Tag Archives: Afton

Descent . Daily Post Challenge

I did a reblog post when I first saw this challenge, and while that post is appropriate, I felt like I was cheating. These stairs might look familiar as I posted them from a different angle a couple of posts back. But this time around, those silly little orples are at it again — Olivia and Oscar tagged along so they could play in the stairwell while I chat with you guys about the daily post challenge. The clock flipped over, over an hour ago EST, so I might be a day late — nothing new there. It’s a good thing that there’s that old saying ‘better late, than never’  —  one of my favorites sayings.

Playing in the tower at Swannanoah.
Playing in the tower at Swannanoah.

The owners are renovating Swannanoah, so one day these old walls will be re-plastered. No matter; the orples don’t mind the exposed bricks, or the missing window panes. They are too busy having fun now that they are free to be whatever it is they want to be. Olivia and Oscar have been relishing their adventures ever since they were set free from their orange tree. Now it seems, I’m going to have to put them on a leash if I ever want to find peace again. I just hope they don’t fall down that descending staircase in the meantime.

The Orples Visit Swannanoah . View 3

Those pesky little Orples are at it again. They reprimanded me for posting the wrong photo the other day (see Swannanoah . View 1), and have insisted I come back and re-post. They also insisted on coming along to supervise.

Olivia and Oscar tagging along to be sure I am posting correctly.
Olivia and Oscar tagging along to be sure I am posting correctly.

Wow, it’s a long way down. On the upside if the Orples do fall, they can bounce to the bottom, although, they do bruise easily, so let’s hope they don’t fall.

Swannanoah. A Peek Inside. View 2. Going Up?

Yesterday, Sunday, October 26, 2014, I finally went to Swananoah for the first time in 25 years. I grew up about 8 miles from the mountaintop palace, as the crow flies, and never knew it was there until I was a grown woman with children of my own. As explained in my last blog post,Swananoah is the sister mansion to the Maymont mansion in Richmond,Va.

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 You are gazing at opportunity knocking on the door. As renovations take place, there will come a day when the ‘guts’ of these walls will be covered again, leaving one to wonder what’s behind the plaster. Look while you can.  The newel, railings, and banisters are all metal, probably iron, although, honestly, I am not sure. Given the amount of marble throughout this breathtaking structure, that metal might be bronze. I’d tell you if I knew for sure.  I really enjoyed the rustic appeal of this wondrous old palace and am thrilled that someone intends to restore it. If ever it becomes a Bed and Breakfast, or a Hotel, as is rumored, I hope to spend at least one night there, on top of Afton mountain overlooking the Shenandoah Valley.

With all of the stair photos I took yesterday, I’m wishing I’d visited Swannanoah before they had the ‘stair’ challenge in 2012. I posted two entries, at least, in that challenge. Check ‘um out: Stair one, stair two, if you have the time, and inclination, to browse further.

Swannanoah: A peek inside . View 1. looking down

Standing at the top, look down, there are so many amazing things to see.
Standing at the top, look down, there are so many amazing things to see.

Some staircases are so cool, especially when they just keep on going, from one floor, to the next, up or down. Add light to the sheer coolness of the stairs themselves and you get a double dose of delight, teasing the mind and the eye.  I went to Swannanoah today.  They will be open one more weekend this fall, then they will open their doors again in the spring of the year. If you’ve checked out any of my Maymont Posts, you will see that the Dooley’s, the owners of this palace, also owned Maymont in Richmond, Virginia.  Unlike Swannanoah, which fell into the hands of siblings, Maymont was donated to the City of Richmond, and as a result has been maintained, both through city funds and generous private donations. Everybody loves Maymont. Swannonoah, the Dooly’s summer home is currently privately owned and is under renovation. and is opened to tours periodically, for the time being. It is rumored that the owners are hoping to turn the palace into a Hotel, Bed and Breakfast, or similar. The palace is supposed to be haunted and they do some spooky stuff on top of Afton Mountain at certain times of the year. Wikipedia has an article on the Estate, and there are articles if I’ve tickled your curiosity, here. I took some cool photos today, and will share more of them here and there. Right now, I’m going to bed. Besides, I think when you post ‘um one at a time, each photo basks in its own glory a wee bit more. For now, please enjoy this capture in the afternoon sun.