When we lived in Philadelphia in 1969, I visited Winterthur Museum. H. F. duPont had a massive collection of pre-Revolutionary American furniture. He not only bought the furniture, but he bought the walls and surroundings right out of the house and displayed it as it would have been when it was new.
Ritchie House is on the historic tour of Tappahannock in Essex County.
They had specialty tours, and I took two of them. one of them was about decorating with textiles.
Fondest memory: I was interested in crewel embroidery and needlepoint, so after the tour I bought some slides that I thought were of particular interest. I bought this picture, both because I was familiary with the outsides of the old houses in Tappahannock, but also because of the crewel bed hangings.
I have obtained permission from Susan I. Newton, Photographic Services Winterthur Museum and Country Estate to use this picture. The original slide has become red with age.
The map of the walking tour and additional information is on the Essex County website.
This brick largely Greek Revival church was originally the Courthouse. The steeple and front entrance was added later. In 1774, three Baptist preachers (John Waller, Robert Ware and John Shackelford) were tried an convicted of preaching the Scriptures, contrary to the law at that time. It is somewhat ironic that when the church was formed on October 30, 1875, with nine charter members that it was this same courthouse that was purchased for the home of the church. The first pastor was the Rev. Frank Brown Beale, for whom the church was later named.
Fondest memory: The Tappahannock Historic Town Walking Tour is designed to take you back to the 17th, 18th and 19th century buildings all located within 3 blocks of one another in the central downtown area. The numbers are not in chronological sequence. For a little more exercise, this sequence follows the evolution of the historic district:
3. Scots Arms Tavern - 1680
4. Ritchie House - 1706
8. Henley House (Emerson's Ordinary) - 1718
1. Beale Memorial Baptist Church - 1728
10. Anderton House - 1760
11. McCall-Brockenbrough House - 1763
5. The Old Debtor's Prison - 1769
2. Customs House - 1800
7. The Old Clerk's Office - 1808
6. Essex County Courthouse - 1848
13. St. John's Episcopal Church - 1849
12. St. Margaret's Hall - 1850
9. Roane-Wright-Trible House - 1850