Earlier in June, the 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders from Aylett Country
Day School came to Menokin with their teachers, Mrs. Katona and Ms. Brooks. While here they hiked down to Cat Point Creek and learned about the wildlife which lives in the Rappahannock River Valley Watershed.
After the trail hike we went and visited the house and talked about how buildings are made and what Menokin looked like before it fell down.
Then we ran across the fields back to the Visitor Center, (because, well, that’s how these kids travel) and took a lunch break.
After lunch, the group went into the barn to learn a little about how buildings get made. We talked about the different professions involved in building and what architects do. Building with blocks is a great way for students of all ages to use critical thinking skills, cooperatively make design choices, learn to take turns, and build a structure through teamwork.
We have talked and talked about the amazing stabilization and preconstruction work that has been taking place at Menokin.
But as the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. The photography of the completed Northwest Corner reconstruction took my breath away. This before and after photo from 2015 shows the remarkable accomplishments of our preservation effort.
I hope you also feel the excitement and pride that I feel when I see this sneak preview of Menokin in her glory days.
If you’d like to help with our efforts, please consider making a donation.
Today Ms. Dillard’s 8th grade class from Aylett County Day School visited Menokin. The group learned about the relationship of the Fibonacci Sequence and the golden ratio as it related to the enlightened thinkers of 18th century Architecture and Design.
Afterwards they toured the Menokin Visitor Center and House, and hiked down to Cat Point Creek to get a view of the new kayak landing.
This bright group of students was able to see how conservation at our site teaches about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) through architecture, history and science.
It was a great day! Enjoy your holiday break!
I was on a personal pilgrimage while in Annapolis this weekend to visit the Hammond Harwood House.
William Buckland, who most likely had a hand in the carved panelling of Menokin, was the commissioned architect of this house.
If you look closely at the carved pattern directly over the doorway you’ll recognize the frieze on the best chamber mantelpiece from Menokin.
Being inside HHH was the closest I’ll probably ever come to being inside the original Menokin. The floor plans are almost identical. And I got to meet Buckland firsthand in this copy of his portrait by Peale.
While much more ornate throughout than Menokin, it was fun to catch glimpses of some familiar carvings. I highly recommend a visit.
So many exciting things are happening at Menokin in the coming months. We hope that you are able to follow along as they take place and encourage you to visit and observe as the archaeologists, preservation architects, masons, builders and
interns undertake preconstruction work for the Menokin Glass Project.
We’re bringing the Menokin story to the Hampton Roads area with our traveling exhibit of Menokin landscape photographs by our own Hullie Moore and Frances Benjamin Johnston. The exhibit is up now at the Botetourt Gallery of William & Mary’s Earl Gregg Swem Library and runs through October 2. Please be sure to check it out!
The exhibit and our portrait of Francis Lightfoot Lee hang in Swem Library’s Botetourt Gallery near the 18th century statute of Lord Botetourt himself. I think Frank Lee would be pleased to hold court with Botetourt.
This is what he wrote to William Lee in July of 1770:
“Lord Botetourt, in the opinion of every body is a polite, agreeable man, & it is probable from his universal character that we shou’d be very happy in a Governor, if it was not for our unhappy dispute with G. Britain in which he must no doubt think & act with the ministry, indeed he honestly says so, & from what little he speaks about it, it appears the ministry are determin’d to enforce.”
Lord Botetourt died only three months later and was replaced by Lord Dunmore, Virginia’s last royal governor (the Lee brothers were no fans of Dunmore to say the least).