Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Getting My Goat......

…and giving it away!  On October 4th (my 81st Birthday) “Billy” was presented by our grandchildren, Micah and Sam,  to Meadow Farm Museum, for placement in the children’s bedroom in the circa 1860 farmhouse.   We have enjoyed “Billy”, a late 19th century riding toy with iron wheels, and even a brass bell at his neck, as a decoration in our home for many years.  Billy needs some repair to a horn and the replacement of a glass eye. Rather than try and put the Goat on a gift list since more than one of our children may want it and like Solomon we cannot cut him in half, we like the thought of the public enjoying Billy in the old farmhouse. 

 In December, Billy will be joined by a beautiful China head doll, another gift we will be making to Meadow Farm.

Before I  tell you something about the doll, here is a bit of history on Meadow Farm, located on Mountain Road, in Henrico County, Virginia.

that you may wish to know.  I have permission from a County official  to quote the following:


“In the early 1700’s. Dr. and Mrs. John Mosby Sheppard established their home, Meadow Farm (the farm is located on Historic Mountain Road, Henrico County, Virginia).  They raised nine children. Four generations of the Sheppard family owned Meadow Farm.  From this site, Tom and Pharoah, Sheppard family slaves, warned Mosby Sheppard of a proposed slave rebellion on August 30,1800, later known as Gabriel’s Rebellion. During a Civil War raid, family legend has it that the Union Major General George Armstrong Custis tied his horse to a cedar tree right in front of the farmhouse.  In 1975, Elizabeth Crump, wife of the late Adjutant General of Virginia, Sheppard Crump, donated Meadow Farm to Henrico County. The County turned the farm into the Meadow Farm Museum, a living history farm open for public visitation and which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.  Among Meadow Farm’s many farm animals, there are two pigs that were acquired from Mount Vernon.  Their names: ” George and Martha.”

 As a family, the Hunters have a bit of history with Meadow Farm.  Our son, Robert Jr. (Rob) did  student archaeology on the grounds….he used the experience in his dissertation for a Graduate degree at the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA…..and his mother who is writing this blog, was born a few miles “down the road” near Mountain Road in 1928.

Over the years, we have presented Meadow Farm with a few country items,  all 19th century, including blacksmith tools, a hide covered trunk, lined with early newspapers;  brass buckets, fireplace tools, farm tools, etc.


Back to the china head doll….as you can see from the photo, she is quite beautiful….she was made c. 1850-60,  25  inches long, her dress is of the period, and her shoes are original.   She will be presented with an early ladder back child’s chair of the same period.

We hope to give her to the Museum sometime before Christmas…she will eventually be placed in the girls’ bedroom, after some repair to the shoes and the replacement of a leather hand.