Berkeley Plantation

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Because of the trees, it was difficult to get a good view of the house.

Another Presidential site – Berkeley Plantation on the James River in Virginia.

But so much more than a presidential home.

Way back in December of 1619, 38 English settlers arrived at the site, 20 miles from Jamestown. One of the “laws” on the charter was that a “day of thanksgiving” be observed every year.  Captain John Woodleaf held the first service.

A few later, however, many of the settlers were killed in a massacre (and about one third of the total number of settlers in the entire colony).

Years went by – about a decade or so – and one of the First families of Virginia – the Harrisons moved into what became known as the Berkeley Plantation. The Harrisons … Benjamin V, (as in signer of the Declaration of Independence and Governor of Virginia) built a three-story Georgian style brick home overlooking the river. And, William Henry Harrison (you know, the President) was born there and his grandson, another Benjamin ( and President) also lived there.

Unfortunately, the Union troops took over Berkeley during the Civil War. In fact, President Abraham Lincoln visited there twice.

Oh, another historical fact about Berkeley? Taps (as in the  Army taps) was written on the Harrison’s wharf and first played at the plantation.

The tour guide at Berkeley was informative and interesting. We met a lot of those kind of tour guides on the trip.

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