Tag Archives: Rappahannock River Valley Wildlife Refuge

Cultural Landscapes of Menokin: An Historical Analysis – Part II

Originally prepared in October 2012 and revised in November of 2013, this research conducted and prepared by C. Allan Brown is part of the The Menokin Glass House Project.
The report will be shared in a serial fashion with the intention of a weekly post as time allows.

PART II

The earliest documented European settlement in the locality of Menokin occurred about 1650 with a patent of land on the Rappahannock River, at the mouth of Rappahannock Creek, by PlatteMoore Fauntleroy (Fig. 10).[1]Colonial authorities had not officially allowed settlement of the Northern Neck until 1649.[2]  Fauntleroy’s initial plantation (south of the creek) was named Mangorite, evidently another phonetic transliteration of an Indian word (“Mangorike [sic] Marsh” is along the north bank of the Rappahannock River, near the Sabine Hall lowlands).  North of the creek, a substantial brick house, quite like Sabine Hall, was built c. 1740 by his descendant, William Fauntleroy, near present Naylor’s Beach.[3]  That house was situated so near the shoreline that, by 1905, it was reported that “the waves of the river . . . have undermined the bank at the rear of the garden and invaded the family burial-ground.”[4]  Soon after, the house itself was demolished.

A little farther inland, Capt. Henry Fleete patented 750 acres in 1652 on the west shore of Menokin Bay.[5]   His patent noted that Fleete’s property was situated “southwest of the Great Rappahannock town where the Indians are at present seated 2 miles up Fleets Creek” (i.e., two miles upstream from the confluence of Rappahannock Creek and Rappahannock River).[6]  “Southwest of” evidently was meant to imply that the creek was between Fleete’s property and 120409_MSA_AIA_Richmond_Lecture_Menokin_MFthe Indian town.  Six years later, John Stephens patented the Menokin property (originally 1000 acres) directly across the bay from Fleete’s land on 13 March 1657/58, however Stephens may not then have occupied the land.[7]  His will written three years later, before embarking on a return visit to England, referred to the “one thousand acres of land lying on Rappae: Creek on ye same side ye Indians liveth on….”[8]  Thus it appears from multiple sources that in the mid-17th century, the Rappahannocks were residing on the east bank of Menokin Bay, not on the western shore as has been suggested by some recent writers.

surveyIn the 1960s, local historian Thomas Hoskins Warner who also was a professional surveyor, determined that a Rappahannock town had been situated “on the northeast side of Rappahannock Creek (Cat Point) about two miles above its mouth and less than a mile above the point where Menokin Swamp flows into the creek.”[9]  He surmised that the town had been sited there for defensive purposes and for observation of rivercraft:  “Back of it was a high hill, from the summit of which a man might see down the creek almost to the river.”[10]  Although authorities on regional Indian cultures indicate that such towns often were built on high ground, Warner suggested that the town at or near Menokin was not on the uppermost plateau.[11]  As a surveyor, Warner gave its precise location as latitude 380 0’ 15” and longitude 760 48’ 50”, but that position may not now allow for a subsequent slight shift in magnetic declination.[12]

Warner also made an observation of an “Indian relic” on the “north slope” (possibly on Menokin Foundation property) that he claimed “has aroused keenest interest.”[13]  He described it in some detail as the “remains of a circular stone wall,” about 30 feet in diameter, “no doubt one of the last existing monuments of a long departed race.”[14]  (It is presently unknown if that feature survives.)  He further noted that early records refer to Cat Point Creek as “Indian Creek” or “Great Hunting Creek” and Menokin Run as “Little Hunting Creek,” but I have not verified those names.[15]  If Warner was correct in his assertions, then it appears that the Rappahannock Indian presence on the Menokin property was quite significant.


FOOTNOTES

[1]Moore Fauntleroy (1610-1663), from Craundall, Southampton, England had arrived in Virginia about 1643, according to a monument erected on that property by a descendant in 1927.  See Sanford and Klein, “Archaeological Assessment,” pp. 100-101; Robert R. Harper, Richmond County, Virginia, 1692-1992:  A Tricentennial Portrait (Alexandria, Virginia, 1992), p. 34.

[2]See James Horn, Adapting to a New World:  English Society in the Seventeenth-Century Chesapeake (Chapel Hill, 1994) pp. 161-164, 175; Jean B. Russo, Planting an Empire:  The Early Chesapeake in British North America (Baltimore, 2012).

