Elizabeth A.S. Brooke

Crafting, traveling and everything in between.

Harvest Time photos

Here are several pics from our visit from Harvest Time at Booker T. Washington National Monument. It was a really nice event. I was surprised and glad to see the parking lot full of vehicles and even a tour bus of Deltas.

The rain, unfortunately, cut the event short since most of the activities were outside. We missed the soap making, blacksmith and sheep shearing. You should make an effort to visit this site if you’re ever out this way.

Harvest Time barn

A barn on the Booker T. Washington Monument property.

Harvest Time Horse and Buggy

Visitors took buggy rides around the property.

Apple cutting at Harvest Time

This interpreter is cutting apples for drying.

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Harvest Time Interpreter

The interpreter (left) is discussing cooking methods.

Harvest Time musicians

Musicians perform before a sketch at Harvest Time.

Harvest Time Sketch

Actors perform a sketch at Harvest Time.

Colonial garden at Harvest Time

Period garden at Booker T. Washington National Monument.

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Appomattox Court House National Historical Park

At the Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, we started at the visitor center, which is housed in an old courthouse. The park also has many wayside exhibits along the main road.

Visitor Center

Visitor Center

From there, we stopped at Meeks store, an old general store. Inside, behind glass, a display of coffee and other merchandise were set up behind a counter.

Meeks Store

Meeks Store

At the McLean’s House, we saw the parlor where General Lee surrendered to General Grant. The house is three stories. The first floor has a warming kitchen and dining area, the second floor is where the master bedroom and parlor are, and the third floor has two bedrooms where the children slept. Behind the house is the kitchen and “servants” quarters.

McLean House, where Lee surrendered to Grant.

McLean House, where Lee surrendered to Grant.

Parlor where Lee surrendered to Grant.

Parlor where Lee surrendered to Grant.

McLean bedroom

McLean house

McLean slave quarters

A “servant’s” quarters behind the McLean home.

We visited the Clover Hill Tavern, Guesthouse and Kitchen. The kitchen now houses the park’s bookstore.

Clover Hill Tavern

The county jail was a short tour. It has rooms on the bottom floor that appear to have served as the jailer’s bedroom and office/kitchen. Upstairs were two rooms that served as jail cells.

Appomattox Jail

There was a school group at the park. The kids divided into two groups — Union and Confederate soldiers. The interpreters taught the kids how to march and lay down their arms (toy rifles).

Tour guides

There were three interpretive guides — two Union soldiers and one Confederate. One guide was portraying an actual Union soldier, Cpl. Fields, who was stationed at the village in Sept. 20, 1865. He had been there since 1861. Fields, who was from Pennsylvania, was stationed along with 60 other soldiers, at Appomattox to keep marshall law.

Union soldiers

Cpl. Fields in on the left.

While eating lunch, we watched two red-bellied woodpeckers fly back and forth across the fields of the park. After eating, we walked around the village with Sidney before heading back to camp.

Appomattox, Va.

The next morning, we went to the Town of Appomattox to eat breakfast and use the WiFi at the local McDonald’s. After catching up on work and other email, we headed to the Historic Downtown of Appomattox to walk around. The historic area features galleries, gift shops and hardware stores.

First stop was an old courthouse that is now a theater. There were also war memorials, cannons and a couple of other buildings in the same lot. A building to the right and behind the old courthouse housed the county historical museum. There weren’t any signs explaining what it used to be and the museum wasn’t open. It looks like it is undergoing renovations and there was a construction permit in the window.

Appomattox courthouse

Appomattox courthouse.

A few blocks up, we stopped at a multiple-home yard sale. From one woman, I bought a 50 cent Tupperware sandwich container and a cute change purse she had made out of a metal tape measurer and quilting fabric. The fabric is pink and gray with cupcakes on the front of it. It’ll make a cute Christmas gift.

I went in to check out Hanny’s Sew’n Basket, which is a tiny quilting and notion shop. It is at the corner of Atwood and Church. It featured a lot of Christmas fabrics and gifts the owners had made, including Kleenex package covers and placemats.


On our way back to the car, we checked out Appomattox Arts and Crafts, which features 36 artisans from across the state. There were all kinds of handmade gifts, from soaps and crocheted blankets to sewn purses and toys. One adorable item was a Burglar Bear. He had on a black eye mask and shirt. One toboggan looked like a wig of red hair with braided pigtails.

Appomattox Arts and Crafts

Next was Baines Books and Coffee. It is the best locally-owned book store I’ve seen in a while. Up front was a sitting area with checkers, Sorry and other board games. Upstairs were more books and an area used for performances with a podium and several tables. Here, we bought three books: children’s book Frederick by Leo Lionni, Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv and Stones into Schools by Greg Mortenson, a follow up to Three Cups of Tea. The guy behind the counter said the book store will celebrate its 10th year.

Baines Books

Baines Books and Coffee

Baines Books and Coffee

A sitting area in the front section of Baines Books and Coffee.

Appomattox is a quaint town and a nice stop along 460.

Capital Columns, National Arboretum

First up in our tour of the National Arboretum was the National Capital Columns. These sandstone columns used to stand on the East Portico of the Capital building in the 1800s. They were moved to the park in the 1980s.

Capital Columns

The columns sit in the middle of a meadow. We walked along a mowed path to get a closer look. In front of the columns and in the middle of them are reflecting pools.

