Summer 2012 Newsletter
Well, we did it! The Moore Family Reunion swept through Williamsburg, Jamestown, and even the Yorktown battlefield, all in one spectacular weekend. Thanks to the inspiration of cousins Jimmy Palmer and Joyce Browning, we fulfilled the vision of taking our great family reunion to Williamsburg and Jamestown. What wonderful memories we will all treasure forever, with tremendous thanks to Jim Palmer, our fantastic chief organizer, guide and historian for the two-day “Moore Jubilee”.
Jim truly did a remarkable job of serving as our family shepherd and teacher of our flock for the two days through Williamsburg, Jamestown, and the Yorktown battlefield. Jim’s extensive knowledge of history of the area, along with incredible planning talents, and his extra-special architectural expertise, made the 2011 Reunion perhaps the greatest ever. We will forever be indebted to him for his countless efforts in preparation, planning, touring, lecturing, coordinating, and shepherding. For all of his many efforts, we recognized and presented him with the 2011 Distinguished Service Award, at the Reunion Awards Dinner on Friday night.
We also recognized Joyce Browning for her vision of bringing everyone to Williamsburg, shared with Jimmy and me several years ago. Without her exuberant enthusiasm and vision, we might never have set such a goal of having our Annual Reunion up there. For all her effort, I also recognized Joyce that evening with the President’s Award, for her major contribution to the success of the weekend. For her historical knowledge, storytelling talent, and excitement at bringing family history to life, we thank Joyce for the success of the weekend, as well.
Well, how did it all happen? It all began on Friday morning, with about 20+ dedicated Moore Family members meeting for breakfast at the Williamsburg Woodlands Hotel & Suites. Little did we all know what was in store for the next two days, as we traded “Howdys” and reunited with many family members from all across America. Jimmy and Joyce each gave us a delightful briefing on what we might see the next few days, and then we walked across the parking lot to the Williamsburg Visitor Center, where we got “oriented” with the huge table-size map, and then out the backdoor to begin a half mile stroll to the center of the historic Williamsburg town site. With both centurion Herb Moore and sweet Joyce in the lead, riding their motorized scooters, off we walked on the beautiful winding path to the town center. It truly is a remarkable place, with the first Virginia Capitol/House of Burgesses at one end, the city center Courthouse in the middle, where Benjamin Waller read the Declaration of Independence from its steps, to the British Governor’s Palace toward the other end, Williamsburg has done a remarkable job of preserving and recreating the village from those times, while providing shops, inns, and cafes in period architecture.
After inspecting the Courthouse, and putting Jimmy, me, and Jerry & Judith Hill, all in the stocks outside the courthouse for “punishment”, we walked and “scooted” past timeless shops and inns as we made our way to the Capitol. Once there, we took our family photo (see below) and went inside and sat in the benches of the very House of Burgesses where so much of our colonial history took place. Jimmy and Joyce were spectacular in describing so much of the rich history, and as we all hopped the shuttle bus for the other end, we marveled at how much of America had begun right there in that hallowed Capitol building. After a delightful lunch at a small café on the main street, we were on to the Governor’s Palace, which is an amazing sight to behold, with its spectacular furnishings and gold decorations. The rifle & sword collection in the front hall was quite a sight, as were the extensive gardens and pathways around the Palace.
After a brief freshening back at the hotel, it was on to famous Shield’s Tavern, the finest tavern on main street, for our special Reunion Dinner. Shield’s was a truly wonderful and magical place to meet that night, with epic furnishings and exquisite cuisine, all under candlelight in our own private dining room. Much fine food, joyous laughter, amazing stories, and a little libation, made the evening one to remember always. Congratulations again to Jimmy and Joyce, our awardees at the dinner, as well.
As everyone got tucked into bed that night back at the hotel, it was hard to believe how a better day could have happened, and the weather was beautiful, with a stunning blue sky, and rosy temperatures. Rest was essential though, for Saturday was even more ambitious.
