On June 7th I had the delight of leading 41 people on a tour from Richmond to Charlottesville and back on the trail (for the most part) of Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton’s June 1781 raid to disturb the Va. Assembly and to capture Va. Gov. Thomas Jefferson. Although BT failed to capture TJ, we did not fail to have a good time! At one point around 3 PM it was 107 F in the sun, but we persevered. We were able to see Cuckoo, and go inside the 1812 house there, and tour Boswell’s Tavern, built in 1735. Both of these sites are in Louisa County. An even rarer treat was (thanks to realtor Duke Merrick) was our one hour stop to see the grounds of Castle Hill, a truly spectacular plantation site with unbelievable 18th century gardens, slave quarters, and an assortment of other plantation structures from various periods. It is in FINE shape, and was probably the most stunning of all 5 stops we made. After lunch at Pantops Mtn. in Charlottesville, we toured the grounds of The Farm, led by owner and restorer Michael Bednar, an architecture professor at UVA. Not only was this spot of great interest – it was also shady, which helped a lot by this point. Finally, the last stop was along the Three Chopped Road at Boyd Tavern, wonderfully restored by Marcia and Carl Buck, who graciously allowed us to see it inside and out. From there it was back to Richmond for an on-time arrival. (I also add that the driver and staff at James River Bus Lines were all very good to work with.)
So, on a hot Saturday 42 folks got to see five 18th century locations (three of which we went inside) in private hands, and to get a bit of architecture and gardens thrown in as well. I met great folks and truly enjoyed it.
Boswell’s Tavern, Louisa Co., Va.