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Sunday, April 08, 2012

VIRGINIA'S NORTHERN NECK--NEW AND INTRIGUING

Yeocomico Church Cemetery
I love Virginia!  After spending a few days in Massanutten in the Shenandoah Valley, we head to “the Rivah.” That’s where my cousin Rita invited us—to her and Bruce’s home on the Yeocomico River in Kinsale, Virginia. 

The Northern Neck is a part of Virginia we hadn’t visited before, and its beauty opens our eyes to a Virginia very different from the stately Shenandoah Mountains with Skyline Drive running along its ridges overlooking the gorgeous, lush, Shenandoah Valley below. 

It is different from Blacksburg and Virginia Tech, so reminiscent of our own Warwick, New York with its farms, green rolling hills, and small town ambiance. 

It is different from Northern Virginia and Arlington with its young, professional and worldly population bustling about in the DC’s monumental atmosphere or enjoying the majesty of the Potomac. 

It is different from Richmond, a city that exudes a comfortable, suburban sophistication and less than two hours away from Kinsale, close enough even for an ambitious commuter hungry for daily connection with the flat farmland and the myriad coves—the nooks and crannies of the rivah.

Yeocomico ChurchFamily names in Rita and Bruce’s area can be traced back for generations, yes, to the first Englishmen and women who settled this part of the country. To experience this history, we head to the Yeocomico Church to visit the centuries’ old churchyard and get a glimpse of another time and place.

knotsThis peaceful church, the original one of wood built in 1655 and the current brick church in 1706, is nestled in an incredibly beautiful setting.  We stroll through the churchyard, reading headstones. Some graves are decorated with flags.  The ancient trees with their knotted trunks and the autumnally-harvested brown cornfields across the way guard all who sleep here in the palpable peace.

Yeocomico Church
1706 = the year.  The M and C are the craftsmen
Peter Moon and John Cogger
Yeocomico Church cemetery

Fishing at the RiverThen, driving to the Potomac to scout out some fishing sites, we witness three or four men reeling in bluefish one after the other.  We make note of the sandy spot with hopes of future expeditions.  Homes, dockages, and boats line the shore, and from where we stand we can look across the beautiful water and see Maryland’s shores.
At the RiverThe Fisherman's Catch



Virginia can proclaim herself living history.  But here by the Rivah, the history is tucked away in family names, country churchyards with their silent voices, and older homes with modern additions that sometimes do and sometimes do not blend with their histories.

America the beautiful.  This is driving through Virginia with stops in local museums and churches and along the roads where signs signal special events in our history.  In this area Mary Ball spent her youth. Here at the Yeocomico Church, Mary Ball and Augustine Washington were married.  Their child, born in 1732, was George Washington.
History was made here


Truly a beautiful part of the country, try to spend some time here.  You’ll not regret it.

travel vacation "Third Age Traveler" "travel blog" photography "travel photos" "photo blog" Virginia "Northern Neck" Kinsale Yeocomico churches graveyards cemeteries fishing Potomac water rivers nature trees history Washington

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