image_pdfimage_print

Cleaning 250 year-old hewn white oak logs at Byrnside’s Fort

This is the best way I’ve found so far to clean the interior side of the original (extremely hard) white oak hand hewn logs. This is the Northwest second floor corner. Since this was eventually turned into a formal entry way, long before the plaster was installed over the logs, they were given various coats of whitewash white paint, in order to make the walls look like they were plaster, rather than logs. Such was the trend, since there was nothing glamorous about having a log plantation house.

Locating James Byrnside’s 1774 survey: Tracing Virginia’s Nutty Real Estate History and Translating Handwritten Land Documents

We can trace history through the documentation left by our forefathers in the courthouse land books. When it came to real estate, they spared no ink. I found a circa 1774 survey of the Byrnside’s Fort property from a 1780 land grant by Thomas Jefferson. You’d think it would be easy to use that to …

Read moreLocating James Byrnside’s 1774 survey: Tracing Virginia’s Nutty Real Estate History and Translating Handwritten Land Documents

Last Will and Testament of John Byrnside (1763-1816) 2nd white child born in Monroe County (West) Va.

I recently found the 1816 Last Will and Testament of John Byrnside, who lived at Willowbrook from 1770 through his death in 1816. He was the owner of the plantation itself, beginning in 1788, when it was deeded to him by his father, James Byrnside. John then took over running the plantation, as well as …

Read moreLast Will and Testament of John Byrnside (1763-1816) 2nd white child born in Monroe County (West) Va.

Willowbrook Plantation and Christopher J. Beirne during the Civil War

Confederate officer, farmer, wealthy bachelor, and member of the Skull and Crossbones Secret Society . . . . Check out the documentation we found of “C.J. Beirne’s” agricultural contributions to the Confederate Army, utilizing Willowbrook Plantation, as well as other aspects of his life. So far the receipts from the Confederate Army we’ve found, add …

Read moreWillowbrook Plantation and Christopher J. Beirne during the Civil War

Restoration Progress on Byrnside’s Fort, a.k.a. Willowbrook

In the past couple of months there’s been a lot of progress on restoration of “our fort,” – Byrnside’s Fort, which is technically inside the larger home of Willowbrook. We temporarily stopped interior work in an attempt to get the outside painted and sealed before winter. Most of our followers will be happy to see …

Read moreRestoration Progress on Byrnside’s Fort, a.k.a. Willowbrook

John Bradshaw: Greenbrier Indian Spy and Vet of the Battle of Yorktown

In Frontier Defense: Colonizing Contested Areas in West Virginia, archaeologists Kim and Stephen McBride, who specialize in the frontier forts of Kentucky and the Virginias, explained that: The use of “Indian spies” or scouts was another crucial element of the frontier defensive strategy. During the French and Indian War, spies functioned in an offensive capacity, …

Read moreJohn Bradshaw: Greenbrier Indian Spy and Vet of the Battle of Yorktown

Iron Artifact found at Byrnside’s Fort Identified: huge trammel for the fort’s cooking fireplace

When I originally found this huge iron object at the fort, I first assumed it was a big forged hinge of some sort, or other architectural hardware. After examining it, it’s not a hinge at all, it’s part of a very large fireplace trammel, which would have been used as an adjustable hanger for kettles …

Read moreIron Artifact found at Byrnside’s Fort Identified: huge trammel for the fort’s cooking fireplace