Sunday, June 10, 2018

Out and About with AAHGS - A Field Trip to Somerset Place!

Life's been a whirlwind, of late - pretty much one thing after another, with little room to breathe. But, that's life, right?

I'm dropping in just to share a few photos (slideshow) from my Hampton Roads Chapter of AAHGS' field trip to Somerset Plantation, yesterday. We filled a 48 passenger bus with members and guests, but I (accompanied by my friend, Felicia) chose to drive, because of my connection to the area and my desire to stay on and visit with family, as well as to do some (further) exploration of the area. Not only do I have deep ancestral roots in Tyrrell County, which borders Creswell (where Somerset is located), but I've recently discovered that my own great-grandmother was a COLLINS from Creswell. COLLINS was the surname of the family who owned Somerset, so it's quite possible (and likely) that I may actually be a descendant of ancestors who were connected with that property. But, that's a post for another day!

I met my fellow travelers, who were riding the bus, at the Walmart at Jefferson and Mercury, in Hampton, just to touch bases and bid us all safe travel, and then we set off for the drive to Somerset, which is just short of two hours away. We all arrived, safely, and enjoyed our exploration of the property. Some of us took a guided tour, while others chose to explore independently. It was an added plus for us that our visit took place on the same day as the "Days Gone By" Festival was being held on the beautiful, waterfront property, which included musical entertainment, food vendors, Civil War reenactors, and costumed interpreters giving demonstrations of blacksmithing, as well as leather and woodworking.
This was the bus driver for our trip. The bus even had our AAHGS logo on it!

Our group spent about 3 hours at the plantation, and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. For many, it was an eye-opening first visit to an actual plantation, and for others (like me), it was another look at "the way things were" and at how the lives may have been of many of our ancestors - enslaved and/or not. The docents did a nice job of sharing details about the enslaved population who provided unpaid labor that made Somerset the grand and successful business that it was, and allowed its owners to live a privileged life in "high society".

I wasn't really in true "photography mode" on this trip, so these photos aren't the greatest, but here's a little taste of the sites and sounds of Somerset, as our little group from AAHGS-Hampton Roads experienced them on Saturday, June 9, 2018.

The slideshow is best experienced in full screen. :)


Thank you to our Chapter President, Stephanie Thomas, who secured the bus and organized this trip. I look forward to sharing more adventures with our group in the future! :)


1 comment:

  1. Renate -this is excellent to hear! Washington County is the home of my maternal grandmother and I've been to Somerset also! I have questions regarding the organization of the trip so I will send you a FB message. We are considering how we can do a trip as well here in our Nashville group. Thanks!