Monday, April 18, 2011

The Sutherlin Mansion - The Last Capitol of the Confederacy (Plus food, drink, and poker)

Saturday afternoon, my son Brandon and I were going to meet Boots and Bear for a tour of the Sutherlin Mansion in Danville, VA. The weather was terrible, for lack of a better word. There were severe thunderstorms including heavy rain, heavier lightening, and high winds. There were also tornado watches for our city as well as tornado warnings for the areas just south of us. Boots called and invited me to meet her a few doors up from the Mansion at a friend's house in the Danville Historic District.

I arrived to find Boots, Jeff, and Jennings under the cover of Jeff's garage. There were two smoking grills just outside of the garage. One waiting to be filled with the most delicious looking racks of ribs, the other already smoking a couple of pork butts. You can't tell by the photos, but the rain was beating down pretty badly on Jeff and Jennings as they adjusted the heat in the grill.

We relaxed in Jeff's garage and enjoyed a Crown and Diet Coke while we waited for the storms to pass. A radio in the garage crackled at each flash of lightening, and the Emergency Broadcast System siren interrupted the radio station's playlist quite frequently as the warnings of more severe weather were delivered.

After a couple of hours passed, the sun finally showed itself and we made our way to the Sutherlin Mansion. When the storms moved out, you could barely tell it had even rained.

(My son, Brandon, in front of the Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History)

The Sutherlin Mansion served as the Last Capitol of the Confederacy where President Jefferson Davis and his full cabinet met for the last time April 3-10, 1865. Today it is the Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History. The house is filled with many pieces of the Sutherlin's original furniture, paintings, and even two of Mrs. Sutherlin's dresses. I took several pictures of the inside of the mansion, but all of them turned out rather blurry. There is a tour of the museum as well as the story in the following video courtesy of Visit Danville.

After an educational tour of the Sutherlin Mansion we retreated to my house for a few games of poker in my basement. We were joined by Sage who was just getting off of work. We had a few drinks, a few snacks, and a lot of laughs.

I can't think of a better way to cap off a long work week than to enjoy it with my closest friends!

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