Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day edition

How are you all passing this holiday? Cookouts ... movie marathons ... sports .... chores? I'm in Richmond VA, for sightseeing and museum going—staying at a very old courtyard-type inn called Linden Row that goes back to 1816. Edgar Allen Poe played here with the children of the property's original owner. During and just after the Civil War, several of the row houses were used as girl's schools: The Southern Female Institute and Mrs Pegram's. One young lady of the time later recalled seeing Jefferson Davis ride by on his horse.
In the late 19th century, Miss Randolph's School boasted two famous sisters as alumna, both of them beauties. Out of 60-some suitors, quintessential Southern belle Irene Langhorne (middle row) married Charles Dana Gibson and was the prototype for the "Gibson girl,"while Nancy Langhorne (pictured below in a drawing and painting by Sargent) became Lady Astor, a Viscountess and the first female member of the British Parliament.
Linden Row Inn facade

Another highlight of Richmond for military and history buffs is the Civil War Museum, where the conflict and its sources are looked at from the perspective of the Union, the Confederacy, and African Americans of the time. Housed in a restored gun foundry on the banks of the James, the museum (which also offers virtual tours) is located near the place on the river where slave ships docked more than 150 years ago. If the Civil War is something you'd like to bone up on, we have dozens of books and DVDs looking at this monumental dividing line for America from many different perspectives. (Below, drum belonging to the 10th cavalry of African American "Buffalo Soldiers" from the museum's collection.)


  1. I have visited the Civil War museum in Richmond and had such a great time. They had some great exhibits and I was excited to learn about some aspects of the war that I was unaware of.