The Reunion, a rough draft

Hi all,

The following is a summary of where we are so far.

Please let us know, as soon as you possibly can, if and when you are coming and what activities you might be interested in.

Maybe there is something that we have not mentioned that you would like to do or arrange for. Please let us know.

A list of local lodging options are at the end of this entry. Let us know if we can help you out in any way. We want EVERYONE there, particularly if this doesn’t happen again for another 81 years.

This is going to be a very special weekend. The occasion marks 140 years of the Fleming family at Green Mont. Please come and be part of it.

See you in July,
Henry
310-995-6652

p.s. For the musicians in the family, we should all play some music. I can provide a cache of musical instruments for those who can’t bring their own. Just let me know what you need.

Friday July 14, 2017

Afternoon:
Open house and refreshments at Green Mont
set up camp sites (for those who want to stay at the farm. We’ll try to organize chaperones for those who have younger ones who might want to camp, either in the barn or in tents, so that all the parents who don’t want to camp out don’t have to. Let us know how many campers you might have if you would like us to provide camping gear)

Dinner:
Some sort of dinner arrangement for the Friday arrivals (to be determined)

Evening:
Campers back to the farm for a campfire and stories;  maybe a movie in the barn?

Friday activities and the nature of refreshments and the dinner will be developed based on the number of attendees. That is why it’s so important that you let us know if, and when, you are coming.

Saturday July 15, 2017

Morning:
Open house and coffee at Green Mont
Meeting and gathering
Sporting events sign ups.  Baseball teams, Badminton, Basketball
Tours and walks

Activities: either at the farm or in the area

Lunch: A picnic for those who have not wandered off for some more distant activity

Mid-afternoon:
Activities, at the farm and away
story sharing, meeting and gathering
Sporting events

Later-afternoon:
Refreshments and Photos on the steps of the house (all nature of configurations)

HDFleming 1936 with family A.jpg

HDFleming 1936 with family B.jpg
The family on the steps at the last Green Mont reunion, held July 4, 1936

Dinner: a Barn Banquet (please let us know your food preferences) the thinking right now is for a grill with burgers and grilled veggies etc, salads and other organic local produce and possibly a few fun food trucks, if we can swing it.

We could finish up with some favorite Fleming dessert, either from Roberta Fleming’s Emergency Cook Book or a tasty slab of “Mrs. Beavers” Three Layer Caramel Cake. We have the recipe. Maybe some adventurous family bakers can attempt this cake at home and bring it to the party for a baking contest. Marloe Woollett says the frosting is a beast.

Evening:
a campout for all kids and others (who want to sleep out).
another bonfire
and hopefully a few musicians playing in and around the barn.
The awarding of trophies, for whatever we feel like awarding trophies for.

Sunday July 16, 2017

Morning:
Coffee and breakfast/brunch for the campers and all else who want to attend.
Copies of the New York Times     Cross word puzzles.
Informal sporting events…Walks…Story sharing.
More music
More photos on the steps
Activities

Late Lunch: some sort of “grazing” food, salads and sandwiches

Afternoon:
Activities

We’ll keep it going as long as anyone wants, including dinner, somewhere, for those still around, and still standing.

Reunion activities

#1, of course, the photos on the porch steps; probably in many different family configurations and then at least one with everybody together. Family photographers or other. We have some candidates both in and out of the family.

Painting a family tree on one of the walls in the house (or in the barn)

Family Softball tournament. The Harris family has thrown down the gauntlet.
Basketball hoops in the barnyard

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Revelers on the Green Mont “tennis court” c1910 (a grass court; probably not regulation)

Badminton on the Green Mont “court”

bicycles? we might be able to provide few

little kid stuff, sports, games, art projects
“maze” trails mowed through the fields.
A scavenger hunt (for all ages)
A campout/ sleepover for the teens and tweens (and anyone else for that matter). Prepared campsites with rented tents and gear, or set up in the Barn. One or both nights. Bonfire, storytelling, music…..

limited scale construction projects could be readied for the week before in case anyone wants to build a little piece of place. Day long projects could be arranged for the days of the reunion. Projects could be one, all or none of the following…. Reassemble the crib of the old log smoke house (which is stored in the barn right now. The foundation would be prepared) , or re-build the mounting block at the end of the front walk…. or whitewash a fence, or a barn? Perhaps just help me mark out on the ground where all the known structures and gardens were.

Bonnie Harris suggested needlepointing, a great Fleming pass time. She could offer some instruction and we could have some family coat of arms chair seat patterns for folks to work on and take home (they don’t need to finish them. For that matter, they don’t even need to start them that weekend). And there is a yarn store in The Plains and one in Middleburg called Stitch that Andrea says could probably even make up the patterns for us. Maybe needlepoint takes a special yarn. Bonnie will know.

