The house was the home of Sir Peyton Skipwith and his family. The legacy of documentation left by the early Skipwiths is said to be the most complete and extensive of any non-political family in the New World. Extensive records show Prestwould to have been most of the way through in 1794 and them to be living there by 1797.
Prestwould was one of the largest and most complex houses built during its time. The interior has large rooms, mostly furnished with Skipwith heirlooms. Some rooms still have original wallpaper that Lady Jean, Sir Peyton's second wife, ordered from England. According to legend, Sir Peyton Skipwith won the land in which Prestwould was built off of William Byrd III in a marathon poker game. A foundation was formed which bought the house and set about restoring it to what it was in the late 1700s. Many of the original furnishings were donated by their current owners and many of the interior items, such as paintings and mirrors, are on loan from area museums. Many of the outbuildings have been restored, and the massive garden is still being restored. tours cost $8 for adults, and lesser amounts for children and senior citizens. (Special occasions may have higher ticket prices; and touring the grounds alone costs less.) The home is usually open from 15 April through to 31 October, Monday-Saturday 12:30 - 3:30pm and Sunday 1:30- 3:30pm. Since mass transit is virtually nonexistent in small town USA, car or tour bus is the only way to get here.
Lee and I came here on a hot July afternoon. Our guide was from up north, but she knew the plantation backwards and forwards. We got more than our $8 worth of talk about the designs of each room and the family history from her. There are some outbuildings and an extensive grounds to tour. After the house tour, we mainly saw the cemetery.
- Historical Travel
- Museum Visits
Mecklenburg County Veterans' Memorial
Pays tribute to the men and women of Mecklenburg County who lost their lives in the line of military service from the Revolution through to Gulf War 2. Each war with its ultimate honour roll is listed in its own frame. Of all the wars in which folks from the county lost their lives, the War Between the States claimed the most locals.
- Historical Travel
Nat recommended a visit to Prestwould Plantation on our way to the Lakefest in July, 2005. One of his ancestors oversaw the slaves there in the 19th Century. It took us awhile to find the place where we bought our tickets. We thought it was one of the outbuildings, but all that was there was a wasp's nest and one of its inhabitants almost stung Nat and would have if he hadn't hit the dirt.
We finally found the place we were supposed to go. The plantation house features original furnishings, rare wallpaper, and a library. Tours include the house, restored outbuildings and gardens. Legend has it Sir Peyton Skipwith won the land in a marathon poker game. Academics are attracted to Prestwould's collections of slave writings which told of life here from a slave's point of view.
At the time we came here, we paid $8 to tour the house and grounds. It is open from April to October and sometimes they rent it out for big events like weddings.
I like the slower-paced, more polite culture of small towns, but what many seasoned travelers often overlook is the great variety of architecture in small towns like Clarksville. St. Timothy's Church, with its tall spire, stands out more than the House of Prayer, one of my "away" churches. The old white house along Virginia Avenue (route 58 business) stands out because they just don't design houses this way anymore and what really did it for me is the mini porch on the second floor. There are plenty more examples of outstanding architecture in Clarksville and I will find more photos.
Mecklenburg War Memorial
This memorial is dedicated to all the war dead from Mecklenburg County, Virginia from the Revolutionary War to the War on Terror. The monument contains the names of 578 (to date) citizens who died in war. It is always open just west of downtown next to a shopping center.
Buggs Island Lake
The damming of the Roanoke River in the early 1950s had a tremendous impact on the area, making Clarksville the only town on the 50,000-acre body of water named after an island upstream, Buggs Island Lake. The lake has drawn many visitors and tourists to the Clarksville area for camping, fishing, hunting, boating, swimming, skiing, and all other water sporting activities.
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