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  • June 01, 2023 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Dave Reichert – June 2023

    LACA received a $9975 grant from DuPont to execute a project to raise awareness of how landowners can help reduce HAB and install native plants to consume nutrients that otherwise would be available for promoting harmful algal blooms. Two events were completed and additional plantings are being scheduled. We are currently looking for landowners with a long, shallow-water shoreline for in-water installation of native plants. We are also looking for owners of shorter shorelines who are interested in receiving free native aquatic plants in exchange for doing the planting themselves. We are focusing on locations up lake where the benefits of the new plantings would be greatest.

    As part of the educational outreach, 27 students from Anna Burkett’s Louisa County High School biology class and a dozen volunteers descended on the Quaglio property on Pumunkey creek for a day of learning about native plants, water quality, and the micro-organisms living in the water. They also planted 200 native plants in the water and along the shoreline. With very little arm twisting, the students convinced school superintendent Doug Straley to don waders and do some planting in the water. The weather was fabulous and the consensus was that this should become an annual event. The students followed up with a wonderful thank you note.

    The second event saw the planting of 900 native shoreline and aquatic plants along the common area at Clearview Shores. We did save a small portion of the plants for volunteers to plant along their own shoreline. Mother nature smiled upon us again with a sunny morning for our planting event which was completed in just a couple hours.

    If you are interested in volunteering your up-lake shoreline for in-water planting or volunteering your time, please reach out to our LACA Environmental Chairs, and

  • June 01, 2023 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Sue Biondi - June 2023

    Dear Member,

    LACA’s annual election is coming up next month and we encourage members to run for board positions.  This year, the following positions are up for re-election:



    Region #1 - Jackson/Cuckoo - Private           

    Region #3 - Partlow                                        

    Region #5 - Belmont       

    All members are eligible to submit their name as a nominee.  Incumbents for each of these positions will serve in their position if re-elected.  LACA is always seeking a wider base of membership involvement and looks forward to welcoming new members to the Board.   Board meetings are held on the first Thursday of the month.  The Annual meeting is on the last Saturday of July. 

    Duties of the President include serving as the Chairman of the Board, being responsible for the administration, management and coordination of the Association business, and shall execute the orders and resolutions of the board. 

    Duties of the Treasurer includes receiving, disbursing and accounting for Association funds.  In addition, filing annual tax returns and other tax-exempt reporting requirements. Position descriptions for officers may be read in Policy #003 found here.

    To run for a Regional Director position, you must own or rent property in that region.  Responsibilities of the Regional Directors include communicating with their respective communities to inform constituents of actions taken by LACA and to solicit their input on current and future issues.  Also, to communicate with Property Owners’

    Associations (POA)s and/or serve on the various board committees.  The position description is contained in Policy #004 and may be read here.  If you are unsure of what region you live in, see a map of the precincts here or a description of the regional boundaries here

    If you are interested in becoming a nominee, please let us know by responding to this email.  We look forward to hearing from you and will answer any questions you may have on becoming a board member.  It’s the members who make this organization a success!

  • April 01, 2023 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Harry Looney – April 2023

    This is a follow-up to our newsletter in 2022 on the same subject.  You can find the 2022 newsletter at this link. The Virginia Household Water Quality Program is hosting their 2023 clinics on the dates included in the table below for each of the Lake Anna surrounding counties.  The county point of contact to register for the clinic is also provided in the table.  You can get additional information on all 2023 clinics at  


    August 23rd

    Kayleigh J Mize / 540-507-7571


    September 27th

    Crysti Hopkins / 540-967-3422


    September 27th

    Clare Lillard / 540-672-1361

    The cost for this testing is $65. Commercial labs will often charge more than $300 for this type of well water testing so the Virginia Household Water Quality Program is a great way to get your water tested for a minimum amount of money. You can find out more about the Virginia Household Water Quality Program at this link

    The Virginia Household Water Quality Program is managed by the Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE).  You can find the VCE home page at You can visit your local VCE office in the table provided below or by using this link to their online listing.

    Spotsylvania 8am-4:30pm M-F (540) 507-7570

    Louisa 8:30am-5:00pm M-F (540) 967-3422

    Orange 8am-5pm M-F (540) 672-1361

  • April 01, 2023 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By John Wayne – April 2023

    Developer Trey Wills continues to demonstrate an interest in Lake Anna with plans for a residential development on the Hayden property and a “mixed use” residential and commercial development on a collection of properties on the northeast end of the 208 bridge known as the Hairfield property. 