Some Coats of arms…I’m looking for the colors of the Fleming and Downman C of A’s. Of course, we could make a needlepoint pattern of anything. It doesn’t have to be a coat of arms

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Lee http://familee.net/crest.html

There could be gardening projects. Plant some flowers. or…there are a tremendous number of bulb-locked flowers that should be separated. People could take some of the bulbs home with them.

Scheduling

“Sign up/limited number” activities: certain activities may be for limited numbers, by arrangement and specific time: Wolf Instruments, Grace church sanctuary? Afro American History Association, Birding, Homewood (swim)….I have not made any of these arrangements yet, not knowing who might be interested, so please let us know, soon as you can.

Take homes (souvenirs)

And then there ideas for  T-shirts, cups, water bottles, tote bags, coffee mugs, hats…….We clearly can’t do all of these things. What would appeal to you?

I volunteered my sister, Roberta, as the point person to collect any ideas for items or graphics. We’ll try to sort out with the best ideas.

Max and Ian Rust are “pro” ink artists. All those true family enthusiasts could go home with “Let the Deed Show” permanently emblazoned on their shoulder…. or in some spot where the deed would not show.

Emily Rust and I are going to try to come up with an individualized name tag/family badge idea that would also be a souvenir of sorts.

Documentation and Recording

Slide shows (constant)

scheduled video and audio recorded story sessions

a supply of hand held digital audio recorders for those who feel like searching out interesting snippets

perhaps volunteers for one or two designated video teams to roam about the gathering

video/audio story booths ala Kip Brundage

photo booth

Family related sites that folks might want to go see…

*Many of these are private concerns but visitation for limited numbers at specific times may be able to be arranged if there is interest.

The Warrenton Cemetery (12 miles) with its multitude of Fleming and Downman headstones. The Marshall Cemetery where Frances Lee Fleming Carter Allen Boswell and S. Henley Carter are buried (5 miles)

Clarissa’s cabin at West Hope* (2 miles)

Homewood* (2 miles) former home of Frances F. Carter, Clarissa and Harriot Fleming, and Henry Rust

Roberta’s Farm “Difficulty” with it’s homestead “Bizarre” (1 mile)

The “New Green Mont” site (1/2 mile)

The Carver Farm Mill site? (Haven’t discussed this with Bill Rust. Not sure what if anything might still be there) (1 mile)

Archwood nee Ravenscroft; the former home of R. H. Downman* (Now Wakefield School in The Plains). and its gatehouse (by Irwin Fleming)

Sudley”* the home of Frances Fleming Carter and S. Henley Carter (post Ravenscroft)

Meadow Grove”* the Carter family home (next door to Sudley).

There is a portrait of R. H. Downman (father of Harriot Downman Fleming), commissioned by his son R. H. Downman, in the Fauquier County Courthouse. Unfortunately it’s not open for viewing on the weekend. He was Clerk of the Court and witnessed and recorded the deed for Mary Fleming’s purchase of Green Mont in 1877. Five years later his daughter, Harriot, married her son, Lee Fleming.

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Grace Church, an Irwin Fleming design with some significant Fleming stained glass windows.* http://www.gracetheplains.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/broad-run-lifestyle-article.pdf  I’d love to learn who donated this trio of windows. They’re rumored to be Tiffany, but they are unsigned and the church has no records. Does anyone know who gave them or where they were made?

The Save the Mill *(Chapman’s Mill) organization has their headquarters in The Plains. The towering remains of this amazing structure (the tallest stacked stone structure on the East coast) is located at Thoroughfare Gap (4 miles). This is where the Flemings, with bells on, used to take their grain to have it milled. Their office in The Plains has some interesting exhibits and artifacts. The mill fell victim to arson about 20 years ago. The stone remains have been stabilized and are awe inspiring. It is generally open to the public on the weekends. (4 miles) https://chapmansmill.org/

I adopted a stone at the Mill in the name of R.B. Lee  and Harriot Fleming. I submitted the backstory to the Mill’s newsletter. https://millingminutes.wordpress.com/author/chapmansmill/page/8/

Other places of interest in The Plains

The Sunday Farmers Market at the Archwood Green Barns (1 mile) https://www.facebook.com › Places › The Plains, Virginia › Farmers Market

Wolf Instruments*, world renowned makers of harpsichords and double basses (in the old Plains School House) http://www.wolfinstruments.com/

The American Bird Conservancy* (The Plains)
I could ask George(director of the ABC) and Rita Fenwick if they would take a group birding? http://www.abcbirds.org/‎

