Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Last week I got the chance to visit Appomatox, Virginia. Having passed it numerous times this we decided to visit. This area is so filled with history. In the near vicinity are Poplar Forest, the retreat home of Thomas Jefferson, Red Hill, a family home of Patrick Henry as well as the National D-Day Memorial. Needless to say there’s going to be a second trip to the area.
The site where Lee surrendered to Grant has been preserved, not just the house but the area surrounding it. There is a courthouse, the McLean house, a jailhouse, a general store and several other buildings to tour on the site. Just going there is a step back in time. They say pictures are worth a thousand words.

Here are some pictures from
Appomattox...but why the floor?

My first question at the McLean house, was about the floor. It looked like linoleum. But it's not. This is canvas that's been painted and finished for a floor covering. Recently this floor was restored and the house was closed while artists painstakingly restored all the scratches and gouges.

This is the room where Lee surrendered. Note the creepy doll. It was there the day of the signing and is called the Silent Witness doll. The guide says she has a tendency to move around on her own. The actual doll is in the Smithsonian. This one is a replica, and you can also buy them at the gift shop. While at the gift shop that doll kept falling off the shelves--even though it quite secure. (No, I didn't buy one.)

This is the old store. There were many things hanging from the rafters or nailed to walls.
There was a hanging chandelier with removable kerosene lamps.
There was a little bit of everything in the store. (Even a smoke detector.)

Faux finishes were everywhere. From faux wood treatments on doors to faux stone and marble on fireplaces and walls. The the "marble" is painted on and the doors were treated to look like different types of wood were used in construction. All the doors at this building were like this.

Lastly here's the jail.

There must be a thousand stories in this building alone. The walls are thick brick, reinforced with iron bars, and the windows and doors are barred. Regardless, there were reportedly a few escapes from this jailhouse.
There was a post in the floor of each cell where a prisoner could be chained. You can see the post in the photo--its just to the left of the bed.

I greatly enjoyed the trip to Appomattox and already have a second trip to the area in the works to visit more historical sites in the area.

Happy Writing!


Celia Yeary said...

Very interesting. I love to tour old historic houses/homes of any sort. This one reminded me of Abraham Lincoln's fine home in Springtown, Illinois. the parlor looks a great deal like the one in you photo, and that's where a group of men nominated Mr. Lincoln for President of the U.S. Odd, isn't it, that such extraordinary events occur in such mundane places.The bit about the flooring here is fascinating--Inever would have thought that. Thanks--Celia

Paty Jager said...

Fun trip and interesting information.

L M Gonzalez said...

I also like to visit historical homes. It seems the rooms are filled with the ghosts of the people who lived there - and visited. It also seems the walls can talk.

I'd like to visit this part of the U.S. as well.

Interesting blog, Mallary.