Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Mr. Drummond's Springfield

Gloucester County is home to many historical sites including the 18th century mansion Rosewell, and the Powhatan village of Werowocomoco. But I was recently there to visit another historically important site — Springfield— and to meet Springfield’s owner, Phil Drummond who works diligently to keep his family’s history alive.

Springfield, located in the Ark community, is not an easy house to identify due to later alterations, but it appears to be an early-mid 18th century hall and parlor type house with large side-end brick chimneys. An early cemetery sits just outside with several 18th century graves and above-ground tombs. One of which was a young man of 27 who had apparently been murdered.

The most interesting feature about Springfield, however, is not the house— but its owner. Mr. Drummond was full of remarkable stories about his life and about Springfield, such as the legend that Nathaniel Bacon may be buried on the property or the Native American ossuary that was disturbed while his neighbors were digging a well.

But what I found most appealing about Mr. Drummond was how content he is with his mixed ethnicities. Old photographs of Mr. Drummond’s relatives line every wall in the house— including ones of Confederate soldiers. Other ancestors include independent free blacks and Revolutionary War Colonels.

As I was driving home and the experience continued to sink in, I thought about how classically Virginian the entire experience was and how I wanted to go back and hear more stories.

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