August 7, 20010 – We pulled out of Pohick Bay Park (Washington, DC) for a short drive to the Williamsburg, VA area. We are staying at Chippokes Plantation State Park in Surry, VA. The traffic out of DC was TERRIBLE! We were in heavy slow traffic most of the way.....mostly stop and go on I-95. You would think it was rush hour....CRAZY! It took us almost twice as long as we had thought, but we eventually arrived at our destination. The sites are HUGE.....twice as big as normal sites.
Once we got to our destination, Paul unloaded the bikes and found a small problem with his tire.
He was able to fix it in a jiffy.
Chippokes (Chip-Oaks) Plantation State Park is one of the oldest continuous working farms in the United States. Captain William Powell, a prominent colonial gentleman, received a grant for 550 acres of river frontage on Chippokes Creek in 1619. This is the first record of ownership for this land. The plantation and the bordering creek were named for an Indian chief who befriended the early English settlers.
Chippokes is a living historical exhibit located in a rural agricultural area along the James River. The plantation has kept its original boundaries since the 1600s and has a variety of cultivated gardens and native woodland. The park size is 1,683 acres. We are in site #9. This is a very nice campground. We have a pull through site with 50 amp electric and water.
The road and sites are HUGE!
We spent most of the day relaxing....after our mega-touring the last two weeks in DC. We did take a short ride around the Plantation to familiarize ourselves with the place. We are right on the James River. Jamestown is right across the river.....we can see the buildings. A view looking out at the James River from the Visitors’ Center.
Beach area has thousands of shells. They ask everyone to not take any of the shells.
They have cabins for rent also. These are the old Indentured Servants quarters. Never saw cabins so nice.
We spent some time visiting with two of the work campers here at the Plantation. Jack & Elaine are Escapee members and full-timer like us. They have been full-timing for about a year. The other gentleman is Bud. He and his wife are not full-timers.....they travel about half the year. Bud had quite a bit of local history to share...very interesting!
Sunday, August 8 – We started our day with church service at Bacon Castle Baptist Church. Everyone was very friendly but boy was the service long. Just under two hours. Not something we normally do!
We then decided to explore the plantation. We first took the FREE tour of the Manson. In 1854, Albert Carroll Jones built the present antebellum Chippokes Mansion, which overlooks the historic James River. Chippokes was once the site of one of the few legal distilleries in the Commonwealth. Local legend has it that the mansion survived the Civil War because Albert Jones sold his brandies to both sides during the war. The plantation changed owners many times before it was bought by Thornton Jeffress of Rochester, New York and V.W. Stewart of Wilson, North Carolina in 1918. Mr. and Mrs. Stewart moved to Chippokes and put much effort into restoring the property and compiling a detailed history of the plantation. Upon her husband's death, Mrs. Stewart, in order to preserve the plantation in its entirety, donated Chippokes Plantation to the Virginia Commonwealth as a memorial to her husband in 1967.
The gardens are beautiful.
The Stewart’s were buried on this property.
No photo taking was permitted inside the house. This picture comes from their website. The inside was elegant.
Opened in June 1990, the Chippokes Farm & Forestry Museum provides the public with an enjoyable educational experience, which focuses on the history of agriculture, forestry and conservation. This was an outdoor museum just down the lane from the Mansion featuring equipment from 1850s. We were very lucky to meet another workamper named Gary. He is the maintenance man on the Plantation. He gave us a personal tour of the museum. Gary did a super job of explaining all the different machinery and tools that were and are used on the Plantation. Marsha’s dad would love this place. He grew up a farmer in Malvern, OH. We needed him a few times to tell us how to use some of this stuff.
After the farmer slaughter the hog, it was lifted by a scalding hook into a kettle filled with boiling water. This scalding process loosened the hair which was then scraped off the hog.
Did you have one of these on the farm dad? This is a hog oiler. Oil was put in this and the hog rubbed against it. It help keep the bugs off the hogs…what will they think of next?
One of the first types of corn huskers.
Making brooms from the stems left from wheat harvest
This is our friend, Gary, and Paul looking over the old plows.
We knew nothing about planting peanuts. Gary explained all there was to know about peanut growing.
1-horse peanut weeder
2-horse pointer peanut plow
2-man Peanut Thrasher…1735-1745
1-row peanut digger.
What an improvement over the old seed planter. This one had interchangeable seed-size discs. One piece of equipment can plant all different seeds.
Some type of vice.
What every farmer needs…Manure spreader
Basic farm tools
This ax was really heavy.
Even Gary didn’t know what this ax was used for…any one have an idea?
First hand mower
Butter churn…this thing went back and forth.
Thanks for stopping by. See you again real soon!