Past is Prologue

Clint Schemmer writes about history, heritage preservation and the American Civil War.  On Facebook: Past is Prologue  On Twitter: @prologuepast  ContactEmail Clint or call 540/374-5424.

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Book-signing Saturday at Germanna Visitors Center

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This came in a little while ago from Marc Wheat, president of the Germanna Foundation, stewards of one of Virginia’s most remarkable Colonial historic sites–one the Rapidan River in Orange County. Actually, I’d make that one of the nation’s most significant historic sites! (The Germanna Colony was the pet project of Virginia’s amazing royal governor, Alexander Spotswood.)

Mr. Wheat says:

On Saturday, May 21, 2011, Maxine Weaver Crane will be at the Germanna Visitors Center at 2 p.m. for a book-signing of “Ask for Nothing.”

On July 15, the Germanna Foundation will include the home where the book takes place, the Deale Mountain Farm, which was built in the 1800′s by Fountain Deal and his wife, Alpha Hoffman Deal, on the “Second Colony Bus Tour.” The tour will be more meaningful if you read the story first!

The storyline of the book is about Frances Henderson. Her mother was traveling on foot from Virginia to Missouri in 1846. She stopped at the home of Alpha and Fountain Deal and asked them to take her young child.

She told Frances Henderson, “Don’t ask for nothing.” She told the Deals, “Always keep’ er in dis house in case I comes back.” She never came back. Frances lived with the Deals, the Yowells, and the Weavers in this house. When she died in 1925 at the age of 84, she was still waiting for the return of her mother.

As you enter Deale Mountain Farm on the tour, you will travel the same road that Frances did in 1846. You will ford the same stream and see the house as it appeared to her. Little has changed with the exterior or interior of the home. Frances’ bedroom still has the bed that she slept on and the view out of the wavy glass window is the same that she saw.

Fountain and Alpha had one child, Sarah Ann Deal. Sarah married Rowland Godfrey Yowell and they had eight children. The youngest daughter, Viola Hender Yowell, married Charles Lovell Weaver. They had three children: Otho Roberts Weaver, Charles Elton Weaver, and Elza Mae Weaver.

After the deaths of Charles and Viola Weaver, their son Elton bought the property in 1967 and made minor repairs. After his death in 1976, Maxine and her husband Danny Crane kept up the property.

The book has 226 pages with illustrations drawn by their daughter Cheryl Crane; photographs of the Germanna families Deal, Hoffman, Yowell, Crigler, Aylor, Blankenbaker, and Weaver; and true accounts of the way of life from 1846-1925. The book will be available for $18.

Register here for the Second Colony Bus Tour to see this historic home, and the foundation’s July 16th annual conference, and learn from Maxine Weaver Crane on how to write your own family’s history.