Historian and Author Tom Perry's thoughts on history and anything that comes to mind.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Patrick Henry Trail Leaves Out Patrick and Henry Counties

Anyone reading a map of Virginia cannot help but notice the name Patrick Henry along the southern border of the Commonwealth of Virginia as two counties have the name of Virginia's first governor. Yet the people in Richmond, who apparently think Virginia ends somewhere just west of Charlottesville and south of Richmond do not seem to know that Patrick Henry lived in Henry County, which included Patrick County at that time during the latter stages of the American Revolution. All they have to do is read the Virginia Historical Highway Marker book to see there is indeed a marker along Highway 58 about Patrick Henry and there is a large stone marker on the land he once owned along Leatherwood Creek. I would like to know why counties that share his name are not included along the new trail about his life. I am sure those in Richmond will say this trail is for “Interpreted Sites,” but there are many Civil War Trail sites that have trail signs that are not interpreted. Here is a great opportunity for Patrick and Henry Counties to promote themselves using “Heritage Tourism” to bring people to the area. Having worked on the Virginia Civil War Trails sign at J. E. B. Stuart including writing the text and supplying the photos, I know something about this. I know there are efforts underway to bring one of these signs to Henry County and here is another opportunity to bring history tourism to the area through the man whose name is on both our local counties.

Stone marker near the site of Patrick Henry's Leatherwood home. My friend Elva Adams also commented about this on her blog www.myhenrycounty.com

Here is the Richmond Times Dispatch Article announcing the new Patrick Henry Trail

Information about Patrick Henry

After turning over the responsibilities as governor to Thomas Jefferson in 1779, Henry moved west to "Leatherwood" in Henry County, which had been created out of Pittsylvania County in 1776. By selling Scotchtown and some western lands (in Botetourt County and Kentucky), he had bought himself a fresh start on the frontier again... though this time he was no longer a failed storekeeper or a newly-famous young lawyer. Henry held on to his Bedford County land, hoping to find gold.
Cornwallis came near Leatherwood during his chase of the Continentals under Nathaniel Greene through the Carolinas. Greene retreated across the Dan River, then moved south again and defeated Cornwallis at Guilford Court House - 40 miles from Partrick Henry's new home. Henry came closer to the war when he attended the General Asembly in May, 1781. He went to Charlottesville rather than Richmond to attend the session, since it had been moved inland to avoid the marauding English. Banastre Tarleton's raid on Charlottesville chased the legislature further west to Staunton. [Reportedly on the flight four famous Virginia leaders had requested supper at a rural cabin. The woman of the cabin had rejected three requests for assistance, until she heard Patrick Henry was in the party - at which she decided it was appropriate to assist the travellers, rather than reject them as cowards...]
Henry was at Leatherwood when Cornwallis was cornered at Yorktown and surrendered on October 19, 1783.

Road To Revolution Heritage Trail http://www.roadtorevolution.com/
Red Hill Patrick Henry’s Home and Final Resting Place http://www.redhill.org/
Patrick Henry’s Virginia http://www.redhill.org/virginia.html

Virginia Historical Highway Marker along Highway 58 in Henry County. Below are the members of the Virginia House of Delegates and Senate to contact about putting Patrick and Henry Counties on the Patrick Henry Trail.

Ward Armstrong DelWArmstrong@house.virginia.gov
Roscoe Reynolds district20@senate.virginia.gov
Danny Marshall DelDMarshall@house.virginia.gov
Christopher Peace DelCPeace@house.virginia.gov (Delegate From Hanover County)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Ararat Virginia Festival May 22

The Ararat Virginia Heritage and Music Jamboree will be May 22, 2010, from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. at the Dan River Park (www.danriverpark.com). The event begins at 9 a.m. with a parade through the community beginning at the Ararat Ruritan Club and ending at the site of the event at the Dan River Park. The park is located at 419 Raven Rock Road, Ararat, Virginia 24053

Events will include multiple bluegrass bands, antique tractors and cars cruising, T-ball, and Cow Patty Bingo. Vendors will have food, produce, and crafts on hand. The event will end with fireworks around 8 p.m. Vendor spaces are available by contacting Janet Epperson at redapplelane@yahoo.com or 276-251-1182. www.freestateofpatrick.com/araratfestival has downloadable forms and other information about the festival.