[3]See Harper, Richmond County, p. 46.  Evidently Avery Naylor was an early landowner in the vicinity (“Naylor’s Creek” is on the south side of the Rappahannock River, opposite the mouth of Rappahannock Creek) and “Naylor’s Hole” was the name for the deep water in the Rappahannock River at that location, where ocean-going vessels would often anchor.  “Naylor’s Wharf” projected from the north bank of the river (near present Naylor’s Beach) and “Cat Point” nearby, along the Rapahannock Creek, was sometimes also referred to as “Naylor’s Point.”  The Fauntleroy house itself became familiarly known as “Naylor’s Hole.”

[4] George W. Beale, “Naylor’s Hole:  Ancient Seat of the Fauntleroy Family in Richmond County,” Richmond Times-Dispatch, 2 July 1905.

[5] Virginia Land Office Patent Book 3, p. 97 (1 August 1652).

[6] Ibid. For further relevant information regarding the Indian town, see Virginia Land Office Patent Book 3, p. 73; 4, p. 235; Northern Neck Grant Book 1, p. 134. See also (old) Rappahannock County Deed Book 2, pp. 39-40, 135.

[7] Virginia Land Office Patent Book 4, p. 303; Northern Neck Grant Book 1, p. 135 (18 March 1691/92).  For further confirmation of the location of this land, see Virginia Land Office Patent Book 5, p. 198; 6, p. 77.

[8] (Old) Rappahannock County Will Book 2, part 1, pp. 66-68 (5 March 1660/61); the will was proved 6 February 1677/78.  See also Northern Neck Grant Book 1, p. 137.

[9] Warner, Old Rappahannock, p. 36.

[10] Ibid.

[11] According to Helen C. Rountree, they “preferred to locate settlements on high ground overlooking the water, so that everything and everyone approaching the town could be seen;” Powhatan, p. 58.

[12] Warner, Old Rappahannock, p. 37.

[13] Ibid.

[14] Ibid.  The circular dancing-ground/prayer-plot depicted by John White in his famous painting of the Indian town of Secota, was about that size; see c. 1620 DeBry engraving of that painting, in Rountree, Powhatan, p. 59.

[15] Warner, Old Rappahannock, pp. 170-171.


PART I of Series

Get Quacking. Register today for Junior Duck Stamp Camp.

 Join the Menokin Foundation, Rappahannock Wildlife Refuge Friends, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Westmoreland State Park for Junior Duck Stamp Camp! This year’s camp is scheduled for August 1, 2, 4, and 5th from 1:00 until 5:00 each day.

What is Junior Duck Stamp Camp?

While investigating the natural habitats of waterfowl in the Rappahannock River Valley watershed, campers will learn to document what they see and discover with notes and sketchbooks. By the end of the week, campers will have a greater understanding of the waterfowl and their habitats. They will also have had the opportunity to experiment with a variety of drawing techniques to prepare them to enter the Junior Duck Stamp Camp Contest in March 2017.

Junior Duck Stamp Camp guides will take campers kayaking on Wilna Pond, Cat Point Creek, and the Potomac River. Students will learn “How to Birdwatch and Duck Identification 101” and how to draw birds in various forms and landscapes. The final artwork created by the students will tour the region and images will be shared with area media publications.

The Junior Duck Stamp Camp program is for 5th to 8th graders, ages 10-14. The cost to attend is $50 per child. Several full scholarships are available thanks to the generosity of the Rappahannock Wildlife Refuge Friends.  Transportation is available from a central meeting site each day.

For more information or to register, please contact Alice French at the Menokin Foundation: afrench@menokin.org or (804) 333-1776. Or download a Registration Brochure.

Hurry! Time is running out, so register today!

Duck Stamp Camp Returns!

Read all the details below, and click here for a printable registration brochure. Get quackin’. Space is filling up!

Duck Stamp Camp

WHAT IS DUCK STAMP CAMP?

While investigating the natural habitats of waterfowl in the Rappahannock River Valley watershed, campers will learn to document what they see and discover with cameras, notes and sketchbooks. By the end of the week, campers will have a greater understanding of the waterfowl and their habitats. They will also have had the opportunity to experiment with a variety of drawing techniques to prepare them to enter the Junior Duck Stamp Contest in March 2016.

WHO MAY ATTEND?

The Junior Duck Stamp Summer Camp Program is for 5th-8th graders, ages 10-14 years.

WHEN IS IT?