    Hayden Property

    As you recall, in July of 2022, a rezoning package for the Hayden property (Former site of the proposed RV Park) was submitted to County Planning for a Planned Residential Rural (PRR) Development. The proposed development intended to utilize the PRR-4 subcategory with an allowable density of one (1) parcel per two (2) acres, or sixty-six (66) allowable lots.  The plan also proposed to take advantage of the “lakefront preservation alternative” which permits one acre lots on the waterfront of Lake Anna.  The plan as drawn used the creeks and small stream beds on the property as “waterfront” and proposed mostly one acre lots throughout the development. This plan was questioned by LACA and apparently also met with concerns from County Staff regarding the proposed use of PRR-4 zoning and density. 

    On November 14, 2022 the Developer submitted a new plan to Re-Zone the property to PRR-3, with 40 single family detached lots and homes placed on the two parcels making up the roughly 132 acres.

    Once again hearing and understanding the concerns of the County Staff, the developer has elected to drop to the PRR-3 sub-category with an allowable density of one (1) parcel per three (3) acres, or forty-four 44 allowable lots. However, the included rezoning package proposes to only develop forty (40) single-family detached lots. The proposed PRR-3 development intends to use the lakefront preservation alternative in order to preserve and protect the water quality and scenic resources of Lake Anna.

    Additionally, the property does have a platted access easement out to the west through the adjacent parcels over to Rt. 522. Though this access has not yet been developed, plans are already under review within Orange County and VDOT for the development of this entrance into the property.

    The development will adhere to the minimum lot size of two (2) acres, which may be reduced to one (1) acre consistent with the lake front preservation alternative, and a minimum lot width of One hundred fifty (150) feet, which may be reduced to one hundred (100) feet for lots of less than two (2) acres, again under the lake front preservation alternative.”

    The application outlines various amenities to be provided for the subdivision including a small clubhouse and pool, boat ramp and covered boat docks (a maximum of 1 per lot) along Lake Anna. 

    The Application has undergone review by County Staff with comments provided to the developer early this year.   

    Hairfield Property

    What has been known as the Hairfield property is the proposed site for a two-phase development requiring rezoning from its current Resort Agricultural (R-A) designation to Planned Development Housing One (PDH-1) and Resort Commercial (R-C) zoning designations, necessary to accommodate the phased development.  The property consists of five (5) parcels generally located in the 4700 block of Courthouse Road (Route 208) to the east and south of High Point and Anna Point Marinas, three on the south side of Courthouse Road and two on the north side: Parcels 69-A-69A, 69-A-66, 69- A-66A, 69-A-69, and 69-A-65; together totaling just over 243 acres. The properties are bounded to the south by Lake Anna and existing residential properties, to the north and east by farmland and single-family residential homes. The subject parcels and adjoining Spotsylvania County parcels are currently zoned R-A. The site is currently minimally developed with a few single-family residences and abandoned buildings including the old Hairfield Grocery store on the corner of Ridge Road and Courthouse Road.

    According to the application, the proposed residential development will consist of approximately 214 acres utilizing the PDH-1 subcategory with an allowable density of one (1) parcel per one (1) acre, or two-hundred fourteen (214) allowable lots. However, the plan is to only develop seventy-seven (77) lots, with the majority of the lots ranging between one (1) acre and three (3) acres in size.  PDH-1 lot size requirements are a minimum lot size of one (1) acre with a minimum width of 100 feet.

    Phase two is envisioned to be a commercial development along both sides of the Courthouse Road frontage utilizing the Resort Commercial (R-C) zoning designation. The proposed commercial development will consist of approximately 29 acres and provide much-needed commercial development along this area of Lake Anna.

    Two new entrances are proposed for the development strategically located on the south side of Courthouse Road (Route 208) to meet access management and sight distance requirements with one being placed directly across from the existing Ridge Road. The north side of the development will utilize both the existing Ridge Road and Corene Road. Detailed trip generation and turn lane analysis revealed that turn lanes along Route 208 are not warranted for the residential development. The existing access point from Seay Point Road that serves the existing residences to the south of the affected property will be maintained as a part of this development both throughout construction as well as at the end of the project.

    The proposed development will include several amenities that make this a more desirable place of residence including a swimming pool and clubhouse, proposed adjacent to the boat ramp along the southwestern portion of the property. The clubhouse complex will serve as a lake-front node for community recreation.

    This application was filed in late February and is under review by County Planning Staff as the first step in the rezoning process. 

    For both development activities, the zoning and planning process will include Community Meetings as well as Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors Public Hearings.  Visit the LACA Website at  to follow the progress and be alerted to important dates for hearings and other community meetings where you can learn more about these developments, share your opinions and make your desires known to our County officials.

