Friends of Green Spring Newsletter
Dedicated to the Opening of a new National Park
Vol. 2, No. 1, Winter 2004
Isabel sets course for mission to open Green Spring
Isabel changed directions for a lot of residents
of James City County, including the Friends of Green
Spring. Until the hurricane smashed trees and houses
and soaked thousands of artifacts stored on Jamestown
Island, the Friends focused on raising money for
exploratory archaeology. Now, the focus will be on
funding water and sewer lines, a new entrance to
Green Spring and a visitor contact station on the
west side of Centerville Road.
The Colonial National Historical Park has as its
mission restoring the artifacts, which were taken to
Fort Lee. Archaeologist Andrew Veech is spending his
time doing that job, so archaeology at Green Spring
is on hold. The Friends earlier provided $30,000 to
CNHP for an archaeology field school.
“Isabel forced the Green Spring board of directors
to return to our mission, which is to open Green
Spring to the public as soon as possible. Archaeology
will be part of the program when the park is open,
but first we must have infrastructure and a visitor
center,” said Daniel Lovelace, president of the Friends
of Green Spring.
“Our goal is in keeping with the final General
Management Plan for Green Spring and the James City
County Board of Supervisors resolution supporting
opening the site for public visitation,” Lovelace said,
and added, “We will begin working with county and
state officials to reach agreed goals and the time lines.”
The Friends determined long ago that both private
and public funding would be sought to open the new
national park for public education and enjoyment.
Gala recognizes GMP importance
Maps and a model of visitor center buildings were used by President Daniel Lovelace to describe the future of Green Spring
It took about five years of hard work and a lot
of National Park Service money to produce the final
General Management Plan for Green Spring. It was a
good reason to celebrate the final plan and to thank
supporters who want to open Green Spring as soon as possible.
So, the Friends of Green Spring gave a party on
Sunday afternoon November 9 at the William and Mary
Alumni Center to do just that…celebrate the GMP and
thank donors. Friends Board Members, Winnie Bryant
and Jane Yerkes, were co-chairs of the event. Green
and gold enamel pins reading “Historic Green Spring”
were affixed to the name badges as a tangible way of
recognizing all those who contributed to the cause.
The handsome pins have a representation of Green
Spring manor on them, based on Benjamin Latrobe’s
1796 image. Donors who did not attend will receive
pins by mail.
Mr. and Mrs. John Horne receive badges and Historic Green Spring pins from Tiffany Cutts and Shirley Williams at the Friends November 9 event.
President Daniel Lovelace and CNHP Public Affairs
Director Mike Litterest described the Friends’ objective
to open Green Spring and the importance of finally
having a complete General Management Plan. CNHP
Archaeologist Andrew Veech fascinated the audience
with artifacts from Green Spring. He showed a 17th
century brick with a perfect dog print in it and
a satyr’s face from a large earthen planter made on the plantation.
Archie Cannon, representing Patriots’ Colony,
and Bud Ramey and Ron Reid of Riverside Health
System were introduced as sponsors of this event,
as they were of the June 1 Green Spring open
house. Other guests also were generous in sending
checks with their RSVP cards or leaving checks at
the registration desk. The event was a way of ending
the year by calling attention to the value of opening
Green Spring and the need for community support.
360 Years Ago
Historic Green Spring’s Sir William Berkeley created Virginia’s First Bi-Cameral Legislative Body, setting a precedent
for the Designers of America’s Constitution 146 years later.
Sir William Berkeley
[The following article was contributed to the Newsletter by Friends of Green
Spring Board of Directors member Professor Warren Billings, who is Chairman of the
Department of History at the University of New Orleans and the leading scholar
of the exploits of Virginia’s longest-serving colonial governor, Sir William
Berkeley (1605-1677). His latest book, A Little Parliament, will be published in the
next month by the Library of Virginia, and his ground-breaking biography of
Governor Berkeley is scheduled for publication by the Louisiana State University
Press in the Fall of 2004].
Virginia’s General Assembly is the oldest continuous representative legislature
in the Western Hemisphere. Originally conceived as a management device, it was
one of the tools the managers of the Virginia Company of London employed to
save their colonial venture. As such, it was composed of a governor,
councilors of state, and burgesses elected from various subdivisions along the
James River watershed. All of whom sat as one body in the church at Jamestown,
which was the only building large enough to accommodate their number.
The salvage plan proved overly ambitious, the company failed, and Virginia
passed under Royal control in 1624. Dissolution of the Virginia Company jeopardized
the General Assembly because the Crown neglected to stipulate that it continue.
