This past month we visited Shirley Plantation on the James River in Virginia. It dates back to 1613, but the current structure was built in 1723. This is Virginia's oldest plantation, and the wonder of it, is the place survived the Revolutionary War, nearby skirmishes and wars with Indians, the Civil War even though the Union Army used the house for a couple of days, and the depression in the 1930's.
Here is the backyard view of the James River. The house was particularly vulnerable to Yankee invasion during the Civil War. The Union Army sailed up the James river to go after Richmond, the capital of the South. What saved this home was the family's compassion for humans regardless what side of the war they were on. Even though members were serving in the Confederate Army, when the Union soldiers embarked on the property, the family tended to the wounded by ripping up bed sheets, petticoats, and binding up the soldiers' wounds and tending to them. When the soldiers left for Berkley Plantation up the river, the owner at that time begged them to leave two cows. His daughter was in the family way. General McClellan not only left the two cows, but he granted a Federal Order of Safeguard protecting Shirley for their care.
This is an old carriage that is stored in the stables. The photo below it is of my daughter walking away from the stables. If you appreciate history and enjoy seeing beautiful plantations I would recommend a trip to Shirley Plantation. Keep in mind that tours are only given of the first floor since the family still lives there and occupies the second and third floors.