  • April 01, 2023 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Pamela Hahn – April 2023

    Do you know that our environment is at a critical turning point?  Don’t worry- I’m not about to start a rant about climate change (that’s for another day).  Are you aware that native plants sustain our local fauna who in turn pollinate the plants we need to survive? Did you know that we are currently at risk of losing so many local species that entire ecosystems are in danger.

    These native plants produce oxygen and clean water and control flooding and local pests.  I don’t know about you- but, in the 6 years I’ve lived here, I have noticed that I am seeing less bees, butterflies and insects in general.  Do you remember all the fireflies from your childhood or even from your kid’s childhood?  We live in the country- we should be seeing loads of fireflies in the summer.  Funny thing- many of these insects are native to our area- but as people cut down the woods, rake up the leaves and replace everything with lawns, we destroy the natural habitat and these insects start to die off.

    My husband and I decided when we built our home in 2016 that we wanted to be a part of the solution.  We left a large natural riparian forest buffer along our entire waterfront.  When our builder said we needed grass to cover our drain field- we seeded and said good luck as we do not use chemicals of any sort in our yard.  This led to many weeds and clover overtaking the grass in most places.  Interestingly, as these weeds bloomed, the bees began to visit.  We went to the nursery and asked for native plantings for our foundation beds. We were naive and trusting and it turned out that most of the plants while propagated in North America, are originally from east Asia.  This means that the flowers and berries that these plants produce were not a food source for our fauna and could even possibly kill them.

    We moved to the Lake full time in March 2020.  It was the first spring we spent at the house.  We soon realized that we needed to do more to support the local environment.  We were fighting a losing battle trying to grow things by amending our rocky acidic soil.  With the world shut down, we now had the time to try to brainstorm a solution to our problem. I recalled a conversation that we had with the winemaker at Barboursville Vineyard the prior winter- the vineyard had recently installed a meadow of native plantings to attract pollinators.  I began to wonder if we could do something similar and slowly get rid of any invasive species.

    Native plantings means something different to everyone. If you go to most nurseries you will find plants that are native to North America, hybrid plants that have been propagated in the US, and then if you are lucky, you will even find some plants that are native to the Southeast.  What if I tell you that you can find plants that are native to within 20 miles of your home? These are the plants that will thrive in your environment.  They relish the rocks and clay, the droughts and the rain squalls.  These are the plants that our local bees, butterflies and beneficial insects thrive on.  These are the plants that we chose to embrace for the majority of our project.  Our goal is to follow the mission of - “to regenerate biodiversity and ecosystem function”.

    We began working with a year ago to create a new habitat for our local fauna.  Our first concern was an area on the side of our house that remained wet for days after every rainstorm. 

    It was always muddy and slushy and nothing would grow there.  This mess became a combination of two large swales. The primary swale is the “wet” swale which can run off into the attached “dry” swale when necessary.  To take full advantage of this natural catch basin, we also ran the gutters from our roof into the primary swale.  Great side benefit: we no longer have any water issues near the foundation of our house. Less than one year later, our first swale has become a vernal pool providing a habitat for our local frogs and dragonflies while attracting birds, butterflies and other insects.

    Did you know that the mid-Atlantic Piedmont is a breeding ground for around 140 species of birds? Sadly, over the past few decades, many of these species have declined due to habitat loss. When I discovered this, I knew we needed to be part of the solution. Part two of our project was to create a meadow in an unconventional area that could provide a habitat for our local birds.  Added benefit- the meadow filters storm runoff which also protects the lake!

    All the plants that were used are native to within 20 miles of our house. We were shocked at how quickly our gardens sprang to life.  One year ago, we had two muddy holes in our side yard and a barren backyard.  Now we have diverse plantings that have attracted insects, amphibians and birds to our yard.

    To purchase local native plants, check out these sites:

  • April 01, 2023 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Greg Baker – April 2023

    I am shocked at how quickly we are almost a third of the way through 2023. With warm weather approaching, I hope all our members are enjoying the lake and all that she has to offer. Memorial Day, the unofficial start to the boating season at Lake Anna is just around the corner and I thought it appropriate to share what LACA is doing surrounding Harmful Algal Blooms this coming summer and ask for your help. (Again)

    First, Kick the HAB was a roaring success financially. We asked for our member’s support and you did not let us down. Our fundraising goal was $110,000 and I am happy to report that our members and others that love the lake contributed over $145,000.

    I wrote an article for the Lake Anna Life & Times recently that goes into the success (and some failures) of our first Kick the HAB program. The article explains what we learned from the work LACA was able to perform based on your generosity. If you would like to get into the specifics of what our volunteers accomplished, you can read that article online here.

