Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Sluggy's Historic Time Machine

Finding my childhood home got me nostalgic, so I decided to Google around and see if I could find some other homes I remember.

Here is the last home my Great Grandmother lived in.  Her 12 kids moved her there from the old Homestead ROXABEL Plantation about 10 yrs. after Great Grandfather died. Roxabel was 5 miles out and this way she was right 'in town' in case she needed anything or her kids as she was well into her '70s.  She was born in 1888 and died in 1973 so I was 14 the last time I was in that house.  Both my Great Grandmother and my Grandmother died in that house.
I hope that doesn't creep anyone

Here's photo of my Great Grandparents, circa 1950-something....
They sure look like a fun couple, don't they?  Well they were fun with each other because they had TWELVE kids!

And here is a photo of my Great Grandmother with her 6 adult daughter's from the early 1960's.  You can see the old homestead house Roxabel, behind them.  My Grandmother is the one in the bright blue dress, 3rd from the left.  From right to left in birth order are Louise Frances, Virginia Elizabeth(Ginny), Rosa Bell, Lillian Grace, Doris Lee(Dot), Lula Mae.
Ok, here's the house....

I remember this house well as we use to visit 2 weekends a month plus spend more time in the summer.
The main part of the house was built in the 1700's of VA clay brick.  There was an addition on the back that you can't see, that held both bathrooms, the kitchen, den and the stairway to the 2nd floor.  I remember there were only 2 bedrooms upstairs but they were HUGE!  I guess everybody use to sleep together.

There was a brick outbuilding out back as was either the original kitchen or a root cellar or something.  There was an old abandoned wooden outhouse in the backyard at that time too.
See the 2 flagpoles and the Civil War era cannon on the left in the yard?  Those weren't there then....

Next door, to the west, were 2  abandoned schools with a playground that we use to hang out in.  That was located where that newer building on the right in the photo stands.....
To the east of Grandmama's house was and still is a Church.  It hasn't changed....
That massive tree on the other side of the church is in Grandmama's yard.
Two lots east of that church is this.....

That building with the Texaco sign was an old Gas Station.  In the 1960's it was no longer a gas station but some kind of  'store. There was a scary old lady who sold penny candy out of that building back then. There were never any lights on inside that store.  And yes, the penny candy cost a penny back then!  I am
We also picked up soda bottles and could turn them in for candy there.

And 2 doors down on the east from that building is this....

Here's another shot.....

This is the smack dab center of the town....the crossroads of Rte. 40 & 47.  The building on the right side in the photo was a drug store back in the 1960's.  That building was originally lawyer's offices built around 1825.  You can see the very old brick on the side where the siding isn't covering it up.

See that big tree in front of it?  That tree is historically significant...there use to be a Historical Marker next to it in the 60's.
You've heard of Patrick Henry?
You've heard of his "Give me Liberty or Give me Death" Speech?
He gave that speech for the 1st time under that tree.
I know, I know......all the history books say he gave the speech in Richmond at the Virginia Convention in 1775.
Well here is something they don't tell you....he originally gave that speech here, standing under that tree in the summer/fall of 1774...the historic recitation of it came later.
This is also where the Henry-Randolph Debate took place....that's the event that the Historical Marker identifies.  Go look that up since I'm sure nobody today knows what the Henry/Randolph Debate was all
And to think that just around the bend in that photo is the house my Great Grandmother lived in....

But why did this stuff happen under that tree?
Because it's right across the street from this building.....
The Charlotte County Virginia Court House.
Well back in 1775 when Mr. Henry was lawyer-ing & making speeches, this building didn't exist yet.  There was a wooden framed building.  In the hot weather they conducted legal business outside.  Yes, Patrick Henry was one of those dreaded lawyer people when he wasn't revolting against the Red Coats....either revolting against some one or being a revolting lawyer....poor Mr. Henry can't

The original courthouse had a tavern in it.
George Washington was a regular there when he was in town on revolutionary business.  I've read that he was thrown out for being drunk more than a few times.  Seems George was a party animal when he was traveling!

This courthouse was built in 1823.
You may have heard of the guy who designed it?--Thomas Jefferson.  He lived a mite north of here.
Too bad old Patrick Henry didn't live to see this grand courthouse.   Patrick Henry lived a couple of towns west of here near Brookneal, VA.  Brookneal is where my Grandfather's family was from.

The 'courthouse' stands in....wait for it......Charlotte Courthouse, VA.
Original name for the town, huh?lol

This place wasn't always called Charlotte Courthouse.
It was originally called The Magazine(now that's weird!),and then a few other things like Marysville,  but it's always been CCH since I was born.  They did change the spelling since I've left from Charlotte Courthouse to Charlotte Court House.
Big improvement....

Alot of historic buildings still exist in this town due to the fact that the Yankees didn't rape and pillage here.  Some troops did come through town during the 'War Between The States' but they didn't hang around and torch anything, just pinched some livestock and food from the locals.  Not much going on there then or now except the growing and fire-smoking of tobacco.

I would show you photos of the Plantation House but Google Maps/Street View doesn't have that road in their system.  I remember staying there as well.  It's still standing.  Some descendants of my Great Grandparents pitched in and bought it to keep it in the family.  It would be cool to go back there and see it again.

But I did find a photo of this house.....
This one is across the street and 2 lots down from Grandmama's house.
And it's for sale!
And it's pretty darn cheap too.
If it only had a bigger lot I might consider buying it....

I hope you've enjoyed your time travel voyage.  Please return your seats to the upright position and thank you for flying Sluggy Air.  ;-)



  1. Now, THAT was one fascinating read. You did a great job and the Charlotte Court House Chamber of Commerce should give you a job. Then you would be Sluggy of the CCH CoC. : )

  2. I loved this! Thanks for the history lesson too. I am working on our family tree so I love things like this.

  3. I love this post!! I love history and really love it when it is personalized.

    Where is my berverage?

  4. How are you related to the Vassars?

  5. You could come to the family reunion TOMORROW at noon at Roxabel and then you
    would really have a some stories to tell!!

    love'n CCH...named after Queen Charlotte

  6. Very interesting !!! Uncle G. Walker is right... come to the Reunion and check Roxabel out... it has been restored beautifully !!!

  7. Hey Uncle Walker and Anon!
    Nice to 'see' ya online.
    I'd love to come....wish someone had told me about it before now...but with kids in school(son in marching band for friday football games)& 2 dogs to take care of I can't see taking a 14 hr. drive there and back this time. 8-(

  8. Lisa Y. HendersonMay 4, 2012 at 10:03 AM

    My great-great-great-grandfather Jasper Holmes was a slave of Hunter H. Marshall, and I'm assuming he lived at Roxabel. In 1869, his brother was shot to death at the courthouse. Thanks for an interesting tour! I'm researching my Holmes line and would love to correspond with you (or any other readers) about Charlotte Court House. I can be reached at Thanks again, Lisa H.


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