Columns Reflecting Pool The park’s website says the columns are the most photographed and filmed structures in the park. I can see why! The columns are also handicap accessible and parking is nearby.

Reflecting pool


A sculpture across the field from the columns.

A sculpture across the field from the columns.


U.S. National Arboretum

On our first full day in D.C., we started out with a visit to the U.S. National Arboretum, which is in the NE quadrant of D.C. There is plenty of parking or you can ride the Metro. The grounds are open Friday-Monday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free and pups are allowed.

We walked around the majority of the 446 acre park. It was pretty cool. I really liked how many of the gardens weren’t overly formal and many areas were allowed to grow naturally. The sky looked like rain most of the morning, but the drops held off until the very last leg of our trip. The overcast morning was a welcome change from our hot, muggy day at Harpers Ferry.

There are several gardens throughout the park, but we chose to only visit a few. We made it to the National Capital Columns, Fern Valley Native Plant Collection, Washington Youth Garden, the Asian Collections, the Gotelli Collection of Dwarf and Slow Growing Conifers and the Conifer Collection and the National Herb Garden. We also walked by the Dogwood Collection, the Holly Magnolia Collection and some research gardens. There are more gardens, including the State Tree Collection and the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum (dogs aren’t allowed in the bonsai garden and museum), so there is tons more to see.

Besides education, the park also participates in research. The research gardens were comparing native and non-native plants’ susceptibility to pest damage. The hypothesis is that native plants would attract more native insect predators to help control pest damage. It would be interesting to learn the results! Other research plants included crepe myrtles.

One of two research gardens comparing native to non-native plants.

One of two research gardens comparing native to non-native plants.

Though the whole park was amazing, the herb and youth gardens were my favorites! I’ll share more about each of the gardens and pics in upcoming posts.


Harpers Ferry

On our way to D.C., we made a stop at Harpers Ferry, W.Va. This historic site is famous for the slave uprising led by abolitionist John Brown. It’s a 2 1/2 mile walk from the park entrance to the historic part of Harpers Ferry. The lady at the entrance said it takes her only 30 mins to walk.

“Ugh, I don’t think she’ll let us walk that fast,” I told her, indicating Sidney’s reluctance to walk. It’s tough being an old dog!

The woman told us about the River Access parking lot that was a lot closer to the town. We thanked her, did a U-turn in the drive and headed to the lot. What a blessing the woman was!

We started out walking around Virginius Island. It has several historic sites where homes and mills used to stand. No one has lived on the island since a flood in 1936. The island sits between the Shenandoah River and Shenandoah River Canal. The coolest part was the water tunnels along the shoreline.

Where the Shenandoah Pulp Company mill used to stand.

Where the Shenandoah Pulp Company mill used to stand.

The Shenandoah River

The Shenandoah River

Water tunnels on Virginius Island.

Water tunnels on Virginius Island. The Shenandoah is behind it.

Next up was Lower Town, which represents 19th century Harpers Ferry. It includes abolitionist John Brown’s Fort, which is a historic armory fire engine house where Brown was caught after his raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859. There are several small museums and historic sites in Lower Town, including Storer College, a Meriwether Lewis Exhibit, an African American history museum and Jefferson Rock. We spent a long afternoon walking around the historic district and took a short drive through neighboring Boliver.

View of St. Peter's Catholic Church and Lower Town.

View of St. Peter’s Catholic Church and Lower Town.

The main street in Lower Town. The town was filled with small restaurants, stores, living history sites and museums.

The main street in Lower Town. The town was filled with small restaurants, stores, living history sites and museums.

The armory fire engine house where John Brown was captured in 1859.

The armory fire engine house where John Brown was captured in 1859.

St. Peter's Catholic Church

St. Peter’s Catholic Church

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A tour group and interpretive guide next to John Brown's Fort.

A tour group and interpretive guide next to John Brown’s Fort.

Another street in Harpers Ferry.

Another street in Harpers Ferry.

There are miles of trails in this national park, including the Appalachian Trail (AT) and a place where three national park trails meet — the AT, the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal trail and the Potomac Heritage Trail. Harpers Ferry sits on a peninsula that juts out into the meeting of two rivers — the Shenandoah and the Potomac. Lots of breathtaking views from many areas around the town!


Church ruins on way to Jefferson Rock.

Church ruins on way to Jefferson Rock.

View over Lower Town.

View over Lower Town.

View of hills and rivers surrounding Harpers Ferry.

View of hills and rivers surrounding Harpers Ferry.

Sidney was quite the star, as usual. A few people stopped us to ask about her eyes, of course, and her breed. Some even snapped a few photos. One guy, who said he was taking photos for a marketing campaign for Jefferson County (W.Va.), snapped a few shots of Sidney drinking lhassi at a local cafe. So if you see a Jefferson County marketing campaign in the near future you may see a photo of our little dogher!

Sidney enjoy a lhassi.

Sidney enjoy a lhassi.

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Upcoming D.C. posts

We spent a long weekend in Washington, D.C. recently so in the coming weeks I’ll share posts from the places we visited, including the National Arboretum, restaurants and, of course, the National Mall.

I’ll schedule the first post for later today or tomorrow morning. See you then!

(Don’t forget you can follow along any of my posts by clicking the RSS feed buttons on either the Home Page (for all posts), Beth’s Crafty Things, or Small Travels and Musings. You can also sign up to receive emails.)