Posts Tagged ‘virginia’

A Picture from Edna

President Woodrow Wilson spoke to us yesterday in honor of Presidents’ Day at the Lyceum in Alexandria. Wilson is considered one of our native Virginian presidents, hence the honor. Mr. Wilson mentioned that there is someone out there who is saying mean things about him – Glenn Beck. Ain’t that the truth? HA!

The Lyceum sent out this information:

“One of eight U.S. presidents to be born in Virginia, Woodrow Wilson visited Alexandria on several occasions. On December 18, 1915, President Wilson and his new bride, Edith Galt, secretly traveled to Alexandria’s Union Station to depart for their honeymoon, eluding reporters and disappointing spectators who had gathered at the railroad station in Washington, D.C. On May 30, 1918, President Wilson had the honor of driving the first rivet into the keel of the Gunston Hall, the first ship constructed at the Virginia Shipbuilding Corporation yard at Jones Point. Decades later, the bridge spanning the Potomac River, connecting Maryland with Alexandria at Jones Point, would be named for President Wilson.”

Historian Brian K. Hilton performed excellently in the portrayal of Woodrow Wilson.

The image, President Woodrow Wilson, was originally uploaded by Edna Barney. It is posted here from Barneykin’s flickr account.

Visit Neddy’s Archives for more of Edna’s writings.


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A Picture from Edna

I am wondering if this Masonic Temple on a hill in Alexandria, Virginia will be featured in the new novel by Dan Brown The Lost Symbol.

George Washington and many of the Founding Fathers were Masons as were founders of Mormonism: Masonry and Mormon Mysteries.

I snapped the picture one day while awaiting the Metro train at the King Street Station in Alexandria. The AmTrak Station is just next to it.

The image, Amtrak Train, was originally uploaded by Edna Barney. It is posted here from Barneykin’s flickr account.

Visit Neddy’s Archives for more of Edna’s writings.

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Edna and the Red Hats

Yesterday my Red Hat group, the DARling Dames, lunched at Willow Creek Farm in Broadlands, Virginia. What a spectacular site it is. Our hostess, Jayne, and her daughter Kim, baked the most creative “Red Hat” cookies, which we received as favors. You can see them at My Flickr Slideshow.”

The image, Willow Creek Farm, was originally uploaded by barneykin. It is posted here from Barneykin’s flickr account.

Visit Neddy’s Archives for more of Edna’s writings.

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From My Own Farm Bell

Edna’s Farm Bell at the Edge of the Wildwood

I’ve never lived on a farm, nor had any connection with farming, although, of course, many of my forebears did. However, I have always wanted to have a farm bell mounted in my garden as a remembrance of those bygone days of simpler times. What a surprise it was last Christmas when my son’s family gave us an old farm bell that they had found in Warrenton, Virginia.

Well, good Captain Cliff does not like to work outside when the weather is cold, so the old farm bell sat, packed and boxed, all winter long in the garage, where we bumped and crashed into it whenever we were entering or exiting our vehicles. It was in the early Spring, when we were visiting a home on the Eastern Shore, that I was captivated by another old farm bell. It was so charming and I took photographs of it and even blogged one of them: Old Farm Bell

After we returned home, and I posted my pictures, Captain Cliff became a bit eager to install my Farm Bell. He opened the box and unpacked it, and to our suprise, it was identical in every way, including the manufacturer’s name, to the one that we had see at the Maryland home. How delightful! So we tried to copy that one, including the new black paint.

My son suggested that we not paint it; that we leave it in its original patina, as it is in this photograph. I think now that we should have heeded him, but we didn’t. This photograph is how it appeared before the paint job. We have not yet been able to find proper cotton roping for the pull cord, but we are still looking. This synthetic rope is not quite right, but it is all we have.

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A Picture from Edna

In July of this year, Captain Cliff and I found ourselves travelling along that “Highway 66” heading down to Aquia, Virginia as I wanted to try and find the Old Concord Cemetery. Now don’t anyone tell me that you cannot get there from Highway 66, as I did it. I found the old burying ground, however there were no visible names on the ancient markers. On the way home, I stopped at the Crucifix Monument to snap some pictures and learn a bit of local history about the area of Virginia that my forebears settled in the 1630s. They were cousins to the BRENTS.