    I also spoke at the Spotsylvania County Board of Supervisors meeting to debrief our elected officials on our efforts. The Free Lance Star wrote an article about the debrief which you can read online here. There is also a link within the article to the video of the debrief that I presented.

    As the year ended, LACA had funds left over from the Kick the HAB program. After serious discussions, the board decided to leverage our success and our member’s generosity on behalf of Lake Anna. LACA retained a law firm that specializes in legislative efforts to persuade the state legislature to appropriate funds in the state budget specifically to combat HAB at Lake Anna. Not to study the issue further, but to actually provide funding for mitigation and remediation for HAB. The goal of the funding would be to eliminate or reduce recreational, no-swim advisories from Virginia Department of Health for the year.

    The law firm’s efforts were fruitful and the issue was addressed in both the senate and house budgets. The house budget has $1 million dollars set aside specifically for fighting HAB on Lake Anna and the senate budget has $500 thousand set aside. Many of our members responded to our E-Grams and wrote emails of support for this funding. I have to believe that those emails were a big help and the board appreciates everyone that sent one.

    Unfortunately, the house and senate were not able to come to a compromise on the proposed budgets and passed a “skinny” budget to keep the state government operating with a plan, but with no additional spending. For now, our funding effort is in limbo. However, we are very hopeful that after the state primaries in mid-June, the assembly will reconvene specifically to pass a new budget. Be assured that neither the house nor the senate is happy with the “skinny” budget and are motivated to pass a more robust budget. Our hope is that the $1 million set aside in the house budget will be included in the final budget.

    Regardless of the outcome of this effort, the board and our volunteers are not satisfied with continued recreational advisories and just studying the issue. We are motivated to continue to come up with solutions to this problem. With that said, LACA is excited to announce our effort for 2023, Kick the HAB … AGAIN!

    We hope to raise $50,000 from your additional generous tax-deductible donations to execute several additional projects in 2023. Our volunteers have identified three locations on the lake to install Ultrasound Systems that have been proven to be effective in keeping HAB in check. Assuming we reach our fundraising targets, these Ultrasound technologies will be installed on Duckinhole Creek, portions of Pamunkey Creek and Goldmine Creek to test the concept at Lake Anna.

    To learn more about the program, you can read an article authored by our hard-working Water Quality Committee Chair, Harry Looney on pages 6 & 7 in the Spring 2023 Lake Anna Life and Times. You may read the article online here. There is also additional information on the program on our website.

    All the research that we are doing related to mitigation and remediation of HAB is being shared with the appropriate state agencies. If we are successfully in the state providing funding for HAB remediation and mitigation, this effort will provide some possible blueprints on how to quickly implement our efforts on a larger scale for the entire lake.

    None of this will happen without your help! Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to Kick the HAB … AGAIN! You can donate by clicking this link and be sure to indicate that the donation if for Kick the HAB … AGAIN! Please help us spread the word with your neighbors and friends that might not be members and look out for fund raising events during the summer.

    Thank you for your support!

  • March 01, 2023 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Jean McCormick – March 2023

    The sport of SUP boarding has exploded.  Hundreds of folks are getting on the waters of Lake Anna with their boards for the first time.  It is great, it is fun, but do you know what you need to have and do to be legal.

    The U.S Coast Guard has determined that SUP boards operated outside a surfing or swimming area are “vessels” under the United States Coast Guard and DWR restrictions.   The following refers to what it means for you when you are outside of those areas.

    Life Jackets

    Each paddler must have a USCG approved Type I, II, III, or appropriate Type V life jacket onboard. This jacket must be the appropriate size and fit for the paddler.  It doesn’t have to be worn, although that’s certainly the wisest plan, and one which is strongly recommended.

    Paddlers under the age of thirteen must wear a USCG approved Type I, II or III life jacket when outside of the safe area while on federal waters.  

    A Type V jacket can be worn if it is USCG approved and applicable for the activity. But, if it is an inflatable, the wearer must be at least 16 years old.

    Belt, pouch type inflatable jackets must be worn on the person to meet the life jacket regulation. The wearer must be at least 16 in order to wear this type of life jacket.

    Sound Producing Device

    All paddlers must have a whistle or some type of sound producing device, such as a horn, bell, etc. on board when he is outside of the safe area. This is for his safety to warn other boaters of his whereabouts.

    After Sunset

    If a boarder is on the water after sunset, he will need to carry a flashlight or similar lighting device to warn other boaters of his whereabouts.

