Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society
History Quarterly Digital Archives

Source: October 1937 Volume 1 Number 1, Pages 13–15

The Tredyffrin-Easttown History Club
and its three day trip through the charming southland

A. W. Baugh, M.D.

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We left Berwyn High School on the morning of June 26, 1937 at 6:15 A.M. As we drove out of the school grounds a glance to the left showed Valley Forge among its hills the most holy spot in American history. Our leader muttering a line from Horace started west on Route No. 30. After passing the site of the historic Paoli Tavern, we turned to the southwest on Route 202, which carried us south of the old Paoli Parade grounds through West Chester (the Turks Head Tavern), to Painter's Cross Roads, where we took the Baltimore Pike, Route No. 1, passing the ruins of Washington's Headquarters at the battle of Brandywine, and on our right as we crossed the bridge lay most of the Brandywine Battlefield and the house of John Chadd in the distance (Sept. 11-1777).

Then on to the Anvil and Longwood Gardens, through Kennett Square the mushroom kingdom of the great United States with its splendid school and its rich Toughkenemon Valley very fresh in the early morning sunlight. West Grove and its roses, Jennersville with its Red Rose Inn and Star Rose Gardens. Then Lincoln University, the negro school on our left. Then Oxford with its high church steeple and Nottingham to the Mason and Dixon line. All through Chester County we frequently spoke of the splendid agricultural scene, everywhere those hills and valleys were cultivated, everywhere splendid farm buildings and the well kept homes of these apparently well-to-do farmers.

We passed the Mason and Dixon line at exactly 7:50 A.M. In Maryland the land did not seem so good. At Lafayette Oak, which was a large tree before the American Revolution; Mr. Teamer found it took fourteen of his long steps to go around it. Getting in our cars again, we passed through Rising Sun, Maryland to Conowingo Dam. While crossing the dam breast Mr. Burns worried us by saying that the thing might give way at any time, but we all got safely over. Then Belair with its great shade trees and Country Club Inn. Then Baltimore which we tried to avoid as far as possible by going west on North Avenue, then south on Monroe Street to Route No. 1, which carried us to Washington, on Rhode Island Avenue to 17th Street past the Lincoln Memorial and to the Tidal Basin where we had a box lunch.

We found a great tent city along the Potomac where the Boy Scouts of the United States and 24 foreign countries are encamped on the Boy Scout Jamboree. In the midst of this tent city we rested for an hour. Leaving Washington on Route No. 1 at 11:45 A.M., Alexandria came next with its Old Colonial homes under their splendid trees. In the distance we could see "The George Washington National Masonic Memorial". On the outskirts of Alexandria we took the "Mount Vernon Memorial Highway" to the stately red roofed mansion, one time the home of George Washington. Here we parked our cars and after paying our quarter and receiving a folder and a God's blessing, we went up the hill to Mount Vernon. We looked over the well kept grounds and through the rooms and sat for a while on the "piazza", as Washington called this beautiful porch overlooking the Potomac.

It was with reluctance that I for one left this beauty spot and back to the cars and on our way to Fredericksburg, passing Quantico, the U. S. Marine Base. Somewhere north of Fredericksburg we passed a wayside shrine on the east side of the road. At Fredericksburg we saw the home of Mary, the mother of Washington, the law office of James Monroe, and the grave of Mary Washington. Fredericksburg has been called the "Cock pit of the Civil War". Four major battles were fought in the neighborhood, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, the Wilderness, and Spotsylvania.

Arrived in Richmond at 4:15 P.M., where we had some road trouble, crossed the James River before we knew it, but some kind soul set us right and sent us back again and onto Route No. 60 and on to Williamsburg, which we reached at 6 P.M. No. 60 runs through a forest country with small towns along the highway. Williamsburg, I think everyone appreciated the beauty of this town, very fine homes on our left and William and Mary on our right. The Wren Building built in 1693, the oldest Academic Building in the United States, gave us a wonderful impression of this restoration. The caravan stopped at the west end of Duke of

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Gloucester Street near the college. Paul had made arrangements to stop at the Royal Arms a very nice house on the site of the second Williamsburg Theater (1715), we found the place in charge of two women and a young negro steward, named Ed. They asked us $2.50 each for the night, so Teamer, Dr. Mason, Mr. Burns, and myself took rooms. We drove back to the Capitol Restaurant and we all had dinner, by this time all had gotten rooms. There is quite a story connected with our stay at the Royal Arms which Mr. Teamer will tell some day. Anyhow we had a very good sleep and got up at 6 A.M.

June 27, 1937.

Had breakfast at the Capitol Restaurant. After breakfast we drove around and through the University grounds and when the others were ready we took the road to Jamestown, where, thanks to Dr. Mason, the young men who are doing the excavating of the old settlement, were waiting to show us over the place and their latest finds. A wonderful work is being done here. There is a charge of twenty-five cents to go into the older part of the island where the monuments to John Smith and Pocahontas stand, also the Jamestown Monument and the old Church with its graves.

