Virginia–Steeped in History and Inspiration–Beth Trissel

The rich history of Virginia, the Native Americans and the people who journeyed here from far beyond her borders are at the heart of my inspiration.  Not only have I lived in the Old Dominion for most of my life, but also several previous centuries in the sense that my ancestors were among the earliest settlers of the Shenandoah Valley (1730’s/1740’s). Chapel Hill, circa 1816, the Churchman family home place on my father’s side, is part of the inspiration behind the old homes in my novels, as are the other early plantations I’ve visited like Berkeley, Shirley and Carter’s Grove.  My Scots-Irish forebears settled Augusta County in the southern valley with names like Houston, Patterson, Finley, Moffett and McLeod.  These clannish people often intermarried, so I can tie in with many other early families depending on how I swing through the ancestral tree.

Colonial Virginia encompassed a vast territory.  Initially  Augusta County named for Princess Augusta, wife of Frederick, Prince of Wales, stretched northward from the present day county of Rockingham to include part of Page; to the South it extended the full length of Virginia’s border, and to the northwest it included the present day states of Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and part of western Pennsylvania, all the territory claimed by Great Britain at that time.

Jamestown, the earliest successful English colony, and  Williamsburg,  a vital center in early America, are both in Virginia.  If you haven’t visited Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Yorktown, you’re in for a real treat.  These sites are wonderfully  restored so it’s like stepping back in time to another age, one that fascinates me.

Virginia is steeped in history.   How could I not be drawn to this wealth of stories here?  They span centuries.  And if the earth could speak what tales it would tell, some of them horrific.

Virginia is also the site of more battles than any other state in the union, encompassing the Indian Wars, the Revolution and that most uncivil of wars, the Civil War.  Not to mention, Virginia has more ghost stories than any other state.  Also fodder for the imagination and yet more stories.

About BethTrissel

Married to my high school sweetheart, I live on a farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia surrounded by my children, grandbabies, and assorted animals. An avid gardener, my love of herbs and heirloom plants figures into my work. The rich history of Virginia, the Native Americans and the people who journeyed here from far beyond her borders are at the heart of my inspiration. In addition to American settings, I also write historical and time travel romances set in the British Isles. And nonfiction about gardening and country life.
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12 Responses to Virginia–Steeped in History and Inspiration–Beth Trissel

  1. Beckey says:

    Great post. Lovely picture of the leaves changing color & the historical costume pic.. Thanks for sharing

  2. Pam says:

    Love the article, We’ve been to Yorktown and Jamestown. There were absolutely wonderful places to visit. However, I won’t go back to Williamsburg and would never encourage anyone to go there.

  3. Judy says:

    What a fascinating history you have, and I appreciate being allowed a peek into it. 🙂

  4. Oh dear, what could have happened to Pam to make her never want to come back to Williamsburg? Under the tourist and commercialism there is so much actual history, the real deal! Thanks for the article Beth, lovely photos!

  5. Great post! We love Virginia and enjoy going to all the places you have talked about. I would invite you to visit our historic plantation soon too!

    See our historic plantation

  6. Pam says:

    I love Va. and all its history and unfortunately, it wasn’t the crowd that made the visit to Williamsburg unpleasant. We expected a crowd. it was the middle of July. I don’t want to go into it here. This article is about history. And I love American history! We will still return to Va. and visit. because it is filled with so much history. Also, the Belle Grove plantation is on the list of “must see”

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