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Virginia Trip

Posted by misssherry Z8/9MS (My Page) on
Wed, Oct 17, 12 at 12:55

We had a great trip to see the home of my g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-grandfather, Arthur Allen of Surry County, VA, built in the 1660's - he died not long after building it. It was originally known simply as Arthur Allen's brick house, later known as Bacon's Castle, since Nathaniel Bacon used it as a fortification during Bacon's Rebellion.

The garden was skimpy, with only a few plants, but researching them was very interesting! I found what looked like some type of celosia growing there. After looking it up, I believe it to be Amaranthus cruentus, which was, according to my information, a substitute for spinach, and the seeds could also be used as a grain crop. Here are two pictures -



They also ate the leaves of Acanthus mollis/bear's breeches. Is that what this plant is?

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This plant needed water, but it had some seed pods -

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The tour guide said that they were desperate for fresh greens to eat back then, and I assume they grew these plants, because spinach, turnip greens, collard greens, etc. are cool season plants and would die back in the summer. They didn't have a grocery store where they could buy more desirable leafy greens! :)

The only butterflies I saw here were some sulphurs, probably clouded or orange sulphurs, but they flitted by so quickly, I couldn't be sure.

I have more pictures, but I'll post them separately to keep this thread from being too picture heavy.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Virginia Trip

Is the building still standing? Could we see a picture of that? I know it's off topic, but there's not much going on butterfly-related for many of us, since the weather is cooling down. If you want to adhere strictly to the rules, you could post on the conversations part of this forum. I love history, and it's even more fun when it includes "real" people. I bet you had a great trip.


RE: Virginia Trip

I posted this, Martha, because Susan wanted to know what was planted in the garden - it was supposed to be what would have been planted in the 1660s. Susan hasn't posted, though - 'hope she's well.
Yes, the house is still standing and is owned by Preservation Virginia. We really enjoyed touring it!


Here is a link that might be useful: Bacon's Castle/Allen's Brick House

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