It was a long drive to Lynchburg from Charlottesville and when we got there Ugh! Poplar Forest was closed! It is open six days a week and the day we were there was the one in which it isn’t open. So we went to the Visitor Bureau in Lynchburg to see what else was around. The lady sent us to another famous home- Point of Honor- the home of Dr George Cabell. Now you say who is George Cabell which was our reaction. George Cabell was a close friend of Jefferson. They visited each other frequently when Jefferson was at Poplar Forest and they kept up a pretty steady correspondence at other times. Cabell was also the personal physician of Patrick Henry. Okay………
A grand house it was indeed. We got a personal tour because hey, who’s coming to see Dr George Cabell’s home? That day and time…..just us.
We then went to look for some other suggestions the lady made. The Old Courthouse was cool.
We then went to the James River where Lynchburg has the tallest water fountain east of the Mississippi at 190 Feet. The water spout marks the spot where in 1757 Lynchburg was founded as a ferry crossing.
After we ate lunch we started back. We had one more stop to make.
Appomattox Court House was probably the best stop of our tour of Virginia. Besides being steeped in Civil War History, we were accompanied for most our visit by a young man who was posing as a confederate soldier. He told stories of the week leading up to and the the surrender in the first person as though he was actually there. Quite impressive.
Lee surrendered to Grant in the home of Wilmer McLean. Wilmer McLean moved to the home after the First Battle of Bull Run, which was fought on his property. He moved to Appomattox to find a safer residence for the duration of the war. And now the surrender happens in his parlor. I knew that did you?
After touring the battlefield area (the battle never happened but both sides were in battle formation) we went back to Charlottesville and saw two more sights, the Rotunda at the University of Virginia, designed by Thomas Jefferson and the Meriwether Lewis Statue. I did not know that Lewis was from the Charlottesville area. He was born in Ivy Virginia just a few miles west of Charlottesville.
We had also planned on visiting Montpelier, the home of James Madison in nearby Orange Virginia. Unfortunately it was closed for renovations. One of the DuPonts actually purchased the house and added several additions. The house was being restored to it’s original state.
All in all this was one fantastic adventure!