History and its importance thereof

Published 10:50 am Wednesday, June 5, 2019

While contemplating the many freedoms and fortunes we enjoy as a nation, thanks to those who served in our military and sacrificed their own, I am reminded of the importance that the history of this great nation be shared and not forgotten.

There is much history to be discovered right here in Virginia.

Recently I enjoyed a short holiday from daily life and traveled to the Eastern Shore of Virginia to visit the phenomenally beautiful Eyre Hall Gardens. The property and Eyre family linage has been documented back to 1668. The gardens are among some of the oldest in the U.S. and the preserved remains of the authentic early orangery are definitely a site to be seen and explored firsthand. The history of the family and its connection to the demographic area are of equal interest.

I also enjoyed a day at a historic 1,000 acre farm on the bayside, where the Archeological Society of VA & Virginia Department of Historic Resources have an active dig. The large brick built manor house on the property dates back to the 1700s, and the other buildings are equally impressive. Each one beckoning with a mysterious allure of historic history that is palpable.

Even more fascinating were the artifacts recovered from the earth, a few dating back to the early 1600s! The current owners of the property have always felt they were the stewards of something very special and had on occasion found items of historical value on their property. However not until a large tree on the property was felled by a storm did the reality of just how historically important the property was sink in. Entangled in the massive unearthed root system and dirt below some very impressive historic artifacts were discovered. The professionals were called in and the rest as they say is “history.”

It’s hard to put into words the feeling one gets when holding an artifact hundreds of years old that very well could have been the personal item of one of the original settlers to the Eastern Shore of Virginia. It’s easy for some to travel back in time in their mind while standing on historic soil, however to hold in ones hand a tangible item a few hundred years old can only be described as magical. In addition to personal items found during the dig, many original foundations and floors to buildings were also discovered.

As I walked the property my mind struggled with the juxtaposition of how the farm and its inhabitants of some 3-4 hundred years ago would have looked compared to what still stands on the property today. I wonder whom these people were and how they may have busied themselves on a daily basis with personal duties and/or the responsibilities of political nature at the time.

All involved with this particular historic endeavor agree with each new discovery a new mystery or two is also unearthed and that there is much more to be discovered at this special site. I am looking forward to future finds and mysteries solved.

Every person has an inherent need to be connected to someone and some place. History has a way of connecting the past with the present that transcends time itself. I would not have thought that a historical garden visit would have resulted in an archeological bayside adventure, but it did. You never know what beauty/history awaits around the corner for you in a garden.

Dawn Conrad can be reached at gardenmusemail@gmail.com or fb.me/conrad.gardenmuse.