In the early seventeenth century, the Catholic BRENT family had left Gloucestershire, England for the New World, where they settled in Maryland.  When the BRENTS were colonizing Maryland, Colonel Giles BRENT had done as did John ROLFE of Virginia who had married an Indian princess at Jamestown. BRENT’s bride was a 12-year-old student or ward of his spinster sister Margaret BRENT, who was operating a school for the Piscataway children. When Giles BRENT claimed almost all the land of the Maryland Colony due to his marriage to the Piscataway chief’s daughter, he got himself, and his BRENT sisters, into a dangerous situation with the Lord Baltimore government. The BRENTS were forced to cross the river and live in Virginia.

Colonel Giles BRENT and his spinster sisters, Mary and Margaret BRENT, Catholics all, were allowed safety in Protestant English Virginia, whereas in Catholic Maryland, Colonel BRENT was in grave danger of losing his life. They settled at the Colony of BRENTON, at Aquia, Virginia, in the mid 1600s.  This was the first Catholic settlement in English Virginia.

Margaret BRENT was America’s first suffragette, but few have ever heard of her. She was an outstanding, accomplished women. She acted as Lord Baltimore’s attorney, and in fact was probably running the government of the colony. She was able to own property, because she never married, and she even demanded the right to vote. It was denied of course, but the Marylanders did bestow upon her the title of “Gentleman” Margaret BRENT. After the move to Virginia, she seemed never quite so powerful, probably because of her “out of favor” Catholic religion.

The bronze plaque pictured is at the Crucifix Monument on the east side of Jefferson Davis Highway, at Telegraph Road, in Aquia, Virginia.

The image, First Catholics in Virginia, was originally uploaded by barneykin. It is posted here from Barneykin’s flickr account.

Visit Neddy’s Archives for more of Edna’s writings.

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Yesterday – believe it or not, the earth moved in Northern Virginia.

We had a mini earthquake in Virginia and the event even has a name. It is “The North Springfield/Ravensworth/Annandale Earthquake” of May 2008.  The epicenter of the quake was at one of the warehouses on Port Royal Road in Springfield, Virginia: 38.806° NO, 77.220° WE.

I was digging in my garden along the side of the house when there was a sudden muffled boom that shook our dwelling place. Captain Cliff came running from his downstairs office looking for a fallen tree that he expected had crashed upon our roof. That was his first reaction. To me it felt like the earthquakes I remembered from our days living in California. That mention by me of an earthquake in Virginia caused the good Captain to immediately guffaw the idea. Our next door neighbor, Mary Elizabeth, came running out of her house, so we knew it was not only our home affected.

The USGS Earthquake Center on the Internet first listed it as a 1.8 Magnitude “micro quake” that occurred at 1:30 pm with an epicenter in Annandale, south of NOVA Community College, off of Route 236/Wakefield Chapel Road, and west of Interstate 495.

By evening, the USGS had slightly updated the epicenter and magnitude, based upon more data they had gathered. The newly identified epicenter is now located between Port Royal Road and Queensberry, just to the west of the Port Royal Road warehouses and businesses.

You can learn more about our rare earthquake by going to this USGS site:

If it had not been an earthquake, I felt it could have been caused by some sort of detonation at the Army’s nearby Fort Belvoir. Apparently the Army has reported to the news media that there had been no explosions or detonations at Fort Belvoir on that day.

So … we probably had a “real” earthquake, something of a rarity around here, but never an impossibility. Considering that our earthly abode rests upon the crusty surface of a swirling sphere of molten rock, we are lucky to have the peace and calm that we usually enjoy. Virginia Quakes

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A Picture from Edna

The cheery cherry tree that we planted in our front garden about four years ago is in full bloom today. It is beautiful! My memories of it shall never vanish, as I have captured them with my trusty Canon point and shooter, which I love, for just that reason.

This tree is the Yoshino, Japan’s favorite cultivated cherry tree developed more than one hundred years ago. More than 3,700 of these trees grow around the Tidal Basin, at East Potomac Park, and on the Washington Monument Grounds. Can that number be true? I got it from the National Park Service.

I planted this tree because my husband has always exclaimed over one whenever it blooms on a property that he owns in Burke, Virginia. My neighbers on either side of my house also have cherry trees. The one on the south side has a weeping cherry which blooms after mine. The neighbor below us planted a double flowering Kwansan cherry tree, so that we can delight in even more spectacular cherry blooms when the weeping cherry is finished. We love our cherry trees here, and they love being here too.

