Daddy's Christmas Angel

Friday, June 9, 2017

Returning to Mary Washington College

Brompton ©Mary Montague Sikes
So many memories followed me as I returned to Mary Washington College (now the University of Mary Washington) for homecoming. We lived in Fredericksburg, Virginia, location of the college, when I was growing up. Our home was on the other side of the block from Sunken Road where so many died during the Civil War. As you drive along it, that road still feels sad today.

Brompton, home of the president of the university, was known as Marye House during the Civil War and served as headquarters for Confederate General James Longstreet. It later was used by the Union Army as a hospital.

For the reunion, Brompton was a happier place. It was the lovely site of  the president's welcome reception on the lawn.

Willard Hall ©Mary Montague Sikes
Later that evening, I made a little talk to one of the reunion groups and reminiscenced about my first college room in Willard Hall. I had three roommates and all of them were horseback riders who took advantage of the riding program offered by the college. I wasn't a rider, but I loved listening to all their stories when they returned, dust-covered, to our room, Willard 313. This year, I longed to go inside the dormitory and check out our old room, but, sadly, it wasn't open to the public.

My talk was at Kenmore Inn, a location where my boyfriend (now husband) and I sometimes dined when he visited me at the college. The Inn is located not far from historic Kenmore, a place, as a child, I hurried past on the way to and from school. I feared the ghost of Fielding Lewis would suddenly appear, riding his white horse.

Kenmore Inn Entrance ©Mary Montague Sikes


Pathway to Brompton ©Mary Montague Sikes
Fredericksburg is a beautiful city, so full of history. The campus grounds of the University of Mary Washington are still beautiful. Those grounds attracted me to attend the college all those many years ago. Now, I love seeing them when I return.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I've never been to a college reunion.
I bet it's wild to see how much has changed over the years.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

How delightful. That's wonderful you are close enough to do that. I think it's also sweet you met your husband while in college.

Mary Montague Sikes said...

Alex, it's changed a lot, yet much of it, including Brompton, has remained the same.

Diane, actually he was my high school sweetheart!