Some students from St. Margaret’s School in Tappahannock spent an afternoon at Menokin late in February as part of their “minimester” program.
Minimester as described on the SMS website:
Creative inquiry, experiential learning and the study of interdisciplinary topics are all intrinsic to each Minimester course. Every February, faculty teams teach one week courses outside the core subject areas, giving students the opportunity to learn during extended periods of time and with more hands-on experience.
This group’s focus, led by instructor Dale Harder, was to embark on an in-depth exploration of historic places in Virginia. They visited Monticello, Mt. Vernon and Stratford Hall before coming to Menokin.
Though short on time, the students did a little research on one of Menokin’s artifacts. The dictionary pictured below was found on the floor of Menokin in 1965 by then University of Virginia student Calder Loth. The SMS students were unable to find anything definitive, but did learn that there was a Richard H. Lyell (b. 1818 – d. 1901) that is now buried at Calvary Church Cemetery in Richmond County, VA. Perhaps this is the same man from whom the dictionary was purchased?
Here is a picture of the condition of one of the interior rooms at Menokin taken during that 1965 visit. The Southside Bank calendar on the wall is dated 1941. How long had it been since someone had lived in this room? And who was the last person to use the dictionary?