Vintage landscape: Birdsnest, Virginia

Bird's Nest Tavern, FBJohston, 1930s, Library of Congress “Old Birds’ Nest Tavern, Marionville vic., Northampton County, [on the Eastern Shore of] Virginia,” ca. 1930s, by Frances Benjamin Johnson, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. (Marionville was also known as Birdsnest.)

Beautiful summer meadow around the house. . .

Johnston’s notes on the photograph call the building a “sailors’ tavern.” It was probably one half to two miles from the creeks and marshes of Hog Island Bay on the Atlantic Ocean, maybe closer.

Her notes also say that it was “the first three story house in the country [county?].”

According to a 1927 economic and social survey of Northampton County, “[f]rom the low room in the middle of this building originated the name of ‘Bird’s Nest’.”

Unfortunately, I can’t find anything to indicate that it has survived to the present day.

When the world turns completely upside down
You say we’ll emigrate to the Eastern Shore
Aboard a river-boat from Baltimore;
We’ll live among wild peach trees, miles from town, . . .
We’ll swim in milk and honey till we drown.

— Elinor Wylie, from “Wild Peaches

3 thoughts on “Vintage landscape: Birdsnest, Virginia

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