Virginia is an area rich in history, as it was one of the most important of the original 13 colonies. There is a wide variety of historical sites here which make excellent field trips, either for schools or as a family. On the weekends, our Virginia adoption agents like supplementing our children’s educations by taking family field trips to the numerous historically significant sites in this area. Riddick’s Folly House is one of the lesser known sites, but one of our favorites. Some highlights of a visit here include:
Our Bleeding Country
“Our Bleeding Country” is the newest permanent exhibit at Riddick’s Folly House. This exhibit shows how the Civil War affected the Suffolk community. Notable features include:
- Short biographies of several Civil War soldiers from the Suffolk area
- A story about daily life in Union-occupied Suffolk
- Rare weapons used by both sides of the war
The exhibit is derived from a letter written by Jonathon Reynolds Smith, a Confederate Army soldier and a former tutor to Riddick’s children, shortly before he died in the war. “Our Bleeding Country” is a stop on the regular guided tours of Riddick’s Folly.
Mills E. Godwin, Jr. Exhibit Gallery and Research Library
This is the other permanent exhibit at Riddick’s Folly. The Mills E. Godwin, Jr. Exhibit Gallery and Research Center is named for and in honor of one of Virginia’s most revered governors. The gallery includes many personal items from Godwin and his family. You can visit the gallery at any time during Riddick’s Folly’s normal operating hours. The research library must be reserved by request during regular business hours and is free to the public.
Riddick’s Folly regularly holds reenactments of 19th-century events. They use a staff of talented actors, actresses, storytellers, and interpreters to tell these stories. This helps teach history in new, exciting, and innovative ways. Kids are always enthralled with these reenactments.
You can get a hands-on history lesson by joining one of the workshops at Riddick’s Folly. These teach a variety of 19th-century arts and crafts, including many that were used during the restoration of Riddick’s Folly. Classes include floor cloths, faux painting, and more.
This historic home was built in 1837 in a Greek Revival style. During the Civil War, this house was used as Union Army staff headquarters by General John J. Peck. It’s located in the heart of Suffolk’s Historic District and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. Today, the home has been renovated and opened as a historic house museum.