Washington’s River Farm

July 30, 2007 at 6:17 pm (history, Virginia)

A Photo from Neddy

The first “English” family to own the property on which River Farm is seated, was not the Washingtons. It was the Catholic Brents from Maryland. Captain Giles Brent landed in Jamestown, Virginia in 1638, accompanied by his sisters, Margaret and Mary, on their way to settle Saint Mary’s City in Maryland. The Brent family was related to Lord Baltimore, the King’s proprietor in Maryland, and during their stay in the colony they associated closely with Lord Baltimore’s brother, the resident governor, Leonard Calvert.

By 1647, the Brents had become weary of political battles with the Calverts and religious battles with the Maryland Protestants and left the colony to settle along the Aquia in Virginia. The wife of Giles Brent was a young Indian princess of the Piscataway tribe who had been entrusted to Margaret Brent as a child by her father, a convert to Christianity. She was raised in the Brent household and at the age of 16 was married to Margaret’s brother, Giles. Although Giles Brent initially claimed most of the colony of Virginia because of his marriage to the Piscataway king’s daughter, he was assuaged by the Virginians to accept a grant of patent totaling 1,800 acres from Thomas, Lord Culpeper for his year-old son, Giles, Jr. This land was Piscataway Neck and included the land which is now River Farm.

The image, George Washington’s Farm, was originally uploaded by barneykin. It is posted here from Neddy’s flickr.

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Legato School

July 14, 2007 at 6:45 am (architecture, landscape, Virginia) (, , , , )

A Photo from Neddy

The Legato School is the last of Fairfax County’s one-room schoolhouses. It has been restored and furnished as it was in the 1870s, and is operated as a museum. It was here that first to eighth grade students of western Fairfax County were taught the three Rs from 1870 until 1930. The schoolhouse was originally located at the intersection of Pender and Legato Roads. The building now sits upon the grounds of the Fairfax County Courthouse, Route 123 near Main Street, in Fairfax City, Virginia.

One elderly gentleman once described Virginia’s educational system in those impoverished times as teaching “The Three ‘Rs’ … Readin’, Writin’ and Road to Washington.” Today, Fairfax County, Virginia is one of the most affluent and educated counties of the entire United States.

In June of this year my Red Hats group were given a tour of the Fairfax County Courthouse construction site by project manager Ellen vanHully-Bronson. Parts of the courthouse were complete with carpet and finishes. Other areas were very much still a construction site. When completed the almost $100 million 316,000-square-foot expansion will more than double the size of the existing Jennings Judicial Center. The new courthouse is a five-story reinforced concrete-framed structure surrounded by a serpentine Jeffersonian brick wall. There are fourteen fitted-out courtrooms and three shells of courtrooms for future expansion, fourteen elevators, larger holding cells, a new law library, a beautiful courtyard and a state of the art security system.

Here is the slideshow: Courthouse Construction Site June 2007.

The image, Legato School, was originally uploaded by barneykin. It is posted here from Neddy’s flickr.

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My Rock Garden

July 6, 2007 at 3:10 pm (Neddy)

A Photo from Neddy

Some Spring day, perhaps, I will sit out in my garden and wonder at the many beautiful flowers, especially the tiny ones back here, in my rock garden and around its edges. I will stay quiet and listen to the gurgles of the fish pond nearby. Yes, I will park myself by the stone wall here, on a day when the heaven is as blue as the bluebirds that I rarely see. I will listen for the birds’ chirping, and take in the fragrance of the blossoms on that day, when it comes. I will enjoy my beautiful garden and see GOD out here.

~~Edna Barney

The image, My Rock Garden, was originally uploaded by barneykin. It is posted here from Neddy’s flickr.

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The Men and Flags of Freedom

July 4, 2007 at 10:34 am (Neddy)

A Photo from Neddy

God bless all of the men and women of America’s armed forces on this Independence Day 2007. Because of your sacrifice and devotion, we still live free.

The image, Flags of the States, was originally uploaded by barneykin. It is posted here from Neddy’s flickr.

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Golden Hollyhocks

July 1, 2007 at 8:27 am (flora, gardens, picasa2, Virginia)

From Neddy’s The Plains Album

“Hollyhocks! Stiff as starch!
Oh, fix your bayonets!
Forward! March!”

Flower fads come and go, but to old timers like me, Summer means hollyhocks. In long ago England the Crusaders returned from the Middle East bearing mallow plants which became “holy hocks”, because “hock” meant “mallow” in English. The bright flowers were a hit in the dark and drab Middle Ages.

In America, the common hollyhock arrived with the colonists. Thomas Jefferson grew them at Monticello. In the late 19th century the plants were beautifully cultivated on Appledore Island, off the New Hampshire coast, where they were immortalized by the American Impressionist painter Childe Hassam.

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