Friday, July 25, 2014

Paranormal Geeks Urban Explore: Virginia

All around the state of Virginia are abandoned structures that stand empty and alone.  You find them along the highways or on the back roads.  Some are almost hidden by the vegetation which surrounds it.  I put together a video from the many photos I took on my trip to Virginia.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Little Churches With Eerie Cemeteries


Throughout our trip in Virginia, we ran into lots of little old and/or historic churches with eerie little cemeteries on their properties.  I took many pictures and put them together on a slideshow video.

One church is Vauter's Episcopal Church & Cemetery along Highway 17 between Fredericksburg and Gloucester.  "Vauter’s Episcopal Church, the upper church of St. Anne’s Parish, was built in 1731 on land belonging to Bartholomew Vauter (originally spelled Vawter). One of the county’s oldest structures, it is the eleventh oldest of 48 colonial churches still standing in Virginia. The masonry is among the finest of any colonial church. Bricks, which are laid in a Flemish bond pattern, were probably fired on site and the mortar made from oyster shells." (Source: http://www.us17coastalhighway.com/)

A couple of the other churches are Mount Zion United Methodist Church with its cemetery on a hill, and Smithfield Baptist Church which was built in 1880.  Both churches are located in Gloucester.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Historic Gloucester and The Doug


The Gloucester Museum of History is located on Main Street in historic Gloucester, VA.  The Botetourt Building where the museum is located was built in 1770.  It is a pre-Revolutionary brick tavern, where the county seat (Botetourt Towne) was once housed, and named after Virginia's first governor, Lord Botetourt.  The building was first recognized as John New's Ordinary where many loved to shop.  Inside the building are many exhibits including Gloucester Archaeology, Civil and Revolutionary War displays, the old county store with post office, and memories of the Hotel Botetourt.

Gloucester Museum of History
6539 Main Street
Gloucester, Virginia 23061

We spent four nights in Gloucester because we had lots to see.  We dined at a couple of restaurants we can find around Arizona (Red Robin and Ruby Tuesday), but we also enjoyed a couple of local places located in historic Gloucester.

We found the Courthouse Restaurant (http://www.thecourthouserestaurant.com/) a fantastic place to have breakfast.  As a matter of fact, we had breakfast there a couple of mornings.  The place had a charming look and feel to it.  I ordered the "Doug's Breakfast Bowl" both times.  It had scrambled eggs, with hash browns smothered with sausage gravy.  It was a slice of heavenly delight, and my taste buds were very happy.  They offer homemade rolls with your meal.




On our last night in Gloucester, and after a very full day, we choose Olivia's in the Village for dinner.  (http://oliviasinthevillage.com/)  I ordered a bowl with crab, shrimp, spinach, mozzarella melted in a cheesy cream sauce with a side of coleslaw.  It was very delicious.  Both places had quick and friendly service.




Saturday, July 19, 2014

Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center


Located in the heart of Fairfax, VA on Main Street lies the Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center.  It is located in a historic building which was constructed in 1873.  It started out as an elementary school for the city and on July 4, 1992, it became a museum and visitor center.  It was renovated 1996 and 2003 to "increase gallery space and enhance service for local residents and tourists.  The Museum and Visitor Center presents exhibitions and programs on regional history.  The gift shop features local souvenirs and history books."  Also, the building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.










Main Street, Fairfax, VA, 1903

by Sharon Day

Thursday, July 17, 2014

St. Mary's Church and Cemetery


St. Mary’s Catholic Church sits on a parcel of land bestowed by a couple of Catholic families in 1838.  Their wishes were to have a Catholic church with a cemetery located on that piece of terra firma.  Fairfax was in need of a place to hold services since on occasions the pastor held mass in railroad boxcars for the immigrants moving to and working in town.  In 1858, the first cornerstone was laid, and the wooden church was constructed.  By 1860, it was completed, the steeple bell was added, and the church was dedicated.

During the Civil War, St. Mary’s became the center target for both the north and south looking to take over the nearby railroads.  The ground for which St. Mary’s sat on saw many fierce battles.  St. Mary’s also became a place where the injured were brought.  They were scattered amongst the hill where the church sat, and laid on pews taken from the church.  The wounded were then sent to Alexandria by train.

In the cemetery surrounding the church, many Civil War soldiers were buried there.  All were eventually relocated to Arlington Nation Cemetery except a Confederate soldier named Kidwell.  His family asked that his remains stay buried on the Catholic grounds.  In 1972, Fairfax County declared St. Mary’s a historic district and had strict zoning put on the land surrounding the church and cemetery to preserve it.  It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.  Also, the Grotto located in the cemetery, was hit by lightning.

The Grotto


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