“…bind ourselves to each other…with our lives and fortunes.”

Wednesday, February 27, 2013 marks the 247th anniversary of the signing of the Leedstown Resolves in Westmoreland County, VA in 1766. The document was the first organized protest of “taxation without representation” and was in opposition to the British imposition of the Stamp Act which required colonists to pay a duty on exports. Signers pledged “to bind ourselves to each other….with our lives and fortunes.”

Stamp actThe Northern Neck of Virginia Historical Society (NNVHS) will present its annual program commemorating this historic event at Menokin, the home of Francis Lightfoot Lee, who, along with his brother Richard Henry Lee, signed both the Leedstown Resolves and the Declaration of Independence.

Signers highlighted in past years have been resolution author Richard Henry Lee and brother Francis Lightfoot Lee, as well as  Alvin Moxley, Meriwether Lee, William Sydnor, Moore Fauntleroy, Francis Waring, and William Roane.

The 2013 commemoration will feature the lives of signers Richard “Squire” Lee of Lee Hall, Robert Wormeley Carter of Sabine Hall, John Belfield of Belle Mount, and Joseph Peirce of Templesman.

The Leedstown ResolvesThe program is being prepared by the NNVHS and hosted by the Menokin Foundation at the Martin Kirwan King Visitor’s Center at Menokin, located at 4037 Menokin Road in Warsaw, VA. Driving directions are available on the Menokin website at or by calling 804-333-1776. The program begins at 10:00 a.m. and all are invited to attend.

Snow day at Menokin

There’s nothing better than waking up really early to find school closings rolling across the tv screen and a ghostly white landscape glowing in the predawn darkness.

After rolling over and falling into a snow day sleep-in coma, I woke up with a desire to see Menokin in the snow. Never one to shy away from an adventure, my husband was easily convinced to chauffeur me across the river to collect my laptop and shoot some pictures.

I never tire of the beauty of the Northern Neck landscape. I hope you agree.


Mill Pond Road
Mill Pond Road
Mount Airy mill pond.
Mount Airy mill pond.
Mount Airy mill pond.
Mount Airy mill pond.
Snowy lane into Menokin.
Snowy lane into Menokin.


Blow winds, blow.
Blow winds, blow.
My daughter is happy to be out of school for the day.
My daughter is happy to be out of school for the day.

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Another Northern Neck farm.
Another Northern Neck farm.


Concept and Planning Phase Continues at Menokin

Last week was a busy one for many of the consultants for The Menokin Project as well as the Menokin staff.


Cultural Consultants Darren Barker and Liza Rogers from Barker Langham arrived from London late Sunday and we all headed off bright and early Monday morning on a field trip of regional museums. Our goal was to observe the interpretation methods being practiced by other institutions as a way of helping Barker Langham hone plan’s for Menokin’s vision, programmes (Oops, I mean “programs.” Too much time with the Brits!) and business plan.

First stop was Kenmore in Historic Fredericksburg, VA. Built by George 165Washington’s sister Betty Washington Lewis and her husband, Fielding Lewis, this beautiful, Georgian-style, brick mansion reflects the pre-Revolutionary-War wealth and status of the Fredericksburg merchant.

Owned and operated by The George Washington Foundation, Kenmore has, over the years, transformed itself from a decorative arts museum to one that represents a more historically accurate, 2061775-1800 appearance. Most notable are the ornate plaster ceilings in the downstairs rooms.

Team member Ward Bucher of Bucher/Borges Group was also in attendance. Their firm is preparing a Historic Structures Report for Menokin that is not only identifying which elements in our collection of stone and structural timbers are available for inclusion in the restored Menokin structure, but also organizing and cataloging the massive amount of research and conservation information that has been performed and collected at Menokin over the years.

We were lucky enough to get access to Kenmore’s attic, where Ward gave a brief 218lesson on 18th-century roof framing, comparing Menokin’s system with Kenmore’s, the differences between which, as it turns out, maybe have accelerated the eventual collapse of Menokin’s roof.

The massive size of these timbers gives renewed respect for the craftsmen who hewed, lifted and joined them together. No small job. And no degrees in engineering!



Next stop was nearby Ferry Farm, also owned and operated by the George248 Washington Foundation. All that remains of Washington’s boyhood home is the footprint of the house. The foundation is in the process of re-establishing the the landscape around Ferry Farm, including building an interpretive reconstruction of Ferry Farm on top of the footprint.

The afternoon was spent at Stratford Hall, boyhood home of Frank Lee. Probably the most famous site in the Northern Neck, Stratford’s interpretation program is constantly changing to keep up with ongoing research and information about the 254Lees and the house as these are revealed. Part of the future vision for Stratford includes a new visitor center that will triple in size on the same site, to combine teaching and collection interpretation. Abby Newkirk, director of interpretation, led us on a detailed tour of the visitor’s center and the house, pointing out those parts of their exhibits that will change and why.

The day concluded with a trip to the grocery store for food and other sustenance to refresh for Tuesday’s activities.



Howdy Luya



Meet Luya. She is Menokin’s newest, youngest, and arguably the cutest member of the Canine Corps.

Luya came to meet the Menokin Staff this week and to check the place out.

First stop was an introduction to Lightfoot, Charter Member of the Menokin Canine Corps and current CEO (Canine Energy Organizer).



Luya decided the best way to introduce herself would be by using the “ambush”





While effective in getting the job done quickly, there was a slight adjustment period while Lightfoot regained his composure.






After completing the official “Sniff and Circle” and “Pat Down” regimens, Lightfoot gave Luya the green light on her membership.

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Meanwhile, big sisters Ruffin and Scout watched anxiously to see how the initiation was going.


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Ruffin experienced a few moments of insecurity during the whole proceedings. Menokin is Ruffin’s spiritual home, and the idea of being unseated by her fluffy little sister was unfathomable. After being reassured that she is still cutest and best loved, she regained her smile and welcomed Luya into the club.

Menokin is very dog friendly, so if you’re looking for a treat and a place to romp, please come for a visit. To meet the other members of the Menokin Canine Corps, visit us on Facebook. Wag your tail and “like” us while you’re there.