Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Monday, June 01, 2009

History Matters

Yesterday, I received a phone call from fellow Lake Writer and Bedford historian June Goode. She told me that Farrar Richardson, whom both of us have emailed in the past and who now lives in France, was visiting Avenel this coming Sunday.

This used to be the front of Avenel

I first "met" Mr. Richardson (in a virtual way, at least) in 2006 after I blogged about doing a reading at Avenel. (For the two or three blog readers who haven't heard of Avenel, it's the Burwell plantation house in Bedford, a town about 40 miles north of where I live. Avenel is rich in history—both Robert E. Lee and Edgar Allan Poe were guests there—albeit not at the same time.

The "Lee" bedroom, upstairs

A settee, downstairs

Rosa, one of the Burwell girls

And Avenel is also haunted. A Lady in white used to be seen on the grounds.

In this picture I took at night in 2007, you can see an orb near the roof.

Anyhow, Mr. Richardson's great grandfather visited there during the Civil War. The picture below shows how Avenel looked in the old days.

That's not a orb—merely the flash reflection.

While Googling Avenel, Mr. Richardson found my blog. He contacted me because he wanted to know if Avenel had ever been a hospital, since his ancestor was hospitalized in Bedford following the Battle of Sharpsburg.

I didn't know, but I figured June Goode did. She'd written Our War: An Account of the Civil War in Bedford, Virginia. I found a Lt. Richardson mentioned in her book. But what I found led to another mystery.

If you read my December 15, 2006 blog post, "Avenel Mystery," you can see why we corresponded back and forth—and what the mystery was.

If you read my December 23, 2006, blog post, "Mystery Solved?," you can see how things turned out.

Ah, the power of blogs!

And next week, I'll let you know how the meeting at Avenel went.

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Blogger Amy Tate said...

Is he speaking? Avenel is a gorgeous place!

10:11 AM  
Blogger Becky Mushko said...

No, he's just visiting because Avenel was important in his great grandfather's life. He's working on a book about his great grandfather.

10:33 AM  

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