The assembly met continuously, but it languished in constitutional limbo for more
than a decade. By 1639, when King Charles I finally sanctioned it, the assembly
had already acquired its place as the primary lawgiver for
the colony, although it remained unicameral, and it little resembled its modern-day
counterpart. Governor Berkeley encouraged change that not only modified the structure
but set the assembly on its path to becoming a little Parliament.
Berkeley, who sought fresh beginnings in Virginia, used his influence at court
to buy out Sir Francis Wyatt and become governor-general. He arrived in his
government in February 1642, virtually unannounced and without allies among
leading Virginia politicians. The assembly was in session, but in deference
to Berkeley, Wyatt adjourned it until Berkeley formally took over. Berkeley
then reconvened the assembly and worked with members to complete important reforms
that Wyatt initiated. The session acquainted him with existing political alliances
among the councillors and burgesses and revealed divisions that he might exploit
to build a power base of his own. He realized that the greatest threat to his
own effectiveness as governor would come from the councillors. A way round that
obstacle lay in making common cause with the burgesses. For that reason, among
others, he encouraged the burgesses who attended the General Assembly of March
1643 to sit separately from the councillors. And so the assembly became bicameral.
“(Sir William) Berkeley’s thirty-five year tenure marks him as
one of Virginia’s most significant colonial chief executives; he was also
one the most controversial. Berkeley stood with that handful
who closely identified themselves with leading Virginians and their interests,
even when those interests opposed The Crown’s. His vanity, his hauteur,
his stubbornness, and his ruthlessness earned him the cautious respect, if not
the fear, of those he governed, just as his vindictive suppression of Bacon’s
Rebellion gained him the hostility of many Virginia historians. Truth to tell,
his was not an endearing personality, but that defect should not be the excuse
for ignoring his part in fostering self-government in Virginia.”
(Warren M. Billings. Jamestown and the Founding of the Nation
Gettysburg: Thomas Publications, 1998. pp. 59-60).
Clifford Williams (right) was recognized at the Oct.
9 quarterly meeting of the Board of Directors of the
Friends of the National Park Service for Green Spring Inc.
for his outstanding efforts on behalf of opening Historic
Green Spring as a public park. Williams founded the Friends
membership organization in 1997 and is officially retiring
as a member of the board. Daniel Lovelace, president
of the group, is picture presenting a plaque to Williams.
Donation to Green Spring
Rodney Taylor (right), director of the Colonial
Capital branch of the Association for the
Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, presents a check
for $1,000 to Dr. Daniel Lovelace, president of the
Friends of the National Park Service for Green Spring
Plantation. The presentation was made oct. 23 at the site
of Green Spring, Governor Berkeley’s plantation home
about 4 miles north of Jamestown Island. In the
background is the one remaining colonial building
on the site.
Early explorers find buildings, but miss the truth
Isabel peeled off a portion of the copper cap from the lone standing building on Green Spring. A huge shad bark hickory tree in the background also fell victim to the hurricane.
Installment Two of a report by Dr. Andrew Veech reveals buildings
and garden of Ludwell era. Findings break new ground in a continuing
unraveling of the mysteries of Green Spring. A last installment highlights the
Ludwell-Lady Frances manor house and the spring house that visitors find fascinating.
Both Jesse Dimmick and Louis Caywood superficially recorded the outbuildings
south of and downslope from the Green Spring manor house, however, both men thought
that these buildings were separate from one another and from the manor house
above. This is not the case, as recent research at the site has demonstrated.
Late in Spring 2001, a truncated, Flemish bond garden wall was found to
extend east out of the northeast corner of the orangery. Subsequent excavations
conducted in Fall 2001 and Spring 2002 revealed that truncated garden wall extended
for some 45 feet east from the orangery before turning 90° and extending
southward. After proceeding in this southerly course for an additional 50 feet, the garden
wall was found to enter into and bond with the northwestern corner of the 12×12-foot
outbuilding that defines the western edge of the Ludwell family’s terraced
formal garden. This garden was probably designed by Philip Ludwell II, who resided
at Green Spring between 1697 and 1727. The outbuildings which from this early-
to mid-18th-century garden were first identified archeologically by Dimmick in
1928-20, although they appear as only outlined boxes in his 2-page site report.
Essentially, then, the truncated garden wall discovered and traced in 2001-02
forms the western façade of this northernmost, 12×12-foot outbuilding along the
western edge of the Ludwell formal garden. This wall also comprises the eastern façades of
the two more southerly outbuildings on the garden’s western side.
