Lunenburg Historical Society to visit Henry Home for fall tour

Published 11:23 am Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Lunenburg County Historical Society’s annual fall tour will be to “Scotchtown,” near Beaverdam in Hanover County, on Saturday, Nov. 5.

Patrick Henry’s “Scotchtown” home is the only original standing home of the great patriot and orator of the American Revolution. Henry lived at Scotchtown from 1771 until 1778, prior to moving into the Governor’s Mansion in Williamsburg as Virginia’s first elected governor.

Preservation Virginia, the organization that owns Scotchtown, promotes it as the place where Henry “conceived his most influential revolutionary ideas.” He was residing at his Scotchtown home when he traveled to St. John’s Church in Richmond and made his famous “Liberty or Death” speech on March 23, 1775.

The house, which has been restored to its appearance during Patrick Henry’s life, is one of the largest 18th-century homes to survive in the Americas. Its architectural style is considered Georgian/first period Colonial. Scotchtown is listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register, the Historic Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places.

Scotchtown is located in northwestern Hanover County, north of Richmond and about 10 miles northwest of Ashland on State Route 685. For GPS purposes, the address is 16120 Chiswell Lane, Beaverdam. Scotchtown is accessible from exit 92B (Ashland exit) off Interstate 95 North via State Route 54 West. Tour participants are asked to meet there at 10:45 a.m. on Nov. 5 in preparation for the 11 a.m. tour.

Those who plan to go on the tour should mail their admission check made payable to LCHS to Anne Hamlett, 689 Fowlkes Road, Victoria, VA 23974, before Tuesday, Nov. 1. Please include your email address – if you have one – with your check. General admission is $8; AAA members and military, $7; senior citizens, $6; and students, $5.

Lunch will be in Ashland at the Trackside Grill, a hometown eatery with a history as a movie theater and a bowling alley. Railroad buffs will enjoy its location right beside the railroad tracks where a train comes through Ashland an average of once every 15 minutes on this important north-south rail corridor.

“The lunch location will stir nostalgia for those who love trains, old-fashioned movie theaters and hometown restaurants that offer a variety of choices not available at modern fast-food venues,” Hamlett said.

After lunch the group will visit the Hanover County Courthouse Historic District, location of the Hanover County Courthouse, built in 1740 and the third-oldest continuous-use courthouse in the nation. There Patrick Henry practiced law and argued for Colonial rights in the Parsons’ Cause, a case that sparked controversy leading up to the American Revolution. Across the green from the courthouse is Hanover Tavern. Henry lived at the Tavern for several years after his marriage to Sarah Shelton, whose parents owned the tavern at that time.

“The day promises to be a great adventure as we study Patrick Henry’s Hanover County years,” Hamlett said.