photos on blog are mine unless stated otherwise. please ask before using. Thanks - Betsy

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Sunday, September 9, 2012

Port Royal Va.

Following are  pictures that Steve and I took around  Port Royal early in the fall of 2011.   We go maybe once a month.  We enjoy the food at the Tavern across the street where we have lunch.  The  prices are reasonable, plus  a stroll around  the neighborhood  in the historical area to walk off the lunch is a good idea.   

Brockenbrough-Peyton house
Regarded as the finest mansion in Port Royal
Once owned by Champ Brockenbrough and then the Peyton family before 1865
here is where John Wilkes Booth and David Herold came for lodging
Sarah Jane Peyton after serving them tea,  didn't like the looks of them
She suggested they try the farm of Richard Garrett which is two miles south of Port Royal
--=We all know what happened after that----

decaying out building


Masonic bldg 1852
A pleasant day for walking and this shot has some of the pretty clipped box on the way to the lodge

A multi purpose structure -  the ground floor served as an Academy
Port Royal town hall and then a General Store
The second floor was home to the Kilwinning Crosse Masonic Lodge
Chartered in 1754 , it is the second oldest in Virginia
Since many members came on horseback the meetings were held on or before the full moon,  so the riders would have moonlight to ride home by.

Check out the brick work - layer on layer

This home had one of  the prettiest yards with clipped hedges - Dally house

Dally house 1850
Records are lost to this pre - civil war home
Typical of the post colonial era is the way the gardens and yard is laid out and planted
brick edged walkways and geometric topiary reminds me of Williamsburg gardens

pretty side view from the street

Timberlake (oldest part 1750) didn't get a picture of the whole house.   Felt strange taking pics with people in the yard.
expanded over the years to 15 rooms , it was a small cottage in the beginning

didn't get the name of this one

Cattlet house 1760- first recorded owner was a John Buckner
Remained in Buckner family til 1805

Farish printing circa 1750
Believed originally to ba a tavern,  taverns were plentiful .  Converted to a print shop in 1929 and lasted into
the 1980's
Fox Tavern 1767 - A Port Royal sea captain , William Fox received a liscense to operate a Tavern in his home in 1755.    George Washington and Thomas Jefferson often visited this Tavern and there are receipts recording their stays. Bought by John Catltet in 1816 and turned into a private residence.

I like the worn steps

below is  Riverview -Built on a 1757 foundation - shelling from Union gunboats damaged the home during Civil war
In 1865 - John Wilkes Booth fleeing after assassinating President Lincoln ,  crossed the Rappahannock and landed here.  He was invited in but declined and made his way to Brockenbrough - Peyton house
The only female commissioned nurse during the Civil War - Sallie Thompkins "Nurse of the Confederacy" bought this home
and lived here til 1905

Murray house circa 1750
Hard to believe it's still standing,  you can see it tilted some in the siding

May be one of the towns oldest structures.    Built by James Bowie who operated a ferry that crossed the Rappahannock to Port Conway.  Sits on a high bluff and is sited into the slope.  Large sandstone boulders are contained in the interior of the foundation
I didn't get picture of the house

Above is Pearson house c. 1775
the first structure on this property was in place before 1787
John and Elizabeth Pearson bought the property in 1804
and completed the present structure.

When Port Royal was platted in 1744 it was in the English colonial parish of St. Marys formed in 1677
In 1835 St. Peters was built in the Gothic Greek Revival style

Townfield 1745-50   1790 and 1837
The original one and a half story Georgian central passage dwelling was built by a wealthy merchant and businessman Robert Gilchrist.   Before his death in 1790 he added a new wing.
In a small cemetary on the property some members of the Gilchrist as well as some lightfoot family are buried.

Tennant house c. 1760
Tennant was a Port Royal doctor
This home was constructed in two phases,  one nearer the corner is the oldest part
The Dr. was chosen to quarrantine sailors suspected of harboring smallpox
One room became Caroline countys first hospital
sold for $500.00 in 1847 To a Baltimore merchant

Another fine home is the  Hord House 1819

Just a barn in someones yard in the neighborhood I liked.   I do love barns.
Care - Holloway House c. 1770
Built by Scottish Immigrant - Andrew Leckie
Served as the Port Royal Tavern - later became a retail store
Merchant and land speculator John Hipkins and his wife Elizabeth purchased the structure  and turned into a home in 1784
House was purchased by William and Margaret Care in 1825
beginning in 1878 - Frances Brockenbrough Holloway
lived all of her 92 years here.

There were a few more homes I did not get a shot of or that didn't turn out
I want to ride through at Christmas to see how the places are decorated.
Happy Sunday


  1. Hi Betsy! Thanks for the wonderful historic homes tour, I felt like I was strolling right along with you. Wouldn't you love to see the inside of these homes?! Some look like they are being restored. Thanks too for sharing all of that history,very interesting. Gina

  2. Makes me want to go back in time and relive the past.. or even retire there. Nice shots and great history, thanks

    warm hugs,

    Cotton Peony

  3. I see that your email says "no reply" and I just wanted to say that I would love to retire here also, close to fishing and a small area. Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment


  4. I see that your email says "no reply" and I just wanted to say that I would love to retire here also, close to fishing and a small area. Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment


  5. Guess what ...? I live around their , The yellow kind of house with the shed in the yard and swing set. I think your pictures and captions were cool.

  6. We drive (slowly) through on the way between Fairfax, VA, and Gwynn (Island), VA. Also, I am descended from a NC "Buckner" via my great-grandmother Martha 1862-1912 married to John Wesley Braxton 1854-1920. Thanks for these wonderful photos! Inspiring. I like all the buildings.

  7. Robert-I enjoy visiting this area and at Christmas I love to see the homes decorated.

    That is interesting about your descendants and so nice to hear from someone who appreciates it too.
    Thank You for visiting.
    Happy Weekend



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