Saturday, July 25, 2009

Tour de Gloucester

Julie and I managed to get out today and explore parts of Gloucester we haven't spent much time seeing. Our chief aim was to try and see some of the dozens of historic estates that line the shores of Gloucester, but that didn't go so well. Most of Gloucester's historic homes and estates sit well back off public roads, way down private lanes and driveways and tucked far away from touristy eyes. For example, down on the York River lies the estate known as Little England, a portion of which dates to 1680. You can't get close to it. Over on Ware Neck, a finger of wooded land that juts into the Ware River and Mobjack Bay, sits Lowland Cottage, which was begun before 1670 and is obscured by woods down a long tree-lined dirt driveway. According to my handy-dandy history book, called "Past is Prologue; Gloucester County, Virginia," Lowland Cottage was the homeplace of Robert Bristow, who became the largest pre-Revolutionary War landowner on Ware Neck. But the family returned to England and lost its holdings during the Revolution.

Beyond the boats afloat in Timberneck Creek in that photo up there lies a peninsula of land known as Timberneck. It's the earliest known patent of land in Gloucester County,dating to 1639. The peninsula of land is going to be developed into high-priced mini-estates. But the property also boasts a house called "Timberneck," an 18th-century home with 14 acres of waterfront property that can be yours for $2.9 million. Believe me, it's beautiful out there, though the home is what's known as a "fixer-upper." Have your people get in touch with my people to discuss how to acquire this historic piece of Virginia history. Oh, it comes with a family graveyard as well, the oldest grave being that of 3-year-old Elizabeth Page, who passed in 1693. How cool is that?

We also included a shot of a church in Ware Neck, replete with obligatory graveyard, and photo of a country lane called "Elmington" that meanders past soy bean fields, farmhouses and historic estates near the North River.

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