Once exiting the southeast corner of the 12×12-foot outbuilding, the garden
wall proceeds southward for another 42 feet and then enters into and bonds with the northeastern
corner of the 18×18-foot outbuilding, which is the middle outbuilding of the three along
the western garden edge. The wall then continues an additional 42 feet and then connects with the
northeastern corner of the southernmost, 20×20-foot outbuilding in the line. From there,
the garden wall exits the 20×20-foot outbuilding’s southeastern corner and turns due east, running
some 220 feet and thereby forming the formal garden’s terminal, southern boundary. After
running its 200-foot course, this southern garden wall connects with the southwest corner of a 20×20-foot
outbuilding framing the garden’s eastern edge.
The same pattern and spacing of garden walls and outbuildings witnessed on
the western side of the garden appears to have been precisely mirrored on the eastern side
of the garden. These buildings and walls are being traced and recorded now, in Spring 2003.
Diagnostic artifacts thus far recovered in association with the eastern garden wall strengthen speculations
that this comprehensive, symmetrical garden plan dates to the early 18th century.
The function of the 12×12-foot outbuilding on the garden’s western side
presently remains a mystery. Its 12×12-foot mate on the eastern side, however, is the plantation’s
sill partially-standing springhouse. The 18×18-foot outbuilding on the garden’s western side possesses
a well-laid brick floor, which probably relates to its initial function (perhaps a dairy?). By
contrast, the presumed 18×18-foot outbuilding on the eastern side of the garden remains troublingly
elusive. No conclusive evidence of that building has yet been found, although the rigorous
symmetry of the garden design suggests that the building almost certainly must have stood there
originally. The 20×20-foot building on the garden’s western side yielded an assemblage
of domestic artifacts, suggested that it may have served as a slave quarter. The 20×20-foot building
on the garden’s eastern side is probably the most massively built outbuilding of the six, and
it contains a well-laid 4.5×4.5-foot brick hearth in its northeastern corner. An enclosed, brick-and-tile
drain extends south from this hearth along the entire inside wall of the outbuilding, suggesting
that perhaps this building served as the plantation’s laundry.
Thanks from a founding father
George Wright, one of the founding fathers of Friends of Green Spring, sent
the following card after the November 9 program and reception: “Margaret and I enjoyed the Green Spring
reception on Sunday a great deal. It was first class in every detail. Many thanks
and best wishes for the success of your project. Kindest regards, GW.”
Safe storage for artifacts being built
Members of the Friends board attended the groundbreaking ceremonies in September
for the new historic Jamestown artifacts collections facility. Speakers were CNHP Superintendent
Alec Gould, APVA Executive Director Elizabeth S. Kostelny, Berkeley Scholar
Warren Billings, Jamestown 400th Project Director Sandy Rives and Keynote Speaker
J. Steven Giles, Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Historic Green Spring and Freedom Park
Dan Lovelace and Cliff Williams recently met with Colonel Lafayette Jones,
a leader in the development of James City County’s new Freedom Park, located west of Centerville and
Long Hill roads. A retired Special Forces (Green Beret) Intelligence Officer,
Colonel Jones is a descendent of Free Black tenant farmers and the slaves who
were freed by William Ludwell Lee after his death at Green Spring in 1803. Lee’s
will provided his former slaves with farmland in what is now Freedom Park, along
with corn, tools and the right to live on the land rent-free for ten years.
The meeting explored ways to foster increased cooperation between Historic Green
Spring and Freedom Park development efforts.
Friends of Green Spring has a birthday in February
Friends of Green Spring will be a 7-year-old non-profit corporation on February
24, 2004, however, it required a couple of years earlier to raise community
support and do the paperwork for incorporation and IRS tax free standing.
Board of Directors:
Daniel D. Lovelace
Donald S. Buckless
Robert W. Hershberger
Professor Warren M. Billings
M/G Archie S. Cannon, Jr. (Ret.)
Loretta J. Hannum
Trist B. McConnell
Gayle K. Randol
Marc B. Sharp
Richard G. Smith
Carol D. Tyrer
Sean K. Fitzpatrick
Hon. Jay T. Harrison, Sr.
Dr. James Horn
Hon. Thomas K. Norment, Jr.
Hon. Melanie L. Rapp
Friends of the National Park
Service for Green Spring, Inc.
P.O. Box 779, Williamsburg VA 23187
Phone: (757) 221-0800