The Ararat Virginia Heritage and Music Jamboree has merged with Tom Perry’s Free State Of Patrick Festival held last year at the Ararat Ruritan Club to promote Ararat, Virginia, and western Patrick County in the Dan River District. This event raised money for the Dan River Park and the Ararat Ruritan Club Scholarship.

This year Perry will again raise money for the scholarship named in honor of his parent’s Erie and Betty H. Perry by giving proceeds from his book sales. The Erie Meredith and Betty Jane Hobbs Perry Scholarship will help deserving students in the Dan River District of Patrick County, Virginia. They are the parents of Historian and author Thomas D. “Tom” Perry.

Erie M. Perry, born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, spent his formative years in High Point and Mount Airy, North Carolina. He attended Lees McCrae and Appalachian State University and received a Master’s Degree from Radford University. He taught in the Patrick County Virginia School System for nearly thirty years at Blue Ridge High School, Red Bank Elementary School, and Blue Ridge Elementary School.

Betty Jane Hobbs Perry, born outside Augusta, Georgia, met her husband while he was stationed in U. S. Army at Fort Gordon. Like several ladies from Georgia she came to Ararat, Virginia, in the late 1950s. She worked for nearly forty years at Quality Mills/Cross Creek Apparel in Mount Airy, North Carolina.

Vendor Forms Available at www.freestateofpatrick.com/araratfestival

Follow the event on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/event.php?eid=374708220387

J. E. B. Stuart (Wayne Jones of Aiken, South Carolina), the best Stuart interpreter in the nation will be on hand in character as a personal guest of Tom Perry. http://thegeneralandhislady.com


Tom Perry will have photographic displays on the Mount Airy and Eastern Railroad “The Dinky,” J. E. B. Stuart and Patrick County in the Vietnam Conflict. Read more about these topics at the following websites.

Tom Perry will have his new book Ararat Virginia: A Guide From Willis Gap To Kibler Valley to promote the western end of Patrick County with businesses, history, and reasons to come visit Ararat, Virginia.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Notes From The Free State Of Patrick Newsletter

This month's newsletter has an article on the Shootout on Fayette Street in Martinsville, an article about going back to high school and new book released J. E. B. Stuart's Birthplace: History, Genealogy and Guide available everywhere along with events I will be attending in May 2010.

Read it here

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Longaberger Bingo For Janet Pack Sumner

I received the following email recently from Shelby Farris Willis about our mutual friend Janet Pack Sumner. I gave Shelby one copy of all my books specially signed to commemorate the effort to help Janet. Please come by and play some Bingo if you get a chance.

Hello all,

We are having a Longaberger Bingo fundraiser for Janet on Friday, April 30 at the Central United Methodist Church on North Main Street . See attached flyer and raffle tickets. Please forward this to everybody you can think of and post this for me.

Also, we are in the process of collecting door prizes for this fundraiser. We need at least 25. If anyone can help with door prizes or the food for this, it would be greatly appreciated. Some people have asked about sponsoring baskets. The baskets are between $25.00 and $50.00, if you know someone who wants to sponsor a basket.

We all know what a hard time Janet has had battling malignant melanoma since 2002. She’s taking 3 shots a week (interferon) now for a year for her cancer. She has been very sick and so weak from this. She’s always had tough times in her life since she was a little girl. I have made a DVD of Janet talking about her life and sent it to ABC Extreme Makeover Home Edition, hoping they would come in and help finish her house. They can’t seem to finish it because of all the medical bills. I have more copies that I would like others to see. It’s really touching and I don’t think people realize what Janet has been through…Please let me know if you are interested in seeing it.

Thank you all so much!



Proceeds to help support Janet Sumner’s Medical Bills

WHEN: Friday April 30, 2010

WHERE: Central United Methodist Church,
1909 North Main Street
Mount Airy, NC 27030

TIME: Doors will open @ 6:00pm
Bingo will begin around 7:00pm

COST: $20.00 for 60 cards
Play 3 cards per game

Hot dogs, chips, drinks, & desserts will be available for purchase.

20 games will be played for beautiful Longaberger products!

Valued at $300.00
Cover All Cards are $3.00 each or 2 for $5.00

Raffle tickets may be purchased for $1.00 each for a chance to win a Coastal Tote Set. The drawing will be held April 30, 2010.
You do not have to be present to win.

Contact Gina Gough @ 336-710-3141 or Shelby Willis @ 276-251-5775 if you have any questions!

This event is in no way connected with or sponsored by the Longaberger Company.