Herbert Barbee Confederate Statue

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No ticket or pamphlet

 

October 22nd, 2008

Herbert Barbee Confederate Statue  Luray, VA

 

      We decided it was time to travel to Shenandoah for a mid-week vacation.  We figured fall in mid-week was the best way to see the fall colors as well as beat the crowds. So our trip was Tuesday through Thursday.

      We had done everything we wanted to almost on our first day except the mountain hike. So after that trip (no go to the waterfalls but a nice drive in the mountains) we got bored.  We detoured to New Market and to the battlefields (see Civil War area) and then got back about 4 pm. We were bored.  What to do for the rest of the night?  We lurked about in the hotel for about half an hour and then decided to drive around town.  We discovered a couple small sites that took only 5 minutes to do, but it was something anyway! One of them was the Herbert Barbee Statue.  I took a photo of that and then that night looked on the net about him.  He was born October 8, 1848 and the son of sculptor William Randolph Barbee. In 1878 Herbert went to Italy to study art. After his return to America he had studios in New York, Baltimore, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Washington, and Luray. Herbertís wife was Blanche Stover, a descendant of Peter Ruffner, Jr. one of the first settlers there.  The statue was suggested by a Confederate picket that Barbee saw one day standing at the summit of Thorntonís Gap on the Blue Ridge in a snow storm with the muzzle of his rifle pointed down to keep out the snow.

It's of nobody in particular... just an example of the times. It was unveiled on July 21, 1898.  The Confederate Monument is located on East Main Street in Luray. While at the statue, we went into Family Dollar store and Peebles.  Then we were STILL bored and ended up finding the Massanutten one room schoolhouse nearby as well.  Look for that page on Civil War, Colonial and Patriotic places pages...).

    While driving around, we also found a couple things we did not take photos of but are worth noting.  One is a small family cemetery on the side of a road. The oldest marker is from the late 1700's.  It's literally on the shoulder!  It was a family plot connected two two historic places in the county: The White House (not THE Whitehouse, but a White House that is called The White House).  This is a small white run down little building on Highway 211 West not far from the Luray Caverns... between Luray and New Kent.   It was the first home and a meeting house of settler Martin Kauffman.  It was used for Civil War writings, and by Stonewall jackson.  It's made of stone and covered with lime and mortar.  That is just near (within sight) the White House Bridge, which was an important river crossing. It's now a part of the highway... But about 1808 when it was constructed, it was a wooden covered bridge.  That bridge was destroyed in a windstorm in 1850, so in 1851, a new covered bridge was built. During 1862, Stonewall Jackson used it a lot during the Valley Campaign.  June 2nd of that year, about an hour before the arrival of Union forces, the White House bridge was burned in order to stop the ambush.  A third bridge was built after the Civil War but was washed away in 1870 during a flood.  From 1870-1910, no bridge was built; instead, they crossed by ferry. A fifth bridge was built of steel and concrete in 1946 and after the highway was built, the bridge was overbuilt to be like a regular traffic bridge to carry east bound traffic.  Today, it looks like a very small overpass (not even high, just a few feet over a babbling brook.  You wouldn't even know it's historical nature or that it was anything if nobody told you!

 

1) A confederate soldier that inspired Herbert Barbee to sculpt.  It was a depiction of the times there during the Civil War and a nice example of his work.

 

 Informative or interesting links:

Luray Zoo

Garden Maze

Luray Caverns (the Car and Carraige Museum is on the Caverns Site)

Mimslyn Inn

Shenandoah National Park

 


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