North of Gordonsville is a little town called Orange. Zachary Taylor was raised here, near to his relatives who were descendents of James Madison. Taylor Park is a cute little town park with a mural on the side of a building depicting a bank of the 1800s. A little path through it shows off blooming azaleas and was a reminder of the best time of year for me when I lived in Albany, NY. I love the lilacs, daffodils, tulips, and forsythia bushes that bloom yellow this time of year. This is the weekend of the Tulip Festival in Albany and I loved going to Washington Park to see all the crafts and eat fair food and listen to music while sitting on the grass, people and dog watching!
On the other side of Taylor Park is a brick wall with plaques describing Alexander Spotswood and his adventures. In 1710, he led a band of men to explore the western area of Virginia. He crossed over the Shenandoah Mountains, then returned. She presented all his men wiht lapel pins shaped like horseshoes with jewels and an inscription on them. They became known as the "knights of the golden horseshoe"!
Barboursville is named after a U.S. Senator, Secretary of War, and then Governor of VA in the days of Jefferson. Thomas Jefferson designed his estate and included an octogon shaped drawing room in it, after his own. The house stood for 70 years, but burned on Christmas of 1884. The ruins have been stabilized so that we could view them. The ruins are on the grounds of the Barboursville winery. I was with a new friend of mine, Lee, so after finding a letterbox and admiring the honeysuckle and budding magnolia tree, we did some wine tasting. There are some wines I like and we both bought a couple of bottles. We will host a wine tasting at the Memorial Day picnic we will attend in NY!