Stratford Hall Meeting

DSDI Spring 2018 Meeting
April 20-22
Stratford Hall, VA

Explore Stratford Hall Plantation At DSDI Spring MeetingPack your suitcase for the best casual weekend ever for the DSDI Spring Meeting at Stratford Hall, Va. From April 20-22, 2018, all ages can explore nature and history at the 1,900 acre plantation owned by Thomas and Hannah Lee, fifth great grandparents of a DSDI member. Two of their sons, Richard Henry Lee and Francis Lightfoot Lee, signed the Declaration of Independence. They both grew up in the Great House, which all can tour.  We’ll register at the Cheek House close to the Great House Friday from 1-3pm. Pick up a map or two and sign up for guided tours of the Great House. Have lemonade and homemade cookies in the Cheek House and meet other DSDI members there, or see the museum at the Information Desk close to the duPont Library.     Join us all at a Happy Hour at Cheek House from 5-6pm with Virginia wines and sodas. A family-style dinner will be at the dining room next to the Cheek House.Dinner will be at the Dining Room for a buffet. Stratford Hall’s President John Bacon will welcome us for a promising, casual weekend, or little ones can watch a movie at the Cheek House. Afterwards, toast marshmallows at a bonfire outside. With good skies, we’ll look at a telescope.On Saturday morning, we plan to meet at the Stratford beach with a paleontologist to search 15 million year old fossils, like shark and crocodiles teeth, sting ray bars and scallop shells. We often find whale and dolphin bones, sand dollars, tree oysters and coral from the same period of time. Plan to take the fossils home.During the same time, young folks and their families may sign up for a Mini Camp that morning instead of the beach, re-living 18th century life on this Virginia plantation. Stratford offers carding and spinning wool, make and lay bricks, march with the Militia, make candles and dig as an archaeologist. If there is interest, Stratford will work with DSDI to make the most memorable experiences for the families of all ages. We’ll make plans around your wishes. There will be a minimum number needing folks to sign up for Mini Camp.Lunch will be provided at the Stratford dining room and a general meeting. Afterwards, we’ll travel to the plantation’s grist mill where the farmer will teach us to grind the Stratford oats, corn or wheat.Students might want to order a box lunch and take the bikes to explore the plantation together. We’ll have several suggestions for them to debate history which they might want to present at dinner.Saturday evening, we’ll meet at the Council House close to the Dining Room for a Virginia-style buffet. No neckties allowed but Signer Richard Henry Lee, who is expected to arrive and entertain all of us. We should expect to sign our own names in quill pens and ink for good measure. Plan to take a lot of selfies with R. H. Lee.Millennials (age 18-25) could spend a late evening together, ordering pizza or leaving the plantation to explore the local restaurants.On Sunday, kayaks will be available to paddle on the Potomac River for those who requests them. Others may choose to worship at the family church, visit the Lee cemetery, see “Menokin,” the home of Signer Francis Lightfoot Lee’s home, taste local wine, hike the plantation’s 1,900 acres. There a lots of trails, deer and birds to observe, so bring your binoculars and camera.Some will stay within the property at cabins or hotel rooms, but others may prefer to stay at other hotels or bed and breakfasts. Transportation is available from golf carts to vans if requested in advance. At Stratford property lodging, (804) 493-1967 or’t wait to see you at Stratford!

Stratford Hall, VA—We wish we could stay in the Great House, but that’s not possible. However, within the plantation there is a small hotel (“Cheek House”), a large cabin (“Astor House”) and many small individual cabins available to rent. All of these photographs are from Stratford Hall lodging called “The Inn of Stratford Hall” and the Council House for meetings and the dining room. There is a waiting list for the hotel, but a few cabins are still available.

Staying away from Stratford Hall, but within 30 miles

Dahlgren, VA—Four hotels are close together.

  • Within 30 miles of Stratford Hall
  • One hour from Reagan National Airport
  • Breakfasts included
  • It is possible to arrange transportation

Holiday Inn opened Fall 2017. 540-625-2034

Hampton Inn 540-625-2333

Quality Inn 540-663-3060

Country Inn and Suites by Carlson 540-644-1500

Montross, VA— There are several interesting bed and breakfasts in the area, including

The Inn at Montross– Five guest rooms about 10 miles from Stratford. Pub in the basement. 804-493-8624

Shop around for other B&Bs in Northern Neck of Virginia

Colonial Beach, VARiver Edge Inn-804-410-2024

Westmoreland State Park– Like Stratford, don’t wait to book these cabins! Westmoreland State Park a few miles away from Stratford-804-493-8821

Tappahannock, VA

Several hotels and a bed and breakfast that:

  • 30 miles away from Stratford Hall
  • One hour from the Richmond airport
  • Close to Francis Lightfoot Lee’s home, “Menokin”

Holiday Inn 804-445-1200

Days Inn  804 443 9200

Super 8  804 443 3888

Bed and Breakfast at Tappahannock:

Essex Inn– 804-443-9900

Fredericksburg, VA_ For another 10 miles from Stratford (40 miles), you have Fredericksburg, Va. with dozens of hotels and B&Bs. Several of the Stratford Hall staff live there and make the drive every day. The city is loaded with history from many generations, like George Washington’s mom living there, James Monroe’s law office and many Civil War battles in and around Fredericksburg. Take a look at:

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