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Posts Tagged ‘history’

For Milk Delivery

This old building in downtown Lexington, Virginia features a small set of doors on a side wall.

I thought the little doors were a local curiosity and my own curiosity prompted a small research project.  Google is quick to respond so it didn’t take long.

The old doors were called a “milk chute”.

Evidently they open to a platform where the milkman (they used to have milkmen in the old days you know) could pick up empty milk bottles and replace them with full ones.

The homeowner would retrieve the delivery (not the man – the milk bottles) from inside the house.

And if something extra was needed  (not the man) or  something different (well, maybe the man) from the usual order, the owner could leave a note in the neck of one of the returning empty bottles (hmm…secret messages?).  Actually, you could order vegetables or bread too.  The chutes were multi purpose.

And if you locked yourself out of your house, a little kid could usually crawl through the chute to get inside and open the door for you.

Clever huh?

Although home deliveries of perishable products came to a halt by the late 1960’s, there are still many old buildings with milk chutes (unfortunately, not milk men).

But, discovering little doors like this made me yearn for the good old days of  home deliveries, milkmen and mystery doors.

milkman2

vintage milktruck

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washtubtn

Photo courtesy of the Lone Tree Museum, Lone Tree, Iowa

 

“Wash on Monday, 

Iron on Tuesday,

Mend on Wednesday,

Churn on Thursday,

Clean on Friday,

Bake on Saturday,

Rest on Sunday.”

~ From Pioneer Journeys of the Ingalls Family, Pepin, Wisconsin,  Household Chores

It’s Friday again in Virginia!

I vowed to send off an events diary every week for your reading pleasure

and to share my own life in capsule form.

But I am failing to meet the challenge.

My life has been a panorama of dedication to routines and commitments.

Time to let go right and make some serious life changes?

I’m washing today and it’s FRIDAY!

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Phebe's Barn Built in 1885

I am told this picturesque Virginia barn was built in 1885.

 It was and is still well used

and belongs to my friends “down the road.”

 

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Chownings Mug Sign

Chownings Tavern – Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia

The Way We Were

Chownings Tavern Welcome Team

Tavern Reception Team

Bill and I have been escaping the past several days, on a brief trip to Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia – not the first time for sure.  There is always something to see and do and never enough time for any of it.

The main allure of this incredible place is the ability to experience a “living museum”

where you can see and feel the past

whilst knowing you are viewing it from the future.

O.K. I know this doesn’t make much sense but it is perfectly true.

But we had another reason to visit the area this time.

We stopped at the MAI Conference being held at the Williamsburg Lodge!

Our friend, Pete, is the organizer and MAI stands for Mid Atlantic Innkeepers, so it was a conference and trade show for Bed and Breakfast people.

Attendees are either eager Hosts and Hostesses, eagerly Aspiring hosts and hostesses, or eager Suppliers of eager hosts and hostesses.

In any case, they are all delightfully friendly energetic people enjoying courses, classes, and camaraderie dedicated to optimizing the travel experience in today’s bustling new world.

Here are photographs of our friends who were working so hard to make the conference a success.

MAI Organizer Pete Holladay http://midatlanticinnkeepers.com

MAI Organizer Pete Holladay
http://midatlanticinnkeepers.com

MAI Ladies

Beautiful Friends Phebe and Katherine

Where Are We

Bill Wondering Where We Were

Believe it or not, the Williamsburg Lodge was a stop on our bus route around the periphery of Colonial Williamsburg.  We had lunch at Chownings Tavern along the way.

Bill tried the Shepherd’s Pie with Root Beer to swig it all down.  And I had Brunswick Stew and hot apple cider.  We were serenaded by a lovely lady in period costume who played the fiddle and then we were visited by a fellow who looked like John Adams. Then we heard a fife in the back room.

Talk about being transported back in time!

How I would love to vacation again in Colonial Williamsburg – but via a time machine back to 1734.  Then I would return of course, to all my modern conveniences!

Well, a lunch hour at the Tavern in the restored Old Towne will have to do.

A Colonial Street of Homes

A Colonial Street of Homes

John Adams Maybe

 

Wood Pile at the Ready

Wood Pile at the Ready

 

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Need a Dress for Octoberfest?

Need a Dress for Octoberfest?

12th Century Interior Door

12th Century Interior Door

Park/Cathedral Garden in the City of Speyer

Park/Cathedral Garden in the City of Speyer

Flowers on a City Street

Flowers on a City Street

Christmas Store Soldiers

Christmas Store Soldiers

Standing on a 12th Century Floor

Standing on a 12th Century Floor

Lovelocks - Padlocks Pronouncing Love Along a City Bridge

Padlocks Pronouncing Love Along a City Bridge

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Dor and Bill at Black Forest Clockmaker

Dor and Bill at Black Forest Clockmaker

I expected to find the Black Forest would be black – or very dark and forbidding.

Instead it was Christmas tree perfect.  It is suspected the name came from the contrast of desiduous trees and their autumn-changing leaves against the darker evergreens.

Black Forest Strem 1

We went to the House of Black Forest Clocks.

There we had Cherry Cake and coffee. and this put us all in a good mood for wandering around intricately handmade cuckoo clocks and Christmas ornaments.

My brother and I both found cuckoo clocks in the land where our mother was born.

From the clock house we visited a Farm museum center to see an old German country home.

The house is the same today as when families and livestock lived there under one roof (for warmth of course and easy access).  The inside was very dark and the center of life was a tile stove (again designed for exuding optimal warmth).

The out buildings are all there too – a bake house or smoke house with a black ceiling from all the cooking, and a mill, all close by.

Old Architecture

Mill House

There were horses to greet us too, and one in particular who never met a stranger.

A German Horse

A German Horse

This German Horse loves visitors.

