Connections to Presidents and Civil War History at Belle Grove Plantation

The historic Belle Grove plantation house; tree leaves are in the foreground of the photo.

Belle Grove Plantation began with 483 acres given to Isaac Hite Jr. by his father in 1783. By 1824, it had grown to 7,500 acres, producing grain, livestock, flax and hemp. Also on Belle Grove were a grist mill, a saw mill, a distillery, a store, a lime kiln and quarry, and a blacksmith shop. […]

The Belle Boyd House and Historical Society Museum

Belle Boyd was born in West Virginia in May 1844. Boyd became a Confederate spy before her 18th birthday and conveyed information and supplies to Southern military leaders. The 10-year-old Marie Isabelle Boyd moved into the Greek Revival-style house with her family that her father, Benjamin Reed Boyd built in 1853; two years later Boyd […]

Martinsburg’s Spooky Roundhouse Keeps the Spirits of Its Past

The railroad came to Martinsburg in 1842; the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company established engine and machine shops in the town in 1849. Martinsburg became a major regional transportation node and one of the major employers of the region. The railroad and railroad yards provided jobs, prosperity and military strategic importance during the Civil War. […]

Doing Time at the Old Fauquier Jail

Over two centuries ago, a four-cell brick jail was constructed in Warrenton VA, in 1808 to house the county’s indigent and criminal residents. The four cells were multi-person cells, not an uncommon for that time. Also not uncommon, children often accompanied their mothers into the jail. The stairs in the kitchen up to the jailer’s […]

Fort Mill Holds the Best Preserved Civil War Battle Trenches

Believed to be the best preserved examples of Civil War earthworks still in existence, the Fort Mill Ridge Civil War Trenches are battle trenches just outside of Romney WV that were dug between 1861 and 1863.  The onsite signs on site indicate that the earthworks were dug in 1863; however, other sources claim that the […]

Old Forge Loop Trail, Foundry Park and a Little Surprise Civil War History!

The Old Forge Loop Trail was billed in AllTrails.com as being great for kids, and so I was about to dismiss this walk, until I noticed that there were ruins and a waterfall.  The Hudson River from Foundry Dock Park They had me at ruins. Turns out, the waterfall is meh, but the history and […]

Cool Sights Along the Maryland Creamery Trail in Frederick County

Our goal was simple and sweet: head out to sample two stops along the Maryland Creamery Trail in Frederick County. Along the way we enjoyed the pretty farmland countryside, discovered some hidden Civil War history, found some instantly instagramable old trucks, and — oh yeah, enjoyed the best summer snack ever! About a decade ago, […]

What Haunts the Patapsco Female Institute?

The Patapsco Female Institute, at least what’s left of it, is haunted of course, like any self-respecting ruins would be. I got two VERY interesting photographs almost as soon as I was out of the car. I shared these on a paranormal enthusiasts site (Haunted Nation), and the comments and interpretations were quite interesting: one […]

Frederick County (VA) Photo Safari

Stonewall Jackson made Winchester his winter headquarters between November 1861 and March 1862. He was much beloved by the townspeople. Winchester’s historic homes and churches offergorgeous details such as this door knob. Historic Victorian homes such as this one fill the neighborhoods adjacent the oldest part of Winchester. Mount Hebron Cemetery holds four cemeteries, church […]

Hiking on Hallowed Ground: Worthington Farm Trails in Monocacy National Battlefield Park

The Worthington House. The trail head to the Brooks Hill Loop is to the left of the house (as you face it). In a perhaps apocraphal conversation, three decades after the Battle of Monocacy, which had taken place on July 9, 1864, former Confederate Major General John Gordon was introduced to Union Major General Lew […]

Albany Rural Cemetery

The Albany Rural Cemetery is as much a park as it is a burial ground. There are a variety of species of trees, and the roads lead you through undulating hills. Erastus Corning (1794-1872) – Founder and president of the New York Central Railroad, and is located on a large circular plot in Lot 2, Section 31. Erastus […]

Five Little Known Must-See Civil War Battle Sites

The midAtlantic states offer a plethora of great Civil War battlefields and sites to explore, from the obscure (Balls Bluff) to the famous Gettysburg, Manassas and Antietam national battlefields. Although many of these battlefields’ visitors centers are currently closed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the need for social distancing, add these to your […]

Missing Soldiers Office: Clara Barton’s Mission in Washington DC

The Clara Barton Missing Soldier Office Museum all started with a ghostly tap on the shoulder in 1996. Clara Barton was an amazing woman, and the more I learn about her, the more impressed I am. She is most well known for founding the America Red Cross, but she devoted most of her adult life […]

A Home for Brave Ideas — Lincoln’s Summer Cottage

The tour of the Lincoln Summer Cottage is more than a house tour, although you do see the dining room, the parlor, the Lincoln’s bedroom, and such. It’s also a tour of the ideas and the space that allowed Lincoln to navigate the Civil War and lead our country through that devastating period for our […]