Then back to Williamsburg where we bought our tickets to see the interiors of the Capitol, the Public Goal, the Raleigh Tavern, The Governor's Palace; the Ludwell Paradise house was on the ticket but we did not visit it. These interiors gave me Museum tire. The tickets to these buildings cost us $1.50 each. From Williamsburg we drove to Yorktown, looked over the grounds and the Nelson and Moore houses. Left Yorktown for Charlottesville over routes Nos. 60 and 250 at 2:30 P.M.

Arrived at Charlottesville at 7:00 P.M. As we were coming in to Charlottesville on No. 250 we saw a home, a beautiful house and grounds and the legend "guests". We thought the place very attractive, but it was a half mile east of the city, and we drove on, but the house still haunted us and we drove back to find Mr. and Mrs. Moore who were very pleased to have us. We had splendid rooms at $2.25 each, Dr. Mason, Mr. Burns, Mr. Teamer, and myself.

June 28, 1937.

Up at 6:00 A.M. Had breakfast downtown where we met the other members of our party. After breakfast we went back to our rooms, paid our bill and started for Monticello, where we left Dr. Mason and Mr. Burns with the others, while Mr. Teamer and I went to Ash Lawn, the old home of James Monroe, designed for him by his old friend, Thomas Jefferson. Ash Lawn, among the rolling hills of Virginia is a very fine house, both house and lawn being very well kept, but the hilly farm is poor. The box wood lining, the garden paths is said to be the finest in this country; a splendid oak tree towers above the box near the house. A great Norway pine brought as a small tree from abroad by Monroe, stands guard at the other end of the walk; within this boxwood setting is a marble statue of Monroe, by the sculptor Piccirille. The old house is completely furnished, but we were too tired to go through any more interiors. We bought a few things at Ash Lawn. As I remember they charged twenty-five cents to look over the building.

We came back to Monticello, got the party together and returning to Charlottesville drove around the University of Virginia. Then north on route No. 29, over the rolling hills of Virginia to Ruckersville, then to No. 4 the Spottswood Trail to Swift Run Gap then north on the Skyline Drive to Front Royal, a distance of sixty-five miles. West of the drive is the Shenandoah Valley with the Massasnutten Mountains dividing it longitudinally, the South Fork of the Shenandoah to the east of the range and the North Fork to the west and beyond this we could see the range of the Allegheny Mountains. To the east of the Drive is the Piedmont region and tide water Virginia. Swift Run Gap has an elevation of 2340 feet. From the Gap we went north, the road following the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains. First the scene would be to the right when the splendid rollings hills of Virginia Piedmont Region were in full view, then to the west

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with the Shenandoah Valley and its rich agricultural lands. To our left towering above the road was Awks Hill, altitude 4049 feet and Stonyman 4010 feet. From Thronton (sic) Gap, where the Lee Highway crosses the range, to Front Royal is the recently opened part of the Drive, and to my mind the more beautiful. Many times the Shenandoah River would be very close to the base of the Blue Ridge and we could see it winding through the Valley.

Sometimes it is difficult to adequately appraise scenery, but this Skyline Drive along the Crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains in this old state of Virginia, is, to my mind, one of the fine things of this great United States, one of the things that do not fade from memory. Another is the great wall of the Rockies as you see it on Route No. 285 from Laramie, Wyoming, to Denver and Colorado Springs, Colorado, where you see peaks with an elevation of 14,000 feet; Mount Rainier from Tacoma; Route No. 101 from Crescent City, California, first as a road along the cliffs above the Pacific then through the giant Redwoods, the most magnificent trees in the world; and don't leave out Niagara.

Front Royal is quite a town, here we took route No. 3 to Route No. 12 then to National route No. 340, at Berryville to Charlestown, West Virginia. Then Harpers Ferry, then Frederick, Md. where we passed the Barbara Fritchie house, did not stop, on looking to the right down Bentz Street we could see the old home of Chief Justice Taney of Dred Scott fame. Francis Scott Key, who wrote the "Star Spangled Banner" lies buried in Frederick's cemetery. From Frederick we went north on No. 15 to Gettysburg. The agriculture of Frederick County was wonderful to behold, almost equal to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

At Gettysburg we took route No. 30 which we followed to Berwyn, Pennsylvania. We all seemed anxious to reach Abbottstown where we expected a chicken dinner. As we drove along among these farms we thought of what Dr. Johnson said

"the best part of a landscape is a good tavern, in the foreground",

and at Abbottstown we had it. The chicken at our table, as one of our girls said, had run around quite a bit. On the road home we had light trouble in Lancaster. We arrived home at 10 P.M.


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