The Randolph Trail
Monday, March 13, 2006 :::
It was a relief to take a break from blogging yesterday. I should do that more often...and perhaps permanently.
Anyway, my in-laws were visiting this weekend, and we took advantage of the occasion and the weather to visit some of the old Randolph family sites in and around Richmond.
The first stop was Tuckahoe, just over the Henrico line in Goochland County. It's a private home, situated on over 600 acres overlooking the James -- a far cry from the 10,000 acres it commanded during Thomas Mann Randolph's time, but impressive nonetheless. The wood-frame home is in amazing condition considering its nearly 300 year-history (and the instability of some of its former occupants). My son was taken with the little school house near the main house. It was here that the young Thomas Jefferson received a portion of his primary education.
Sunday, we hauled out to Turkey Island, the current home of good friends that was once the seat of the "Adam" of Virginia's ruling class, William Randolph. His house is long gone -- burned to the ground during the Civil War and one of the few, if not the only, James River Plantation homes not rebuilt or refurbished. It wasn't a Randolph possession at the time -- it was the home of Confederate Gen. George Pickett.
The graveyard on the property is in the process of being restored...very, very slowly. The founding Randolphs are still there...under the vines and thorn bushes, passing the years silently beside the river.
While standing on the massive slab that covers the tomb of Isham Randolph (pictured), those thorn bushes did a nice slice-and-dice number on my ankle. Even in death, the old Anlgophile is trying to get blood out of an Irishman.
But their crowning glories are long gone and in some cases long forgotten. But at one time, they were quite something...with relations that included the Jeffersons, the Marshalls, the Lees, the Mayos and many, many more.
"My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings: Look upon my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
::: posted by Norman Leahy at 3/13/2006