The New “Descendants” of Francis Lightfoot Lee

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Menokin, home of a Signer of the Declaration of Independence, served as a most fitting backdrop for this large gathering of the Sons of the American Revolution.
Francis Lightfoot Lee and his wife, Rebecca Tayloe Lee died without children of their own.  However, the newly chartered Rappahannock Chapter of the Virginia Society | Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) has changed all of that, claiming Frank as its honorary ancestor.

The Rappahannock Chapter is the first SAR chapter to be formed in

Michael Rawlings
Michael Rawlings
Virginia in 20 years. The intention of its organizer, Michael Rawlings of Tappahannock, VA, was to fill a void in this region where the closest practicing chapters are quite a distance away.

Over one hundred people attended the ceremony, with SAR leaders from both the state and the national level on hand to participate. There were also several members of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) and the Children of the American Revolution (CAR) present.

Menokin is pleased and honored to have been the host of this momentous occasion.

Thirteen men were inducted with a total of 17 initial charter members – and more than 40 additional men, many of whom were in attendance yesterday  are working on their research and applications.

New inductees to the Rappahannock SAR Chapter include: Back row:
New inductees to the Rappahannock SAR Chapter include:
Back row: Carl Strock, Clem Rawlings, Nathan Parker IV, Nathan Parker III, Mathew Parker | Front Row:  John Garrett, Luther Derby, William Croxton, Gregory Burkett, Wright Andrews

 

Finding a Name: Why Probate Records Are a Gold Mine for African Americans

Source: Finding a Name: Why Probate Records Are a Gold Mine for African Americans

From Ancestry.com:

“More than 170 million pages of probate records were recently posted on Ancestry. Many of these records can help descendants of the nearly 90 percent of the enslaved African American population in 1860 discover the names of some of their enslaved ancestors, who can be extremely difficult to find.”

A Whole New World – St. Margaret’s Paddle Club Explores Cat Point Creek

By Alice French

Kevin Goff, the new Director of the River Program at St. Margaret’s School in Tappahannock, VA, has created this co-curricular activity group called SSOAK: Science, Service, and Outdoor Adventure Krew.

This particular group goes out with SMS faculty Cupper Dickinson and Kevin on weekday afternoons, and will soon be launching larger scale SSOAK activities on weekends for other students who want to participate.

October 12th was the second time they have visited Menokin since our new road was completed. One of the girls said that “Menokin was her favorite of all the places we’ve been kayaking the past 5 weeks”.

Kevin added, “Mine too.”

St. Margaret student members of SSOAK paddle Cat Point Creek at Menokin.
St. Margaret student members of SSOAK paddle Cat Point Creek at Menokin.

 

 

 

 

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A Kayak Trip Along Cat Point Creek

By Christina Markish

Menokin’s newly improved road to Cat Point Creek featuring a kayak and canoe launch and turn-around is complete! The new trail features a turn-around and parking for at least four vehicles down on the waterfront.

The official ribbon cutting ceremony opening the road will be Saturday, November 14th at Menokin. A special thanks to the National Park Service for their $99,000 grant through the Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network to make this project a reality!

The Kayak Divas take to the water at Menokin's new access point to Cat Point Creek.
The Kayak Divas take to the water at Menokin’s new access point to Cat Point Creek.

While the road was not yet complete, a group of ladies known as the “Kayak Divas” took a trip down the trail and launched their kayaks from the Menokin shore for a little early exploration. The Divas included past President of the Menokin Foundation, Helen Murphy, and former board member, Penelope Saffer, amongst other leaders involved with Menokin. The reviews are in: the ladies said the kayak trip was as good as Dragon Run!

Heading up Cat Point Creek. (All images courtesy of Paddle Master, Lois Spencer.)
Heading up Cat Point Creek. (All images courtesy of Paddle Master, Lois Spencer.)

Launching from the Menokin shoreline, the ladies turned theirkayaks towards the right and headed out. Early wildlife encounters included a bald eagle siting – what a beauty! As the ladies continued towards the Westmoreland County border, past duck blinds and fishing holes, the creek narrowed. It began to wind through beautiful wildflowers, bushes and trees. Yellow flowers were in bloom everywhere… it really was beautiful!

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Former Menokin trustee, Helen Murphy, proves her statement that there is just as much laughing as there is paddling when the Kayak Divas get together.

After winding through the narrow creek for nearly two hours, the ladies hit a stopping point where a tree blocked them from proceeding much further (without having to do the limbo) so they turned around to head back to Menokin. On their return, they raved about the beauty they encountered between the wildflowers and eagles. It is a trip they plan to repeat again once the new trail is complete!

Interested in launching your kayak or canoe from the Menokin shore? The trail is open to the public and launching is free! Just contact the Menokin Foundation to make a reservation: 804-333-1776 or menokin@menokin.org.

And please join us November 14th from 11:00am – 1:00pm for the grand opening of the new trail at Menokin. The event will feature food, refreshments, a nature hike, ribbon cutting ceremony, and – of course – the opportunity to be one of the first to launch your kayak or canoe from the Menokin shore using the new trail!

Menokin Keystone Jewelry

Pendant is just under 1" long and includes an 18" sterling chain.
Sterling silver necklace of Menokin keystone.

Looks what’s new in the Menokin Gift Shop? This gorgeous piece of jewelry – designed and produced by Carol Koch (sister of our very own Alice French) – is fashioned from the iconic keystone that once graced the entrance to Menokin and is now on display in our Visitor’s Center.

The pendant comes in sterling silver and solid brass. All three are available for purchase in our online SHOP and at the Menokin Visitor’s Center.

A perfect gift for all the Menokin enthusiasts on your list!

The Menokin keystone in situ. Photo taken by Richard and Robert McClintock in 1969.
The Menokin keystone in situ. Photo taken by Richard and Robert McClintock in 1969.

Price Reduced for Historic Trades Carpentry Class at Menokin

We have reduced the price for the Carpentry Workshop taking place next weekend: individuals pay $150; students with valid ID pay $100 and organizational groups of three or more pay $125 per person. Sign up now as space is limited. Registration closes on Wednesday, October 7.

Printable Registration Brochure

A new view of an old friend

After five years of friendship with this old house, I have photographed her from (I thought) every angle.
But a site visit yesterday revealed a new platform just built for the stucco removal mock up (more on that to come) that  literally opened a new window on Menokin.

The southwest, first floor window looks into the best chamber fireplace. Below is a recent architectural rendering of this room from Machado Silvetti.
The southwest, first floor window looks into the best chamber fireplace. Below is a recent architectural rendering of this room from Machado Silvetti.

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