Wednesday, March 31, 2010


In the heart of tobacco country, little attention was paid to the science of raising livestock. Planters kept animals that provided food for themselves and their slaves or that otherwise earned their keep.

In 1860 the Burroughses owned 4 horses, which they sheltered in a horse barn. Besides serving as the family's transportation, they pulled plows through fields and wagonloads of cured tobacco leaves to factory. Booker T. Washington recalled taking sacks of corn on horseback to a local mill.

A few head of cattle, including "4 milch cows," appeared under Burrough's name in the 1860 county census. In warm weather milk and butter were cooled in a box through which the spring flowed. Sheep provided meat and wool. For food and bedding feathers, the Burroughses kept chickens, ducks, geese, and guinea fowl.

Salted pork, the main source of meat for slaves, came from hogs that roamed free most of the year. If the hogs wandered off their owner's lands, they often became the property of whoever found them. In late fall the hogs were fattened on corn-on of Booker's chores-and butchered. The salted meat was hung in the smokehouse to cure over a smokey fire.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Still taking you around the farm at the Booker T Washington park. There were 2 pigs, they both looked the same. They were very friendly and really liked Ashlyn to scratch their little snouts. Their hair was very course, like a broom.

Monday, March 29, 2010


There were several chickens, roosters, a goose and turkeys at the Booker T Washington park. The boys had fun trying to catch them but the chickens won!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

SkyWatch Friday

The herb garden behind the slave cabin at Booker T Washington National Park

I tried to find out which herbs were commonly used then to no avail. I wish that the park had them listed. I am going to write to the park and see if they have a list of the herbs and their uses. I'll post the list if they get back to me. It's interesting to learn about the medicinal uses for herbs back then.

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Garden

Female slaves tended the gardens. Enclosed by a picket fence, the vegetable garden took up about an acre, space sufficient to supply a large family with an abundance of vegetables.

Workers hoed, planted and weeded, kept plants free of insects, and ensured a steady supply of fresh peas, greens, and cucumbers in summer.

Cabbages were wintered over in the ground and sweet potatoes were stored in a pit in the kitchen cabin. Beets and cucumbers were pickled and herbs and beans were dried.

Just beyond the garden is the Blacksmith Shed. In the far distance is the Tobacco Barn.

Booker T. Washington National Park

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Tobacco Barn

In the Virginia Piedmont, tobacco ruled the economy from colonial times well into the 20th century.

Tobacco plants were harvested whole. In preparation for curing, they were split lengthwise from the top and hung upside down on 5 foot long oak sticks called laths. The laths, holding 6-8 plants each, were suspended across poles in the tobacco barn. Every step of the process was undertaken with great care so as not to bruise or tear the valuable leaves. The leaves were cured for several days over small wood fires built on the dirt floor of the barn. This phase was often overseen by itinerant curers who traveled from farm to farm in autumn. The following spring, when seasonal moisture had made the leaves less brittle, they were taken to a local tobacco factory. Planters hired out their slaves to these factories to stem, cut and shape the tobacco into plugs and twists for chewing, the popular form of tobacco consumption at the time.

Booker T. Washington National Park

Monday, March 22, 2010

Booker T Washington National Park

On Sunday, we drove out to the Booker T. Washington National Park and spent a few hours walking around. This is a very nice park with trails and a lot of history.

Booker T. Washington was born into slavery on the Burroughs tobacco farm in 1856. The park is the old tobacco farm with reconstructed buildings (not sure what happened with all the original buildings, except I think I read somewhere that the "big house" burned to the ground), farm animals, gardens and walking trails. There is also a book store where you can also watch a short film on the history of Booker T. Washington.

Pictured above is a slave cabin like the one Booker T. Washington was born in and the small building to the left is the smokehouse, where salted meat was hung to cure over a smokey fire.

I'll show you around the farm this week!

Friday, March 19, 2010

SkyWatch Friday

Somewhere along the Blue Ridge see skies from all over the world, visit Skyley

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Rickety Old Barn

I know I've mentioned before how much I love old barns. We stopped along the Blue Ridge Parkway on Sunday and grilled hamburgers near this one.

