A Peacock At Beallair

Ok kids, today, let’s take out our history books … we’re going to make some notations in the margins.

You see before you a colorful peacock displaying his magnificent plumage on the lawn of historic Beallair near Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.

“A Peacock At Beallair” … from © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

“Beallair … or Beall-Air, also known as the Colonel Lewis William Washington House, is a two-story stuccoed brick house in classical revival style near Halltown, West Virginia. It was the home of Colonel Lewis William Washington, great-great nephew of George Washington and hostage in John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.”

Now. As the locals tell it, the story goes that one October evening in 1859 Colonel Lewis Washington was asleep in his bed, which on that night was in the room to the right of the front porch, first floor, when visitors suddenly and loudly came a callin’. Apparently, they crashed through the ornamental glass to the side of the front door, unlocked the door, and in they came. Lo and behold, it was that crazy John Brown, the infamous abolitionist, and his merry band. Their plan was to hold Colonel Washington for ransom and later that night descend on the nearby town of Harper’s Ferry and gobble up its enticing munitions storage area. Turns out, nobody wanted to pay poor Colonel Washington’s ransom. Somehow, however, he did manage to get free. Whether he cleverly escaped or whether he was left by the side of the road when the smoke cleared from all the commotion at the raid, I don’t know. But as Colonel Washington lived to tell the tale, he was quite brave and valiant throughout his ordeal. It’s said that John Brown, however, told the story a little differently. That there might have been a wee bit of down on the knees, begging for his life going on … but … ah well. We’ll never really know, will we.

To the best of my knowledge, no peacocks were harmed during these activities.

The original home, now the rear portion of the house, is believed to have been built by Thomas Beall prior to 1800. Beall’s daughter Elizabeth married George Corbin Washington in 1807. George Corbin Washington was the grandson of Augustine Washington, half-brother of George Washington. The present front of the house was added in 1820.

The original photographic image on which this digital piece was based was taken in July of 2014 with the Nikon D7000 and the 18-200mm vr Nikon lens. Much play in a few digital programs for a painterly look, which included several lovely paper textures. The image of the peacock was seen and snapped at a different time and place and added for the fun of it.


A quick click on the image will bring you to my website for a larger version of the image.  White there, mousing over the image will give you a fun, magnified peek at the detailing.


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