We visited Charlotteville in 1999 for a three day-weekend. One of our day-trips included a visit to Schuyler. This is where Earl Hamner the author and creator of the show "The Waltons" was born and lived during his youth. This picture is of the Hamner family home. Jim Bob lived in the home until his death , April 1, 2004.
Many of the homes in this area have this type of architecture.
The Schuyler Elementary School has been converted to Walton's Mountain Museum. The museum is housed in the Schuyler Community Center.
The museum includes reproductions of John Boy's bedroom, the kitchen and the family living room.
The museum is open the first Saturday in March to the last Sunday in November. The hours are ten to four. Closed Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving and the second Saturday in October.
Schuyler is a small town of 400. The Hamner home is right across the street from the Walton Museum. Just a very short distance from the museum is the church the Hamner family attended. It's nestled in the side of a gentle hill there in the Piedmont area of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It's a very pleasant drive from Charlottesville. There is also a restaurant in town, that seats 50 people.
Wintergreen Resort is nestled on the Eastern slope of the Blue Ridge Mountains. This is a place where the Blue Ridge can be enjoyed year-round. There are ski slopes for winter fun and tennis and two golf courses for summer sports. There is a fabulous spa available 12 months of the year.
This area provides interesting history trips, wine tasting stops and lots of offerings for different seasonal sports.
We visited Wintergreen during the early part of November. Most of the color was gone from the trees but the weather was perfect.
Outside the apartments at Wintergreen there are piles of wood available for fires in their real wood-burning fireplaces.
There was also a shuttle available to take us to the spa and the pool and even to the different restaurants.
The fee included daily maid service.
Very nice place indeed.
Keep your eyes open when you visit Monticello in late October or early November. Walking around the Jefferson's house I've seen a lot of amazing fall trees and even more on the trail back down to the parking lot. My advice is to skip the shuttle down and walk down on foot and to pay a visit to Thomas Jefferson's grave on the way. Close to the Jefferson's house some trees (rare species?) are signed with the name in English and Latin.
In my homecountry (Poland) fall trees look amazing as well but there is one difference. Leaves on each fall tree has almost the same one colour (red or yellow or still green) in Poland while in Virginia there are trees with leaves of different colours on particular branches. Fantastic!
Most visitors don't pay attention to this device in my picture. It's a spherical sundial indicating apparent solar time. The device was designed by Thomas Jefferson and placed on the North Terrace of Monticello. It was something of a novelty in Jefferson's time and probably the first spherical dial in use in North America.
Walking off the beaten path around Jefferson's house I've found numerous beautiful trees in fall colours and the fish pond. Fish caught in neighbouring streams were kept alive in this pool until needed for table use.
Lee Park contains all of the land bounded by Jefferson Street, First Street N.E., Market Street and Second Street N.E. (map here).
Imposing, equastrian Robert Edward Lee Monument dominates the park standing at its highest point. The statue was unveiled in 1924. Robert Edward Lee (1807 – 1870) was a career U.S. Army officer and the most successful general of the Confederate forces during the American Civil War. Another famous Confederate soldier - Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson - has an equastrian monument in nearby Jackson Park since 1921.
Thomas Jefferson died on July 4, 1826 - exactly on the fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence - and is burried at Monticello with other members of his family in fenced, charming Monticello Cemetery hidden among trees at the west end of Mulberry Row. The cemetery was closed but I could see all graves through a decorative fence.
The letters "O.S." appearing after birth dates on Jefferson's tombstone stand for "Old Style." The Julian or Old Style calendar was in effect in England and her colonies until 1752, when the Gregorian or New Style calendar was adopted. This added eleven days to the current date to bring the calendar year into step with the astronomical year. Thus, the birthday of Jefferson, who was born on April 2 under the Old Style calendar, is now celebrated on April 13, the New Style date. The Gregorian or New Style calendar is still in use today.
Walking around the West Lawn of Jefferson's house in Monticello I amazed colorful flowers in bloom in late October. Well, there are more blooming flowers in April, May, I am sure but... those I was lucky to see looked great as well.
Jefferson was a passionate gardener and he grew over 100 species of herbaceous flowers at Monticello. He received seeds by ship from Paris. For fans of gardening there are guided garden tours (free of charge; one hour) - ask for details at the ticket office.
Walking around Charlottesville's downtown I've found a few impressive buildings in classical style. Well, copying classical ancient temples is a worldwide custom, not only American. They are pit up to house noble and important institutions like government offices, libraries, banks etc.
In Charlottesville I've seen among others:
- Jefferson-Madison Regional Library (formerly post office and court building) along the Downtown Mall (201 E. Market Street) - it's a place to access the internet (for free up to 1 hour 9am - 9 pm) if you need,
- building of the Bank of America (corner E. Main St. & 3rd St. E.).
Walking around Charlotteville's downtown I've found many examples of great local architecures (see my next pictures) and impressive, historic statue of two guys standing on a post placed in the middle of green space of Midway Park. The statue of two Virginians: Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, and Sacagawea was unveiled in 1919.
The Lewis and Clark expedition (1804–1806; over 8000 miles during 28 months) was the first United States overland expedition to the Pacific coast and back, led by Captain Meriwether Lewis and Second Lieutenant William Clark, of the United States Army. It is also known as the Corps of Discovery. Sacagawea was a Shoshone woman who accompanied the Corps of Discovery. Lewis was born near Charlottesville and he was appointed private secretary to President Thomas Jefferson.
On the way to Jefferson vineyards I stopped for a while in a settlement called Simeon to visit a church built in 1892 - Saint Luke's Episcopal Chapel. But doors were closed in the late afternoon.
Scenes in Ford's novel Janice Meridith are laid in Simeon. Ive got to know from the sign (picture 3) that there was a house of Jefferson's friend Philip Mazzei in Simeon - it was called Colle. He was Italian surgeon, merchant, and horticulturist. He adapted grape culture to Virginia.
Some 300 yards south of VA-53 and VA-732 crossroads I've found the old Simeon farm store. Now it's BRIX Marketplace, a fantastic place to get lunch, I suppose but I was not hungry. Instead I amazed countryside landscape with vineyards along hills and meadows with pasturing cows.
Most visitors to University of Virginia visit the Rotunda which is a must-to-see. Apart from that I took a walk around university grounds including the area located north of main University Avenue.
I've seen a few charming, old buildings hidden behind picturesque fall trees:
1. Booker House;
2. Brooks Hall (the Anthropology Department) completed in 1877 in style completely different from the Jeffersonian tradition;
3. Madison Hall opened in 1905 for YMCA. It currently houses administrative offices, including those of the University president. It was named in honor of President James Madison, who succeeded Thomas Jefferson and became the second president of the University.
The dependancies assured the smooth running of Monticello and were found both under the house and the verandas. They included the kitchen, the wine cellar and many others including the sleeping quarters of those slaves that worked in them. I am classifying them as "off-the-beaten-track" as they are not included in the house tour and your have to seek them out on your own.
The picture is of the cook's room. Her whole family would have shared this small room with her.
This was a row of workshops and homes where the slaves made the equipment and supplies for the main house that were either too dangrous, too noisy or too smelly to have under or near the main house