I said I would show you the other slave cabins this week but my pictures were all facing the sun and didn't turn out, but the weather is supposed to be great today so I think when the boys get out of school today we'll head over and walk around and I'll get a few more pictures. They have nice walking trails there. Have a great day!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

2 of my favorite little leprechauns!

Don't forget to wear your green or you'll be pinched!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Slave Cabins I

One of the slave cabins left standing at Col William Preston's 18th century plantation, "Greenfield Plantation".

This is a photo of the kitchen, believed to have been built as early as the first quarter of the 19th century. The kitchen has living quarters for a cook or servant on the second floor. The kitchen was located directly behind and facing the big house, but far enough away to protect from fire. Sadly, the big house was destroyed by fire in 1959.

Greenfield was a vast plantation in the 18th and mid 19th centuries. It was home to Col William Preston 1729-1783, before he moved to the present day Blacksburg and built Smithfield Plantation.

I'll show a picture of the slave quarters tomorrow.

These buildings are currently being preserved.

I want to take a second now and talk to you about jewelry. A few months back I ordered this beautiful necklace from Sarah at Jewelry Art Designs. I ordered the Antique Fleur-De-Lis pendant and have received SO MANY compliments on it. I really do love it! So, if you are looking for some new jewelry, give Sarah over at Jewelry Art Designs a try. She's wonderful to deal with! Thanks Sarah!

Friday, March 12, 2010

SkyWatch Friday

Near the slave cabins at Greenfield.

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Eric Tenin Technique

5 short years ago today, Eric Tenin posted his first picture on Paris Daily Photo and hasn't missed one single day, and that is how City Daily Photo was born and has grown to 1178 individual City Daily Photo blogs. I was fortunate enough to stumble upon Paris Daily Photo a few years back and it didn't take me long to join the CDP family. Thank you Eric Tenin for starting this wonderful community and inspiring so many to grab their cameras and get out and photograph their city!

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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Americana Outbuilding

Another outbuilding sporting it's patriotism, just down the road from yesterday's post. Montvale area.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Patriotic Outbuilding

Last weekend we dropped Ashlyn off at her boyfriend's basketball game and took some little back roads home. Found this neat little outbuilding in the Montvale area.

Friday, March 5, 2010

SkyWatch Friday

Cold, blue, winter skies and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Washington DC

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Thursday, March 4, 2010

FDR Memorial

“The test of our progress is not whether we add to the abundance of those who have much. It is whether we provide enough to those who have little.” Franklin D. Roosevelt

This sculpture is the "Breadline" which stands in the FDR memorial.

On May 2, 1997, President Clinton joined Mike Wallace, Master of Ceremonies, FDR Commission Co-chairs Senators Daniel K. Inouye and Mark O. Hatfield, David B. Roosevelt, Princess Margriet of the Netherlands and opera singer Denyce Graves to dedicate the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial. The FDR memorial is only the third presidential memorial dedicated in the United States this century. The last time such a dedication took place was in 1943, when President Roosevelt dedicated the Jefferson Memorial.

The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial Commission was established by the United States Congress in 1955 "for the purpose of considering and formulating plans for the design, construction and location of a permanent memorial. . ." to honor our 32nd President. In 1959, land was set aside in West Potomac Park for the memorial, following a layout established in 1901 by the McMillan "kite" Plan for monuments in the city of Washington. In 1978, after several design competitions, Lawrence Halprin's memorial design received final approval from the FDR Memorial Commission of Fine Arts.

The 7.5 acre memorial honors President Roosevelt in a landscape of four outdoor rooms with granite walls, statuary, inscriptions, waterfalls and thousands of plants, shrubs and trees. The memorial is located along the famous cherry tree walk on the Tidal Basin. The memorial's four outdoor gallery rooms offer visitors a historical narrative of the years 1933 to 1945, each symbolizing one of FDR's four terms in office.

Five sculptors were assembled by designer Halprin to create bronze sculptures placed throughout the memorial. They are: Leonard Baskin, Neil Estern, Robert Graham, Tom Hardy, and George Segal. Master stone carver John Benson inscribed the enduring words of FDR on the memorial,s meandering 800 foot granite wall. Among these are: "This generation has a rendezvous with destiny." "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." "I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a New Deal for the American People."

