to research to find the info for item # 3 above. Although sometimes writing the blog feels like homework, I’m planning to continue posting.

8.) Through these eight years, there have been many posts that have special meaning to me. But, I think, this one is my very favorite.

And just for the record, today’s is post #1897.

Thanks for joining me here at “These Days”. Here’s to at least another 1897!

~These Days Of Mine~

 

 

 

 

Descendants’ Day

On Saturday, Preservation Virginia, the organization that owns Bacon’s Castle, hosted “Descendants’ Day” there at the property. 58 of us whose ancestors had either owned the Castle, lived there or worked there attended.

Descendants of the Allen family were there (Arthur Allen built Bacon’s Castle, known then as Allen’s Brick House, in 1665. It was passed down through several generations of Allens).

I also saw name tags of Bacon family members (Nathaniel Bacon was most likely never at Bacon’s Castle, but his followers briefly took over the property and used it as a fortress during Bacon’s Rebellion in 1676. Following that, the house was known as Bacon’s Castle.)

I met members of the Hankins family (who owned the house during the Civil War era).

Although I didn’t meet them,  I’m sure other families were represented.  But, to my knowledge, I was the only Warren family descendant that attended. (William Allen Warren, an ancestor of my maternal grandmother, bought Bacon’s Castle in 1880, and was the first of three generations of Warrens to own the property.)

Staff members from Preservation Virginia were there to greet us, give tours, answer questions and help with genealogical research.

We were asked to bring old family photos, so, with Motor Man’s help, I put together this collage.

My display was set up in one of the upstairs rooms. There, I met Mr. Johnson, who was very interested in my photos and actually remembered my grandparents. He is a quiet, humble man who told me that, as a young child, he lived in a house there on the property.  We were looking out of one of the windows in the direction of that house when he softly said: “I sure would like to have a picture of that.” So I went to Will, one of the staff members that I’d been speaking with earlier, and mentioned it to him. He immediately asked Mr. Johnson for his address and promised to send him a photo.

A short time later, Motor Man and I caught up with Mr. Johnson on the porch of the house he lived in many years ago. This house was originally used as slave quarters, and funding is now in place for it to be renovated.

Before the event ended, we gathered for a group photo. I’m third from the right in the picture, standing behind the railing. And yes, that’s my buddy, Mr. Johnson, standing beside me.

Of course, since Motor Man and I were married at Bacon’s Castle, we never pass up the opportunity to have our picture taken there.

It was a very nice event, one that I was honored to attend.  As I mentioned to someone, I’m always ready to talk about the Castle.

I’m sure our ancestors would have been pleased that we gathered to remember them at this very special place that connects us all.

~These Days Of Mine~

 

 

 

 

Peanuts At The Castle

Last weekend, Motor Man and I ran an errand in neighboring Surry County. Our travels took us right through my tiny home town of Bacon’s Castle.  I noticed from the main highway that a local farmer was harvesting peanuts (or we used to say: “pickin’ peanuts”) in the field beside historic Bacon’s Castle.

You might think that it would be confusing having a town as well as a historic house with the same name. Those of us who grew up in Bacon’s Castle learned from our parents: we referred to the village and surrounding vicinity as “The Castle”, and the house, of course, was “The Castle House.” Problem solved.

Of course, we stopped for some photos.

For those of you unfamiliar with peanut crops, these are the vines, which are baled and will be fed to livestock through the winter. (This post I wrote in 2012 will give you even more info on peanut farming.)

This next photo, by far, was my favorite of the pictures I took last weekend. You can see the famous triple chimneys of “The Castle House” through the trees.

And while I was there, I couldn’t help but think of my granddaddy, who once farmed those same peanut fields in the 1920’s and 30’s.

Back in those days, they “shocked” the peanuts, which means they stacked them vertically on poles to dry. Modern-day farming is so much easier.

Although my mom and her family moved from the Bacon’s Castle farm many years before I was born, I still feel such a strong connection to them every time I’m there.  And Sunday was no exception.

~These Days Of Mine~

 

Random Five Friday

Five randoms for a hot, humid July Friday.

1.) In our area, the heat index has been over 100 for the past few days.  Early morning is just about the only time to do anything outdoors when that is the case. Bonus: that’s usually a gorgeous time of day.

2.) One of my outdoor chores recently has been trying to cover some of my plants in netting to protect them from these critters.  The deer repellent sprays I’ve been using in the past seem to be ineffective these days. (Yes, the deer are very charming.  And equally as destructive.)

3.) Bacon’s Castle is always beautiful in my eyes, but on a recent day, the white clouds in a perfectly blue sky made for an amazing backdrop.

4.) I think this weekend will be spent purchasing a new computer. “Someone” has so many pictures on this one, it’s running low out of storage space.  That same “someone” is dreading the change.

5.) This post began with a sunrise, so it’s only fitting that it end with a sunset.  Last week, my niece and her son visited, and they joined Motor Man and me for a sail on the tall ship, Alliance, out of Yorktown.  That is the George P. Coleman bridge in the background.

Happy weekend, stay cool and feel free to share any randoms you may have.

~These Days Of Mine~

Speak Softly And….

Last week, I learned that installation of the new roof at Bacon’s Castle had begun. Since I was in the neighborhood Saturday, I stopped by with plans to take some pics of the work in progress.

But, once I drove down the lane, I discovered that the work was being done on the back side of the house. Since it was cold and windy, and I didn’t have a good photo shot from the comfort of my car, I decided to just make a circle and leave via the other drive.

I spotted a couple of visitors walking across the property, and then saw this:

 

The couple saw me taking the picture of their pooch and smiled, so I stopped to chat. They had just finished a tour of the house. Of course, I shared a little of my family history at Bacon’s Castle with them. And I learned that this is”Browser”.  Browser was looking mighty proud.

And, obviously, he subscribes to the theory: “Go big or go home”.

~These Days Of Mine~