Edit Blog Post
Published: April 26th 2022
Lee Chapel. Washington and Lee University. Brick chapel built in 1867 on the campus of then-Washington College. Renamed University Chapel in 2021.
National Register of Historic Places 66000914
The wedding of our niece (Susan's brother's daughter) took us to Lexington, Virginia. We arrived the day before so as to have plenty of time to explore the town. This was our first time staying in an Airbnb. The house was on a separate property neighboring the proprietor's residence. A little apart from the town, it has a view across a neighboring horse farm to the mountains beyond. Drew and Aubrey stayed with us. Town and historic property sightseeing was not for them, so they headed for Natural Bridge State Park.
Lexington is most famous as the home of two higher education institutions: Virginia Military Institute (VMI) and Washington and Lee University (W&L). It was also the home of Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson (1823-1863), a VMI instructor before the Civil War and Confederate general during it. The Lexington Visitor Center was our first stop. The docent here was very informative about sights to see in town and there were many displays of things to do. The Jackson house and other historical buildings are nearby.
We stated by touring the Stonewall Jackson House. It is described as a "Valley Townhouse" built about 1801. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson and his wife, Anna
Stonewall Jackson House
National Register of Historic Places 73002215.
Morrison, lived in the house from 1858 to 1861. During this time Jackson taught at VMI. It is the only house Jackson ever owned. A second front entrance was added when the house was later owned by a doctor. This second entrance led to the medical office, partitioned off from the remainder of the house. The house became the city hospital in 1911, remaining in that capacity until 1953. It is open as a house museum today. The docent who led us through the rooms of the house was very knowledgeable about Jackson. We learned about his efforts to gain admission to West Point despite his lack of formal education, experiences in the War with Mexico, and his time as a VMI instructor in 1851-1861. I learned that his sister supported the Union during the Civil War and this caused a permanent division between them. (A Bible she sent to him is on display.)
The next morning we drove to the campuses of Washington & Lee University and VMI and toured the Lee Chapel at W&L. It was built in 1867 during Robert E. Lee's tenure as president of then Washington College. Lee Chapel was initially something of a
shrine to Lee, but has been considerably toned down in recent years. (The name was changed to University Chapel in 2021.) Inside there is large statue of Lee reposing on the battlefield, dedicated in 1883. A Lee family mausoleum is in the crypt, the burial place of Lee and his descendants. There is also a vault for Henry "Light Horse Harry" Lee (1756-1818), Robert E. Lee's father and aide-de-camp to George Washington. Museum displays in the basement include Lee's office as president of the college and historical artifacts relating to the university. Outside, one encounters the marked grave of Lee's famous hose, Traveler.
The attractive campus green faces The Colonnade, the three-wing Classical Revival main building. Another bride was having a photo session here, so it appeared to be a popular Saturday for weddings hereabouts. A statue of Cyrus McCormick (1809-1884), inventor of the McCormick Reaper, is on the campus green. He was a benefactor and trustee of W&L, which I did not know.
I the late afternoon, with Drew and Aubrey back from Natural Bridge, the four of us drove to the House Mountain Inn, the wedding venue. The deck of the inn afforded a view of
fall colors in the mountains as a backdrop for the ceremony.
Tot: 0.044s; Tpl: 0.019s; cc: 14; qc: 29; dbt: 0.0097s; 1; m:saturn w:www (126.96.36.199); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.3mb