March 31, 2021

Geese Good and Bad

Most of the time, I like geese. When I saw this goose at the Kennedy Farm the other day, I did not get close to him. Geese are nesting now and they will attack to protect their eggs.  

 At home, we see geese all the day because we have a view of the community lake. Here some Canada geese are being peaceful.

There are white geese who visit my yard. They are probably descended from farm geese. When they see me putting out bird food, they come to investigate. During the winter I made the mistake of putting "critter food" on the ground to feed the squirrel family that raids my bird feeders. The geese swooped in and ate it, and now they think I should feed them every time I feed the birds. Ducks come too. 

This pair of graylag geese attacked me in my driveway. They must have a nest nearby. One of them bit me! 

Now I park the car close to our house in hopes of avoiding them. And they sometimes tap on our door! I don't know if they want something or perhaps they saw a reflection of geese in the glass. I know cardinals peck on windows sometimes because they think their reflection is a rival.

More Signs at the Kennedy Farm

Yesterday's post took you to John Brown's hideout in Maryland, the Kennedy Farm. There are two Civil War Trails signs near the entrance to the property that are worth sharing. 
Log house and sign

"This is the Kennedy farmhouse, which abolitionist John Brown (using the pseudonym Isaac Smith) leased in July 1859 from Dr. Robert Kennedy's heirs, ostensibly to do some prospecting. Brown's fifteen-year-old daughter, Annie Brown, identified the Kennedy Farm as "Headquarters: War Department." It served as a barracks, arsenal, supply depot, mess hall, debate club, and home to Brown and his fellow conspirators to plan their attack on the U.S. Arsenal at Harpers Ferry, five miles away. Brown's daughter-in-law Martha Brown, sons Owen, Watson, and Oliver Brown, and eighteen other men, five of whom were African American, jammed the house and nearby cabin. Crates marked "mining tools" actually held about 400 rifles and pistols, ammunition, black powder, 1,000 pikes, tools, tents, clothing, and other items a small army needed."
Read the rest of the text on HMDB.

Interesting note: Behind the log house there is a a long white building beyond the trees. I noticed the sign IBPOEW on it. This stands for Improved Benevolent Protective Order of Elks of the World, an African American organization. From 1950 to 1966, they owned and maintained the Kennedy Farm as a shrine to John Brown. They had an auditorium where some big names in music performed, including Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Marvin Gaye, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, B. B. King, Eartha Kitt, Otis Redding, Etta James, the Coasters, and the Drifters. (Source: Wikipedia.)

Although John Brown's attack on Harpers Ferry failed, it accelerated the debate over slavery. The other table-top sign tells the story of Jubal Early's army passing this spot five years later, as the American Civil War raged.
"In June 1864, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee sent Gen. Jubal A. Early's corps from the Richmond battlefield to the Shenandoah Valley to counter Union Gen. David Hunter's army. After driving Hunter into West Virginia, Early invaded Maryland to attack Washington, D.C., draw Union troops from Richmond, and release Confederate prisoners held at Point Lookout. On July 9, Early ordered Gen. Bradley T. Johnson's cavalry brigade eastward to free the prisoners. The next day, Johnson sent Maj. Harry Gilmer's regiment to raid the Baltimore area. Union Gen. Lew Wallace delayed Early at the Battle of Monocacy on July 9. Federal reinforcements soon strengthened the capital's defenses. Early attacked there near Fort Stevens on July 11-12 and then withdrew to the Shenandoah Valley with the Federals in pursuit. He stopped them at Cool Spring on July 17-18. Despite failing to take Washington or free prisoners, Early succeeded in diverting Federal resources.

After abandoning his attempt to capture Harpers Ferry, Confederate Gen. Jubal A. Early and his army crossed the Potomac River a few miles north of here at Blackford's (Boteler's) Ford near Shepherdstown and spread out through the Maryland countryside. On July 6-8, 1864, the Confederates passed by this spot. Gen. John C. Breckenridge's troops were the first to arrive here. Breckinridge, a former vice president of the United States, had contended against Abraham Lincoln in 1860 for the presidency of the United States."


March 30, 2021

John Brown's Hideout: The Kennedy Farm

Washington County, Maryland
Tuesday Treasures

John Brown
and his associates collected arms and ammunition on the Kennedy Farm (Samples Manor) in Maryland for months prior to the raid on the arsenal at Harpers Ferry, October 17, 1859.

I'm reading a book about John Brown and the Harpers Ferry raid by one of my favorite teachers, Charles P. Poland, Jr.  This got me interested in going back to the Kennedy Farm, which I have visited in the past on field trips with Professor Poland and a history class from Northern Virginia Community College. 

This site is peaceful and remote. Although it is not far from Harpers Ferry as the crow flies, allow plenty of time to get here. The route includes five miles on a winding and narrow road.

In Memoriam
to the Provisional Army of the United States of America and their presence at Kennedy Farm the summer of 1859.
John Brown, 59, hanged
• Annie Brown, 16, sent home • Martha Brown, 17, sent home • John Henry Kagi, 24, killed • Aaron Dwight Stevens, 28, hanged • Owen Brown, 34, escaped • Oliver Brown, 19, killed • Jeremiah Goldsmith Anderson, 26, killed • John E. Cook, 29, hanged • Charles Plummer Tidd, 24, escaped • William Thompson, 26, killed • Dauphin Osgood Thompson, 21, killed • Albert Hazlett, 22, hanged • Watson Brown, 20, killed • Edwin Coppoc, 24, hanged • Barclay Coppoc, 20, escaped • John Anthony Copeland, Jr., 25, hanged • William H. Leeman, 20, killed • Stewart Taylor, 22, killed • Osborn Perry Anderson, 29, escaped • Dangerfield Newby, 44, killed • Lewis Sheridan Leary, 24, killed • Shields Green, 23, hanged • Francis Jackson Meriam, 21, escaped. “
. . . I John Brown am now quite certain that the crimes of this guilty land: will never be purged away; but with blood. I had as I now think: vainly flattered myself that without very much bloodshed; it might be done . . .” . . . 
It can be said . . . it all started here . . .