The FDR Memorial marks the first time that a First Lady has been honored in a presidential memorial. It includes a bronze statue of Eleanor Roosevelt standing before a symbol of the United Nations, for which she served as America's first Delegate after the president's death. Also included is an exact replica of one of FDR's wheelchairs, on display in the Memorial Entry Building.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Thomas Jefferson Memorial

When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty. Thomas Jefferson

The Jefferson Memorial Memorial at the National Mall in Washington D.C. pays tribute to the author of the Declaration of Independence, one of our nation's founding fathers, a former President, an architect, farmer, educator, and one of the most enlightened men of the 18th Century.

To many, Thomas Jefferson epitomizes democracy. It was his fervent belief in the rights of man, government derived from the people, the separation of church and state, and free and universal education, that became the sacred tenets for our fledgling nation. His idea of a nation has been more prosperous, resilient, and long-lasting than any other nation in the history of mankind.

The planning of the memorial to Jefferson is quite a tale. For not only did the original architect die, and Japanese people chain themselves to its cherry trees during WWII, but the statue of Jefferson did not arrive to grace his exhibit until four years after the monument was dedicated.

The idea for the memorial came from President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who was upset that there was not a memorial dedicated to the accomplishments Jefferson, like there was to Lincoln and Washington. FDR felt that Jefferson had just as monumental of an impact on the nation as both of these men. In 1934, Congress passed a resolution to establish a Thomas Jefferson Memorial Commission to plan, design, and construct the memorial. The goal of the committee was to honor Jefferson as a president, politician, farmer, architect, educator, and intellectual. But the task of the committee was an arduous one indeed. For how do you honor the man who framed the nation, and a man with so many talents and accomplishments? Essentially, the commission had the task of creating a design to honor the guiding spirit of Jefferson, a spirit that still shines on.

Initial ideas for the monument included displaying the Declaration of Independence across from the Archives building and a colonial style library also across from the Archives building. However, FDR did not find either one of these ideas suitable for the honoring of such a man as Jefferson. The commission, along with FDR, wanted the monument to pay homage to all of Jefferson's characteristics and accomplishments. In the end, the commission settled on a design by the McMillan Commission, which was to create a five-point composition in the middle of the city. The idea was originally proposed by the person who first designed the federal city. At that time, the project was begun, but not completed. The commission decided that a fitting tribute to Jefferson would be to finish the project. The design for the project was then submitted by John Russell Pope. Quite fittingly, he chose a design that Jefferson had himself used for Monticello and the University of Virginia. It was composed of a circular dome based on the Panthenon in Rome. Because Pope utilized a design that Jefferson found so inspiring, it was seen as the ultimate tribute. The monument, fashioned after Jefferson's liking, would then convey the free and independent spirit that he had so embodied. In 1936, this design was accepted and the ground-breaking occurred.

The memorial sits as stately as the Parthenon with a statue of Jefferson featured as the centerpiece. Inside are engraved inscriptions taken from the Declaration of Independence, speeches, and more of his writings. Perhaps the most famous, from the Declaration of Independence, "We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, that to secure these rights governments are instituted among men. We...solemnly publish and declare, that these colonies are and of right ought to be free and independent states...And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine providence, we mutually pledge our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."

The total cost of the monument was a little over $3 million. It occupies 2.5 acres in the National Mall. The distance to the top of the dome is over 129 feet, while the thickness of the dome is 4 feet. The memorial weighs in at a massive 32,000 tons. The statue of Jefferson stands 19 feet tall and weighs 10,000 pounds.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Honest Abe


The Lincoln Memorial, Washington DC

Sculpted in 1920 by Daniel Chester French. The statue stands 19 feet 9 inches (6 m) tall and 19 feet (6 m) wide, and was carved from 28 blocks of white Georgia marble by the Piccirilli Brothers studio of Bronx, New York.

Monday, March 1, 2010

March 2010 Theme Day - Passageway

First of the month = "Theme Day" among the City Daily Photo bloggers. This month's theme is Passageway. My interpretation of the theme is the somber passageway along the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall which at the time lists 58,261 names, and approximately 1200 of these are listed as missing (MIA's, POW's, and others). Always remember that freedom isn't free. For more information on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, CLICK HERE

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