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.


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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.


Harvest Time at Booker T. Washington National Monument

On our trip to Smith Mountain Lake State Park, we stopped for a picnic at Booker T. Washington National Monument in Hardy, Va. It was raining, but we refused to let it keep us from our picnic! It was only a light sprinkle. 🙂

We didn’t get to check the monument out, so would like to go back to check it out.

When Chris went in to quickly check out the visitor center, an interpretive guide told him about Harvest Time, an event that the monument will host on Sept. 21. It features wood working, doll and soap making, pottery, farm animals and costumed interpreters.


Charles Pinckney National Historic Site, Mount Pleasant, S.C.

On our way to visit Boone Hall Plantation and Gardens, we stopped at the Charles Pinckney National Historic site, which is also located in Mount Pleasant, S.C.

This house sits on the former site of Pinckney’s home, according to info on the website.

Here you’ll find a home and foundations of former slave cabins of Charles Pinckney, a signer of the U.S. Constitution. This plantation was called Snee Farm.

Only 28 acres of the original 715-acre farm still exists. A 1/2 mile walking trail guides visitors around the house and former foundations. Interpretive signs and brochures tell about each site, giving the culture and history of the farm.

This overlooks where the farm used to be. The house is behind the photographer.

There is an easy, 1/2-mile trail around the property that includes interpretive signs pointing out foundations and other interesting sites.

This makes for a very short trip, but is a good place to get out and stretch your legs.


Fort Moultrie, S.C.

Fort Moultrie is part of the National Park Service and is an amazing relic of our history.

I loved walking around the fort, imagining what it must have been like to work as a soldier there during the years.

The current fort was built in the 1800s. Two other forts sat on the same site prior to the current structure. Interpretive signs point to the former fort locations and tell when they were built, how they were made and how they served us during that part of our history.

The site’s history spans from a log fort built in 1776 to WWII.

I’m not big on military-related historic sites, but this is definitely a must see.

Here’s some photos from our visit:

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Conagree National Park, Hopkins, S.C.

Another stop we made on our trip to Charleston, S.C., was at Conagree National Park, Hopkins, S.C., not too far from Columbia.

The wooded trails were quite wet so we only walked on it long enough for Sidney to relieve herself and stretch our legs.

We then hopped onto the 2.4-mile boardwalk loop trail and explored the various habitats and read the interpretive signs.

Pups aren’t supposed to be on the boardwalk trail, by the way. That’s something to consider when you start off because there is no where for you to get off on the boardwalk as it takes you over lakes, swamps and very wet areas.

Here’s the park’s descriptions of the boardwalk trail, divided into the Elevated Boardwalk and Low Boardwalk:

  • The Elevated Boardwalk is about six feet above the ground and travels through old-growth forest. The trail ends at Weston Lake, an old channel of the Conagree River.
  • The Low Boardwalk passes through bald cypress and water tupelo forest.
We heard lots of birds, including woodpeckers, but didn’t see much else. Though the ground and boardwalk were still pretty wet, it was still a lovely walk and one that was much drier than the visit earlier in the day at Cypress Gardens.

One complaint I have is there was an interpretive sign that called a tree a pawpaw, but it was most definitely not a pawpaw. We’ve got a small grove of pawpaws in our yard, so we knew that was not correct. We’re pretty sure it was a chestnut oak.

The park’s site has a calendar of events. It might be cool to visit during a guided walk or other event.

Besides trails, you can also canoe/kayak, camp and fish. Check out a complete list of things to do here.