As we organized at Saturday morning breakfast, we planned our car caravan down to Jamestown. There are actually two sites there, both a re-creation of the fort and village inside, as well as the archaeological site, where digging continues to unearth secrets of the original Jamestown site, centuries later. The Visitors Center is also well done, with a movie and museum halls showing life and historical moments of the period. They’ve even built replicas of some of the ships, and dock them along the river bank down the hill from the fort. After the re-creation site, we explored the original Jamestown archeological site in detail, with lunch at the café there overlooking the river. The museum building has heavy glass floors so you can see through to the archaeological digging, still continuing under the building there.
Following lunch, we walked next into the historic Jamestown Church, built in 1639 and one of the oldest buildings left in America. Here, Jimmy and Joyce treated us to more American and family history, as we sat in the place where our greater Virginia family sat centuries ago. What a moment sitting in that church, and realizing the hundreds of years of history that have transpired since then. Finally, down the path we strode to sit and hear a National Park Ranger tell us several fascinating stories about the Jamestown Settlement, to top off our visit there. Although not specific to our Moores, our allied/collateral family history was truly amazing to listen too. We are all related to several of these original early Virginia families, as well.
As we caravanned back north, we stopped at the famous Yorktown Battlefield, and looked out upon the field where the British surrendered. This was a moment of further emotion, seeing the very place in a field where the American Revolution ended in victory for our patriots. In just 36 hours, we had engaged much of the history of Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Yorktown, and learned so much about our great country and our extended Moore family forefathers and foremothers.
What an wonderful experience, and such amazing sights to see and hear. This was truly one of the best Moore Reunions we’ve ever had, and even more special because we all shared it with each other, our Moore family members. It was not easy or inexpensive in getting there, but we did it, and we all shared in these memories that will last a lifetime. The 2011 Moore Reunion was indeed a tremendously historical reunion, and was a weekend of great fun. What better way to have seen these great American historical sites than with your Moore family cousins? After such a great and historic Reunion, what to do next? Well, we’re heading to Rodey & Elizabeth’s historical sites this October 6, 2012, so don’t miss out. In addition to our visits to Rodey’s graveyard and the William A. Moore house, we’re going to try and see if we can trek up a creek along the Surry & Stokes County line, where we believe there might be rock ruins of Rodey’s Grist Mill. We’re still working on trying to obtain access to the land along the creek, but we hope to focus on trekking up it for up to a mile, in the hopes of finding some evidence of it. As we’ve seen in various old records, the mention and existence of Rodey’s grist mill is a known fact. As I write this in late June, there are still a lot of unknowns at this point, but if we can get local assistance and cooperation, who knows what we might discover that weekend. Since we haven’t been back to Mt. Airy and the Rodey & Moore gravesites since 2006, there are plenty of new cousins to make the trip. Even returning cousins should join us, because there are more stories to tell and history of our family to be written.
Don’t miss this great chance to visit Rodey’s “homeplace” for the first time in over 5 years. Our “homebase” will be the new Mt. Airy Holiday Inn Express (336-719-1731), and you can fly into Charlotte (100 mi.) or Raleigh-Durham (60 mi.) airports to the south/east, and rent a car from there. Please return the reunion registration form at your earliest convenience. Louise Murphy and Priscilla Rogers have made all the arrangements for a wonderful visit, lunch, & dinner, so don’t miss out. It should be another grand family time for all!
Lastly, it is “Dues” time, and oh so important! Please use the enclosed envelope to send us your $25 annual dues, since those precious funds pay for gravestones and continued upkeep at our three “Rodey’s Children’s” cemeteries in Virginia, Tennessee, and Missouri, as well as this newsletter and our www.RodehamMoore.com website. All you have to do is write the $25 check, slip it into the envelope, and stick a stamp on it, and you're done for another year. If you can afford a small extra donation with your dues too, we would all be very, very grateful for that too. It’s never easy to pay the bills without those special donations! We can't do all these wonderful deeds without you!
Thank you again for your support, prayers, and efforts on behalf of the family. We are looking forward to seeing you in Mt. Airy, North Carolina on Saturday October 6th, 2012, for another fun-filled Reunion Day! Come help us make more Moore Family history! You’ll be glad you did!
Jim Palmer, Joyce Browning, & Clint Moore in Jamestown Church