July 20-21 and July 23-24, 2015
1:00 pm until 5:00 pm

WHAT IS THE COST?*

YMCA Members – $20 per child
Non-members – $50 per child
*Several full scholarships are available through the generosity of the Rappahannock Wildlife Refuge Friends. For more information, please contact Alice French at afrench@menokin.org.

WHAT WILL YOU NEED TO BRING?

A water bottle, sunscreen, bug spray and shoes/clothes that can get wet.

WHAT IS PROVIDED?

Each camper will receive a sketch book, a pencil and eraser, and a paper portfolio for drawings. Pastels, crayons, colored pencils, and paints will be available for use.

WHEN IS IT?

July 20-21 and July 23-24, 2015
1:00 pm until 5:00 pm

Questions? Contact Alice French at 804.333.1776
DEADLINE FOR REGISTRATION AND PAYMENT: July 10, 2015

CAMP SCHEDULE

DAY ONE: Wilna (July 20)

  • Meet & Greet period at the Educational Center. Refuge staff will discuss “How to Birdwatch and Duck Identification 101.”
  • Hike around pond (puddle duck habitats) with binoculars and sketchbooks.
  • Walk to Observation Deck & Trail (dabblers).
  • Intro of Duck Stamp program by U.S.Fish & Wildlife.

DAY TWO: Menokin (July 21)

  • Canoe at Menokin along Cat Point Creek with guides.
  • Guide to point out plant species in this type of habitat
    and the types of ducks found on a creek.
  • Spend the afternoon learning to draw bird forms: flying,
    sitting, diving, etc. Special guest artist visit to describe a subject in its environment.

DAY THREE: Westmoreland State Park (July 23)

  • Kayak at Westmoreland State Park along the Potomac River with guides.
  • Guide to point out plant species in this type of habitat and the types of ducks found on a river.
  • Spend the afternoon learning to draw things in the landscape: leaves, trees, water, sky.

DAY FOUR: Wilna (July 24)

  • Campers will complete any unfinished work on their pictures. This may include a last hike to document the habitats at Wilna Pond in their sketch books, or finish the description of their picture.
  • All work will then be displayed for show. Each camper will describe their duck and its habitat, and what they learned by making their artwork.
  • The afternoon celebration will conclude with time for pictures to be taken, refreshments, art and games. Parents are encouraged to attend the celebration.

Audubon Club Members Survey Birds at Menokin

Armed with binoculars and embraced by some rare nice weather, members of the local Audubon Society chapter met with Alice at Menokin on April 3rd.

The purpose of the visit was to orient themselves with the trails and get a feel for the number and types of species available here for birding enthusiasts.

flyway-path-4Menokin is situated in the Atlantic Flyway, which is a migratory route for many species. From the forests of New England, where birds like the Wood Thrush nest and breed, to the beaches and marshlands that stretch down the coast and provide habitat for Piping Plovers and Saltmarsh Sparrows, Audubon is employing tactics as diverse as this flyway’s ecosystems to protect the millions of birds that depend on this flyway. All migratory birds depend on healthy nesting grounds, healthy migratory stopover sites, and healthy wintering grounds. Audubon’s work with forest owners in the eastern United States is helping to ensure that dozens of birds have the habitat that they need to raise their young successfully. Their work to protect urban parks and coastal migrant traps and to reduce building collisions along the heavily urbanized Atlantic seaboard is helping maintain safer migratory pathways, and their growing partnerships in the Caribbean and Central America will help us protect the winter homes of these birds too.

Fifteen species were identified during the one-hour Menokin bird walk. Here is the list. Each picture links to complete species information and various recorded bird calls. Enjoy!

Mourning Dove
Mourning Dove

 

Palm Warbler
Palm Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Common Loon
Common Loon
Turkey Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Blue-winged Teal
Blue-winged Teal
Double-crested Cormorant
Double-crested Cormorant
Horned Grebe
Horned Grebe
Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle
Northern Cardinal
Northern Cardinal
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Chipping Sparrow
Chipping Sparrow
Northern Flicker
Northern Flicker
Northern Mockingbird
Northern Mockingbird
Eastern Bluebird
Eastern Bluebird

“Intern”pretations – Episode 1: Emily

emily lyth has been an intern at menokin since april 2014. she lives in richmond county with her family and is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree from drexel university’s online degree program.

“I started visiting the trails at Menokin back in April. As a new intern, I felt it was important to educate myself about The Menokin Foundation. To me, that meant going beyond simply learning about Francis Lightfoot Lee and the history of the Menokin house; I wanted to explore the land and the property that are such an intrinsic part of Menokin’s story.

