On the Trail of Patrick Henry
Ashland Travel Blog› entry 60 of 108 › view all entries
September 4th, 2009 – by: Andy99
Ashland is a popular highway stop along I-95. Route 54 leading into town from the I-95 interchange is lined with all manner of food establishments and motels. The downtown retains its small market town character, though. A unique characteristic of this locale is the mainline railway line that runs right down the middle of the main street. Freight trains and Amtrak passenger trains come right through the downtown business district several times a day. (This is more common in the far West, but very unusual in the East.) We continued right on along Route 54 through Ashland, to return after our visit to the historic house.
Patrick Henry, most famously known for his "Give me liberty or give me death!" speech delivered in Richmond in 1775, was born in Hanover County in 1736. He became a country lawyer, riding circuit and practicing at Hanover Court House. He and his family moved to Scotchtown Plantation in 1771. Scotchtown is located about 12 miles (20 km) from Ashland. New housing is now going up nearby, but it is in the "middle of nowhere" surrounded by miles of farmland. It did not take long to reach the turnoff for the house and there were signs pointing the way. (Along the way we passed Patrick Henry High School, home of the Patriots.)
Arriving at Scotchtown, we noted few cars in the parking lot. It definitely does not receive the volume of visitors that other historic house museums like James Madison's Montpelier receive.
The sunny day provided ample opportunities for photographing the exterior and the reconstructed Kitchen and Law Office outbuildings. Four huge 18th century boxwoods dominate the front of the house. But, we learend they may need to be removed because their roots are causing water damage to the foundation of the strucutre.
Our docent gave us several recommendations for lunch in Ashland. It was 2:00 p.m. by the time we returned to town and her first recommended restaurant has just stopped serving lunch. So, we went to the next, the Smokey Pig, for barbecue. (See review.)
After lunch, it was time to seek out more of Patrick Henry's story. This we found at Hanover Court House.
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