The African American Historical Association of Fauquier County with a very nice museum http://www.aahafauquier.org/   (The Plains)

For those who want to go a bit farther,

“Sully Plantation”, the home of Richard Bland Lee (R. B. L. Flemings great grandfather). Roberta Rust Jeffries is on their board and is the best source for information. (in Chantilly,VA about a 30 min. drive) http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/sully-historic-site/

Udvar Hazy Smithsonian Air and Space at Dulles Airport https://airandspace.si.edu/udvar-hazy-center  (in Chantilly,VA about a 30 min. drive)

Skyline Caverns http://www.skylinecaverns.com/ (in Front Royal,VA about a 45 min. drive) an old all-time favorite

“Blandy” the State Arboretum  http://www.blandy.virginia.edu/arboretum

Manassas National Battlefield Park  https://www.nps.gov/mana/

Sky Meadows State Park (Appalachian trail) http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/sky-meadows

There are things to see on a walk about the farm.

The stone bridge across Broad Run built by RH Downman so his sister at Green Mont could drive to town on a “decent paved road”.

All of the buildings and gardens that I can remember or otherwise document will be marked out on the ground.

The family swimming hole, now on the other side of Rte 66; a 1/2 mile hike with a little bit of climbing  over rocks at the end (to get under the Rte 66 overpass).

Perhaps a hike around the entire farm perimeter with all its sites would be interesting. (45 mins. to an hour?)

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Some of the Fleming girls on the porch of the telephone exchange and post office c1912. This building is currently the location of a restaurant called “The Front Porch”

The Plains and some of the other neighboring towns…

have a number of cool restaurants, coffee shops, specialty stores, wineries, etc. We could make a directory of these.

In The Plains, we have “Zig Zag”; Susan Jeffries Tenney’s gallery and shop. Just down the street is a new restaurant called “The Front Porch”. I have a picture of the Fleming girls sitting on this porch back when it was the telephone exchange. On the corner is “Haymarket Bicycles” and the “Happy Creek Coffee Company”; great coffee. There are several other art galleries and restaurants and a few antique and craft shops.

Marshall (5 miles away) is too hip for words these days and Middleburg (8 miles away) is still the chic center of commerce that it always was. Warrenton (12 miles away) is booming.

There are a growing number of local wineries that have tasting facilities and tours. I wouldn’t know where to begin suggesting one. Sarah (DeLashmutt) Emerson suggested one in Upperville (about 15 miles away) that is operated by some friends of hers. It is “Slater Run Vineyards”. http://www.slaterrun.com/home.html

Afterwards..

We will assemble a book to give everyone after the reunion. It will include the yield of reunion tales and photos from the event. a DVD family photo archive and family tree and a consolidation of other family writings.

Possible places to stay near The Plains

Warrenton area:

Holiday Inn Express   410 Holiday Court Warrenton, VA 20186 540-349-4200 https://www.ihg.com/holidayinnexpress/hotels/us/en/warrenton/wrvva/hoteldetail

Hampton Inn      501 Blackwell Rd Warrenton, VA 20186 888-370-0981

https://www.hamptoninn3.hilton.com

Baymont Inn & Suites    7379 Comfort Inn Drive Warrenton, VA 20187 540-349-8900 www.wyndhamhotels.com/baymont/warrenton

Black Horse Inn   8393 Meetz Road Warrenton, VA 20187 540-349-4020 relAX@blackhorseinn.com

https://www.blackhorseinn.com

Poplar Springs Inn and Spa      5025 Casanova Rd Warrenton , VA 20187 540-788-4600 https://www.poplarspringsinn.com

Airlie   6809 Airlie Road Warrenton, VA 20187 540-347-1300

https://www.airlie.com

Middleburg area:

Salamander Resort and Spa   500 No.Pendleton St Middleburg, VA 844-834-5615

Chilton House  97 Culpeper St. Warrenton, VA 914-409-3400

Goodstone Inn  36205 Snake Hill Road ( just off the Foxcroft Rd.) Middleburg, VA  866-209-9122

Aldie area:

The Briar Patch   23103 Briar Patch Lane Middleburg, VA 20117 703-327-5911

Little River Inn   39307 John Mosby Highway Aldie, VA 20105 703-327-6742

https://www.aldie.com

2 thoughts on “The Reunion, a rough draft

  1. Hello. You wrote, “I’m looking for the colors of the Fleming and Downman C of A’s.” The Downman coat of arms has an azure background. The wheat sheaths (garbs) have red bands (gules). I don’t think it has a lion in the middle, just 3 grouse on a relatively broad silver three-pointed zig-zag (fess dancetty), with the beaks and feet of a different color. It’s an interesting page. Thank you.

    Like

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