The image, Cherry Blossoms, was originally uploaded by barneykin. It is posted here from Barneykin’s flickr account.

Visit Neddy’s Archives for more of Edna’s writings.

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Alexander STINSON, Senior and his son, David STINSON
DAR Ancestor Bars

I submitted supplemental papers to the DAR for two of my ancestors from Buckingham County, Virginia. They were approved in December of 2007. I then ordered my pins, and here they are.

Since then I have been writing a book that includes documentation on their STINSON descendants, so that others may be able to find the materials they need to connect to these lineages and join the NSDAR (National Society Daughters of the American Revolution). The book will be available here, as soon as I get it finished: “So Obscure A Person”

My ancestors are Alexander STINSON Senior and his son David STINSON.

The image, DAR Ancestor Bars, was originally uploaded by barneykin. It is posted here from Neddy’s flickr.

Visit Neddy’s Archives, for more of Neddy.

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The Season of Juncos

Those little black and white juncos know well their primordial calendar.  It has been embedded in their tiny beings long before any human tread upon this North American sod. Yesterday, one day before the beginning of winter, I spotted my first junco visitor at my garden. Although it is my cold wintertime garden, to the junco it is a summer place, as he has stopped off in Virginia to escape the great northern chill that covers his usual home, somewhere in the cold, cold arctic tundra.

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This year while touring the Mount Vernon plantation during the holiday month of December, I spotted something I had never seen before. It was ceremoniously displayed upon the grand dining room table of the Washingtons. To me it looked like a porcupine all covered with snow. Although it was most certainly something edible, I had no idea what. It had a tiny rodent-like face, nose and ears, behind which were blazing white long and slender sticks of something inserted all around its oval body. Later I was told that those long sticks were slivers of almonds, however I have never seen any almonds that long.

When I asked the docent what was that creature, she responded “haven’t you ever seen a Hedgehog Cake?” No, I’ve never seen one nor ever even heard of one. I am very accustomed to seeing Martha Washington’s great cake on that table. That is her recipe that begins with “take 40 eggs … and 4 pounds of butter.”

As photography of the dining room was not permitted, I have only my “vanishing memories” to remind me of what I saw that day. Therefore, I tried to find a picture of Mrs. Washington’s Hedgehog Cake on the Internet. I could not find one recipe nor one picture of her most interesting cake. What I did discover though, is that I am the only person in the whole wide world who is not familiar with the supposedly wonderful concoction known as a Hedgehog Cake. At Flickr I found enough pictures to made a “Slide Show of Hedgehog Cakes.”

Knowing that the Mount Vernon staff is consciencious to being historically accurate, such as no Christmas trees in General Washington’s home at Christmas, I tried researching Hedgehog Cakes to discover why an 18th century Virginia family would have such a cake. We have never had such little creatures scurrying about our hedges and pathways; hedgehogs are unknown in all of the United States, as far as I know. 

I discovered that English cookbook authoress Hannah Glasse had a recipe for Hedgehog Cake by about 1747. It may have been an ancestor somehow to the late 18th century’s popular British dessert of Tipsy Cake, a sponge cake soaked with some sweet liquor and decorated with cream. Well, I remember from my Virginia cookbooks that there was something here named “Tipsy Squire,” that was like a British Trifle.

Then I discovered this bit of history, “That Charming Confusion: Trifle” written by Helen Stringer, which seems to explain it all:

The trifle continued to develop through the 18th century, and was soon joined with a selection of related dishes, Tipsy Cake and Tipsy Hedgehog among others. What these had in common with trifle was that they were all made with dried cake, rather than fresh (a detail too often forgotten these days). In the case of Tipsy Cake, a hollow was made in the center of the cake and filled with alcohol, which would soak into the cake. The cake was then surrounded with crème anglaise or syllabub and slivers of almonds were stuck all over it. Tipsy Hedgehog was a natural progression from this. The cake was roughly shaped to look hedgehog-like, and was soaked in sherry. The crème anglaise/syllabub surround was accented by a spot of jam (this is what the hedgehog is eating) and the cake itself festooned with almonds.

The Slide Show of my Mount Vernon Adventure

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