March 29, 2021

Veterans Park in Shenandoah, Virginia

 Today is National Vietnam War Veterans Memorial Day, so it's appropriate to show a Veteran's Memorial Park. I happened across this when looking for the post office in the town of Shenandoah. 

The right-hand wall is a retaining wall. The truck is on a driveway behind it.

The Post Office is directly across the street. Is anyone else photographing post offices? I am trying to show support for our troubled postal system. 

While we're looking at Shenandoah, here's the town hall and a house with a canoe in front of the fence. 

There are other interesting sights in that town so I need to go back and visit them.

March 28, 2021

Antioch Church in Hopewell Gap

These pictures are from February. It is now spring and the snow is gone.
Inspired Sunday.

I was excited to come across this church with historical markers. 
"Organized April 22, 1837, the nineteen original members of Antioch Baptist Church worshipped in a small log building until the stone church was erected in 1842. Baptisms were held in the creek behind the church. In 1901, the congregation tore down the stone church because of structural damage and erected the present building. The Women's Missionary Society acquired the adjacent log house in 1926 and deeded it to the church in 1957. In 1962 the church was closed due to a dwindling congregation, but was reopened in 1996. The annual Homecoming Meeting has continued since 1922."

There's also a Civil War Trails sign entitled "Hopewell Gap *** Mountain Pass and Mosby's POW Camp." 

You can read the entire text at Historical Marker Database.  I was especially intrigued by the mention and map of Mosby's Camp on Bull Run Mountain. Years ago I was told about it by John Austin who had found it while hunting on the mountain.

Late in July, 1863, Confederate Maj. John S. Mosby held 153 prisoners and 200 horses at Camp Spindle near here until they could be sent to Richmond. The steep terrain concealed the camp and its natural spring. Mosby released two New York Herald reporters to build good public relations and tell the world what a “gentleman” he was.
There is a house next door. I don't know if it is the log house mentioned in the first marker.

March 27, 2021

In the Clouds and Above

On Wednesday I ran a couple of errands in Front Royal and then went up on Skyline Drive. I could see there were clouds on the mountains but that's okay. It adds an air of mystery. 

Dickey Ridge Picnic Area is now open for the season. It is less than five miles from Front Royal, but no one was there in the fog. 

I drove south and spotted what looked like a large bird. Was it an eagle? There was no place to park so I shot two pictures from the car. In this rather awful photo you can see the edge of the passenger-side window. 
Saturday Critters / I'd Rather Be Birdin'

I was excited to view the pictures enlarged on the computer. Here you see the second shot cropped and enhanced. I'm afraid it's just a vulture. In fact, if I enhance the first picture, I see a reddish face so I think it is what we call a turkey vulture. A really big one. 

Oh well! Around milepost 13, I drove out of the clouds. Here we see a cloud lingering over Rappahannock County as viewed from Hogwallow Flats Overlook.

There are many white-tailed deer in Shenandoah National Park. I was glad I didn't run into any in the fog. I had slowed down though. 

I turned around at Range View Overlook. It has a great view and a big enough parking area to enable safe turns. 

I saw a few more deer on the way back home.


March 26, 2021

Spring Comes to Harrisonburg

Willy Nilly Friday

Flowers are finally blooming! 
Floral Friday / Garden Affair / Friday Bliss 

Black and White Weekend: This garden statuary caught my eye in the arboretum.

Weekend Reflections

Harrisonburg is a college town so you are likely to see young people strolling around.

Skywatch: Today was sunny, warm, and mostly clear.

This is the Rockingham County Courthouse on Court Square. 

I saw some young men making music nearby. 


March 25, 2021

Agents of Change

Edinburg, Virginia.

 The Shenandoah County Library has an exhibit on influential women in Virginia. 

The panel on Chief Anne Richardson caught my eye. She is the first female Indian chief in Virginia since Cockcoeske became ruler of the Powhatan Confederacy in the mid-1600's. 


March 24, 2021

Spread Your Wings!

I think the first bird is a blackbird. The one attacking the suet is a red-bellied woodpecker.
I've watched geese long enough to learn that some of them like to spread their wings right after hopping up onto the shore. They appear to be celebrating, or laying claim to the territory. Or perhaps they are just drying off. 

March 22, 2021

Mural at Dominion Animal Hospital

Herndon, Virginia

This is a gorgeous mural but I was not able to get it all in one photo. I took a panoramic shot with my cell phone, but cars are covering part of it. 

I got closer and moved around to photograph some of the highlights. 

Monday Mural / Mosaic Monday

March 21, 2021

Blog Post 7470

Elkton, Virginia.

The town of Elkton is surrounded by farm country and mountains. It was originally a settlement called Conrad's Store but was later named Elkton for the stream called Elk Run. 

 Inspired Sunday / Shadow Shot Sunday

The Elkton United Methodist Church was built in 1894 as a frame building. In 1921 it was expanded and brick facing was added.

You can find farms on the edge of town, and a view of the Blue Ridge Mountains to the east. To the west is the southern end of the Massanutten Mountains.

I apologize for all the utility wires. I could Photoshop them out but I want to stay somewhat true to current reality. 

You can view more barns on Tom's Backroads blog.