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A Shiny Old ChevyThere is always a sense of the past as you walk down Main Street in Lexington, Virginia.  Parts of the sidewalks are still paved with the original carved bricks and wherever you look there are restored old buildings and signs of times long ago.

Then why is it always so surprising when I come across an old car parked right there on Main?

And why do I feel I am in a time machine?

Isn’t this the most gorgeous shiny Chevy?  I am not sure of the year but I know it was “before my time.”

It is being used to advertise a local Bed and Breakfast (502 Main Street)) and if the B&B is as beautiful as the Chevrolet, I would highly recommend it.

Advertising a B&B

 

 

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Bert and Friend

Bert and Friend

Good Old Days -Dor, Litle Brother and Cousins

Good Old Days -Dor, Little Brother Steve and Cousins Charlotte and Bert

This is a Random ONE Friday since there was only one momentous event this week.

Bert and his beautiful wife, Rita, came for a visit!

Bert is my “long lost cousin.”

How did so much time go by?

I haven’t seen Bert in about 40 years.

But time stopped this week, and there they were!

And it was as if we were still children, talking, talking, laughing, laughing, and eagerly reliving visits to each others’ homes, silly summers, beaches, feeding the pigeons, and rehashing old family stories.

We didn’t forget Bill of course, but Bill is a wonderful listener.

And we didn’t forget Rita either.  Rita is a wonderful talker.

Buffalo Creek View 1

Buffalo Creek

We went on tour of our rural Virginia neighborhood with a stop to visit a lonesome horse.

And onward we meandered down a country road along the Buffalo Creek.

It was a one lane road with the creek on one side and steep cliff walls on the other.

Rita and a Lonesome Horse

Rita and a Lonesome Horse

And then it was off to downtown Lexington, Virginia to the old Robert E. Lee Hotel.

The old girl is now upscale and POSH (not me – the hotel).   It was a rundown place before but has recently been restored to modern day glamour.

There are New York style revolving doors at the entrance and the only thing missing is a doorman! And in the lobby are original recessed telephone booths to retain the historical flavor of the place.

Robert E Lee Hotel

Photo of Robert E. Lee Hotel by http://www.expedia.com

There is also a jewelry store in town (Hess & Co.) in a rennovated building that was once a bank.  I often take folks there to see the old thick vaults from the good old days.  Above the vaults at ceiling level, are little inside windows.  Bank guards used to sit behind those windows with rifles pointed and ready to shoot at potential robbers!

Can you see the ceiling-high windows in the back?  I love it that Hess is not only a wonderful jewelry store in the middle of Lexington, Virginia, it is also a historical fixture.

Hess n Co

Anyway, there just wasn’t enough time to see all there is to see and do in my part of the world, but the visit was fast (maybe too fast) and so much fun.

And that’s my Random One.  And it was all about my long lost cousin!

Notes: 

The Robert E. Lee Hotel is a six-story luxury hotelbuilt in 1926 in Lexington, Va. The recently restored classic hotel has thirty-nine guest rooms,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Painting Steeple

Painter on Scaffold

Yesterday I was happy to see they are once again painting the beautiful restored steeple of the Lexington Presbyterian Church.  I remember this was the same church that was on fire in 2002 and how horrified we were watching the steeple actually fall down.

The Virginia State Police  ruled the fire was accidental in nature,

the result of the heating of wood while workers were scraping paint.

 

The church is a downtown landmark on the National Historic Register and was attended by Thomas Johnathan “Stonewall” Jackson who was known to fall asleep during sermons.

From en.wikipedia.org :

Lexington Presbyterian Church is a historic Presbyterian church building at Main and Nelson Streets in Lexington, Virginia. It was designed by noted architect Thomas U. Walter in 1843, and completed in 1845. A rear addition was built in 1859; stucco added in the 1880s; the building was renovated and enlarged in 1899; and the Sunday School wing was added in 1906. It is a monumental “T”-shaped, temple form stuccoed brick building in the Greek Revival style. The front facade features a Greek Doric pedimented peristyle portico consisting of six wooden columns and a full entablature. The building is topped by a tower with louvered belfry and spire.

Starting in 1851, Stonewall Jackson was a member of the church and taught Sunday school.  In 1863 he was buried in the church’s cemetery.

 

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Full etching

Artist EtchingWriting on EtchingWhen tragically, my sister-in-law was killed by a drunk driver, Bill and I and our son, Corky, tried to salvage those of her personal effects we thought would always remind us of Carol.

Our son rescued an etching which is now residing at our house. Carol must have loved this remarkable piece and the more we look at it, the more astonished and enthralled we are.  It is intensely beautiful in a unique way.

Rothenberg Clock Tower

Etching Details on BackThe etching is of a street beneath a clock tower in the medieval German town of Rothenburg.  The  mesmerizing image is a night scene, where under a clear starry sky, musicians are dancing and playing.

Etching Musicians

There is light coming from a nearby window and the silvery glow of moonlight creates shadows on the street. The old buildings’ flower boxes emit muted color through the evening’s glow.  And the whole effect is transfixing and transporting.

But the oddest thing about this story is that Bill and I are now planning a trip to Europe.

And before we had even seen or acquired this remarkable etching, we had arranged a tour of Rothenburg!

So, we will see the old city and maybe even find the very street where Carol walked and where the artist must have enjoyed the inspiration.

Rothenberg Flower Boxes

Rothenburg on the Romantic Road is perhaps the best preserved medieval town in Germany and the entire walled town is considered a living museum.  The wall connects five medieval gates complete with guard towers that date from the thirteenth to sixteenth centuries.  Gothic, renaissance,  and baroque houses and fountains are highlights of the town as you walk its cobblestone streets.

 

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