Youth outing to Maymont, July 10, 2018

 Maymont trip, July 10, 2018 (full size gallery)


We had 14 youth and adults come along to the nature section of Maymont estate in Richmond on July 10, 2018.  A midsummer treat!

Everyone enjoyed running and playing on the well tended grounds. In the outdoor nature exhibit, we met owls, hawks, vultures, and two bald eagles. A small stream, the waterfall, the stepping stones were endlessly entertaining.

Everyone enjoyed the farm, with its goats, sheep, chickens, pigs and a donkey. The goats and sheep licked food right out of our hands. Back at the nature exhibit, we learned about the many creatures that inhabit the James River and other Virginia waterways. There are live cams of the animals.

Some background on Maymont. Maymont was the 100-acre Victorian country estate of James Henry and Sallie May Dooley. In 1886, the Dooleys first viewed and purchased the rough pasture and field that would become Maymont.

John Dooley, Sr. became a prosperous hat manufacturer. He began his career as an attorney during the immediate post Civil war years when Richmond was beginning to rebuild its business district, which had been destroyed by fire in the last days of the Confederacy. He also served from 1871 to 1877 in the Virginia Legislature. Major Dooley’s leadership of various civic endeavors runs as a continuous thread through the history of Richmond, from the early 1870s through the early 1920s.

Sallie Dooley was an student of horticulture, and took an active role in planning Maymont’s gardens and overseeing their maintenance. She was also a writer, and her poetry and stories express both her passion for gardens and her love of the rural, antebellum world of her childhood.

From the website – "At the age of forty, with no children and the resources of her husband’s prosperity at her disposal, Sallie Dooley led the effort to transform the landscape into a showplace that would rival the lavish estates that were springing up throughout the country.

"The Romanesque-style mansion was completed in 1893. The Dooleys spent the next three decades filling its sumptuous interiors with treasures from around the world and establishing Maymont’s magnificent gardens, landscapes and architectural complex.

"Major Dooley died in 1922, and upon Mrs. Dooley’s death in 1925, Maymont was bequeathed to the City of Richmond. There were no heirs to remodel the residence and its interiors. There were no subsequent generations to parcel the land or to sell off the Dooleys’ distinctly personal collection of decorative arts. In fact, only six months after Mrs. Dooley’s death, Maymont opened as a public park and museum, and has survived intact."

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