A Place in Time: Middlesex County, Virginia, 1650-1750

A Place in Time: Middlesex County, Virginia, 1650-1750

A Place in Time: Middlesex County, Virginia, 1650-1750

A Place in Time: Middlesex County, Virginia, 1650-1750

Excerpt

During the years in which this book was being researched and written, we often visited the Virginia county that is its subject. Usually we entered from the northwest, driving down from Fredericksburg to cross the invisible line that separates Essex County from our Middlesex, then continuing through the center of the county to Saluda, the modern county seat, and beyond. On one such occasion, it suddenly dawned on us that this road from the northwest was essentially our road—that is to say, the road we knew so well in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. With the realization came familiarity. Here was Mickleburrough's bridge where Tobias had his store. Just beyond Saluda was George Wortham's and the ordinary where Benjamin Davis died. We had no need to consult a map when we came to a branch a half-mile farther on. We knew that the left led toward Ralph Wormeley's Rosegill Plantation and the Mother Church, that the right would loop toward the Piankatank River, and that the two roads would join together farther down. We took the right and, after a mile or so, I said, "The turnoff to Turk's farm and the ferry should be coming up." Within a hundred yards, we passed the overgrown entrance of a lane and a sign: "Turk's Ferry Farm." Momentarily, it seemed, we had been transported across time. Yet we remained in an automobile, a product of the twentieth century; the road was macadam, not dirt. The feeling passed, but not the eeriness of this name from another time being so exactly where it ought to be.

In truth, this eerie familiarity across time—better put, this destruction of time or evocation of timelessness that allows us . . .

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