Sunday, August 2, 2015

Blue Moon Over Belle Plain

Friday evening, my husband and I went to hear a program in the National Park Service's History at Sunset series.  Every week during the summer, NPS historians give a talk at a historic local spot ... Friday's program was at Belle Plain, a key location for river travel for humans and cargo in this part of Virginia in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries.  

Most emphasis on Belle Plain has been for its role during the Civil War, where supplies for as many as 100,000 soldiers and 60,000 horses in the Union army arrived and were transported to Fredericksburg, and wounded soldiers and Confederate prisoners departed.  John Hennessy and Noel Harrison told us stories of much earlier significance of Belle Plain, in the time of Pocahontas (who lived nearby with her Patawomack people), as the place of a brief skirmish between British forces and Virginia Militia during the War of 1812, in a description by Charles Dickens (who went through Belle Plain on a visit to the area in 1841).  The Civil War portion of Belle Plain's history is well documented through letters from soldiers who spent time there and with photographs.  (One set of photographs is the subject of an article written by Noel Harrison for the local NPS blog.)  

The wharves and structures that served the sailing vessels and steamships are long gone, replaced with a tidy private marina.  While John and Noel spoke, the history came alive because the place they described was underneath our feet and the landscape in the maps was all around us.  As the program was ending, shortly after sunset, the full moon glowed orange as it rose over the trees across the river.


This is the best that my antique iPhone 4 could do to capture the scene.


It was a really lovely evening.

Happy Sunday, Everyone!

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Sunday Snapshots are posts devoted to moments in time that represent glimpses into everyday life in Hartwood, or wherever else I happen to be at the time.

8 comments:

  1. Looks like fun! I'm glad you were able to make this John Hennessy lecture :)

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    1. John is the BEST storyteller! His knowledge of his subjects is only exceeded by his articulate delivery and his quick, dry wit. I could listen to him ALL NIGHT! I had never heard Noel Harrison before, and I loved him, too. You know me ... I can listen to anyone geek out (your words) on their subject. It's a window for us into their passion, and I feel privileged to share in it.

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  2. Happy Sunday to you too. Must have been a fascinating talk, I love to go to those sort of events.

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    1. I'm wondering if the NPS does this up your way? Fredericksburg and Manassas do, and I think that other regions do, too.

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  3. Sounds like a nice evening for a history lover!

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    1. History lover? That would be me. I also love listening to storytellers ... doesn't matter whether the stories are true or fiction. Tell me a story, and I will listen to you all day.

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  4. What a nice evening for you and your husband. Love the photo.

    I'm just looking at your temperature in your sidebar. It's now 4:51 and 60F degrees where you are. How nice is that!!! It is 75 here and with the humidity feels like it is 82.

    Have a great week ~ FlowerLady

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    1. It was a really lovely evening and a great program!

      This morning is unusually chilly, because we are having a short spell of less-than-normal humidity. That’s supposed to change later today. I will enjoy the respite while it’s here.

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