So when the weather got a little warmer, I laced up my hiking shoes, charged my iPod, and spent most of my Saturday traveling the beautiful paths through the woods and along Cat Point Creek. Though I hadn’t anticipated it, that was the beginning of a new weekend tradition for me ─ one that has become a great source of relaxation in my life.

The following weekend, I added my camera, some homework, and a book to my backpack and spent the afternoon taking pictures of nature and the wildlife, catching up on homework, and reading.

Whether it’s just to walk and mess around with my camera while I listen to music or to sit at the picnic table by the creek and do homework and read, spending time at Menokin is now something I look forward to after a long or stressful week; the whole property offers a peaceful solitude that can’t be found anywhere else.

Over the last couple of months, I’ve learned that visiting Menokin with friends is a fun way to spend the day enjoying nature, and visiting alone is a great way to relax, de-stress, and clear my mind. Menokin has become like my own little sanctuary ─­­ the place I escape to when I need time alone or need to unwind.

Since I started interning at Menokin, I have felt that I’m part of an organization and experience that is truly special, and I think the property and trails are a great reflection of that feeling.”

Internpretations are blog posts authored by our interns. this glimpse of menokin and its place in the lives of these college students is our attempt to represent an alternative point of view ofa menokin experience. the only instructions are “write about your experience here.” we hope to feature an internpretation each week.

PHOTOS © EMILY LYTH, 2014

It’s a Boy! Eastern Box Turtle at Menokin.

The Eastern box turtle (Terrapene carolina carolina) is a subspecies within a group of hinge-shelled turtles, normally called box turtles. T. c. carolina is native to the eastern part of the United States.

This handsome fella was crossing the lane at Menokin this morning on our way into work. Alice and I stopped to say hello. We remarked on his beautiful coloring and striking red eyes.  A little research into the Eastern box turtle revealed just what those eyes mean.

Eastern box turtles have a high, dome-like carapace and a hinged plastron that allows total shell closure. The carapace can be of variable coloration, but is normally found brownish or black and is accompanied by a yellowish or orangish radiating pattern of lines, spots or blotches.
Eastern box turtles have a high, dome-like carapace and a hinged plastron that allows total shell closure. The carapace can be of variable coloration, but is normally found brownish or black and is accompanied by a yellowish or orange-ish radiating pattern of lines, spots or blotches.
Skin coloration, like that of the shell, is variable, but is usually brown or black with some yellow, orange, red, or white spots or streaks.  Eastern box turtles feature a sharp, horned beak, stout limbs, and their feet are webbed only at the base.
Skin coloration, like that of the shell, is variable, but is usually brown or black with some yellow, orange, red, or white spots or streaks. Eastern box turtles feature a sharp, horned beak, stout limbs, and their feet are webbed only at the base.
Males normally possess red eyes (irises) whereas females usually display brown eyes.  In the wild, box turtles are known to live over 100 years, but in captivity, often live much shorter lives.
Males normally possess red eyes (irises) whereas females usually display brown eyes.
In the wild, box turtles are known to live over 100 years, but in captivity, often live much shorter lives.

Just think, this turtle may have been around when Menokin was still standing.

Go Wild!

Over half of the Menokin Foundation’s 500 acre property is part of the Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge. The extremely active and dedicated Rappahannock Wildlife Refuge Friends would like to invite you to participate in their annual Go Wild! event on Sunday, October 14th1-5 p.m.

This year’s event celebrates the 16th Anniversary of the Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge with the Rappahannock Wildlife Refuge FRIENDS. 

The event takes place at the Hutchinson Tract, 1.5 mi. north of Tappahannock off Highway 17N, and includes numerous activities including a silent auction, kayak trips, a guided eagle tour, beach jewelry, pistol lessons from Romi Klear, signed prints, rain barrels, books, and more! Please note: the silent auction closes at 4 p.m.

Events:  Kids “Birds and BinocularImages” scavenger hunt, adults and young adults scavenger hunt, nature walks, arts and crafts, storytelling, wildlife painting, build a birdhouse, free raffles.  Music by Ben Eberline.

FREE LUNCH!  Hot dogs, baked beans, cookies, cider and lemonade.

For more information, call 804-366-6851.

Sunday, October 14th, 10 a.m. – 12 noon – Guided kayak/canoe tour led by Gordon Page at the Mt. Landing Creek kayak/canoe launch on the Hutchinson tract of the Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge, 1.5 mi. north of Tappahannock off Highway 17N. Bring your own kayak or canoe.  Must wear life vest.  For more information, call 804-366-6851.