    If you have this gear and follow these rules, you will be legal under the USCG and DWR regulations.

    Remember on a SUP board you are the most vulnerable person on the water. Watch out for power boats and other crafts; use your signaling devices to help them spot you.  Wearing brightly colored life jackets and other apparel on busy waterways can be a life saver.

    Also, many boating accidents involve alcohol: it is best to leave the celebration until you get back to shore.

    Even though attaching a leash to your board is not a requirement, it is a wise move and will save you much time and energy.

    Have a great time on the water and above all, be safe!

  • March 01, 2023 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By David Reichert – March 2023

    This nearly $10,000 grant will be used for educational outreach, to purchase and plant native flora and to measure the impact of these plantings on the local water quality. The goal is to start creating a self-sustaining natural filter for the nutrients that otherwise would enter the lake and cause harmful algae blooms.

    Launched in 2007, Clear into the Future® (CITF) is a DuPont initiative to protect and improve the natural environment through community engagement and education. Clear Into the Future® is an employee-driven program that provides funding for projects in DuPont Communities that are organized by non-profit and academic institutions and aligned with the purpose of CITF: to drive positive impact by protecting the environment and empowering our communities to thrive.

    We are all familiar with the Harmful Algae Blooms (HABs) in Lake Anna, but how many of us understand how robust shoreline plant buffers and submerged aquatic vegetation can help reduce HABs? The outreach portion of this program will focus on increasing awareness of how property owners along the feeder streams and lakefront can have a positive impact on reducing HABs.

    Most of the grant money will be spent on purchasing native aquatic flora to be planted in the northern areas of the lake near the confluence of the tributaries and the lake. The goal of the plantings is for the vegetation to absorb existing nutrients and those additional nutrients being fed into the lake thereby reducing the food available for harmful algae growth. To maximize the number of plants we can buy, we will use volunteer labor during the spring growing season to perform the planting. We’ll issue a call for volunteers a couple months before the planting season.

    The final portion of this project will be to expand the existing water quality monitoring program to add sampling in the areas of the plantings. By combining the legacy monitoring data with the new data, we hope to be able to show measurable water quality benefits from the plantings.

  • March 01, 2023 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Maureen Daniels – March 2023

    Here’s what our members/neighbors, said in our LACA survey:

    Top three priorities:

    1. 99% Water Quality and Testing

    2. 95% Boating Safety and Emergency Services

    3. 90% Wakes, Erosion, Safety, Setbacks

    As Chair of Safety and Emergency Services, I will focus on feedback specific to that.

    Q11 Wakesurfing

    In 2019, the question focused on 100/200 foot setbacks. 82% favored setbacks (200 for wake surfers and 100 for all other towed sports)

    In 2021, other options were presented which decreased specific support for setbacks:

            Limit wake surfing to wide portions of the Lake— 63%

            100/200 foot Setbacks—58.4%

            Allow additional No Wake Surfing Zones—58.4%

    Q12 Adverse Impact of Waves Caused by Wake Surfing Boats

            Experienced an injury from wake surfing boat—4.5%

            Damage to docks, seawall, rip rap—24.5%

            Property erosion caused by large waves from WS boats—37%

            No adverse effects from WS boats—42%

            “Other” section elicited 97 comments from people sharing their negative experiences with wake surfing waves/boats.

    Among the 97 comments made by boaters were descriptions of how large waves/wakes/speed affected them:

    gazebo supports eroding; don’t ski or tow on weekends; spent thousands of dollars on erosion control measures; swamped by jet skier doing donuts; annoying wakes from wake board boats when floating, paddle boarding, fishing; knocked off fishing boat into dock by wake surfing boat; swamped by wake surf boat passing less than 50 feet; thrown off standard skis; creates dangerous conditions for kayaks, canoes, fishing; large waves impact my ability to safely pull water skiers; bothered by wake surfing while on the water and also waves hitting our seawall; swamped kayaks; damaged bulkhead; slammed by waves; coming too close to other vessels; increase in erosion; swamped causing pontoon to submarine; skiers, wakeboarder, and tubers endangered by large wake surfing wakes; stressed due to trying to safely dock with 4 foot waves pushing the boat; waves coming over pontoon boat; swamped jon boat; have to vacate certain areas due to wake surf waves; almost knocked off boat, almost fell off boat, fallen off paddle board; kayak swamped; hard to control water craft; waves crashing over dock; unable to slalom ski; dislodged jet ski floating docks; experienced concerns about my safety; lost 3 feet of land due to erosion; installed 31 tons of Gabion stone to stop erosion; small children floating off my dock are often affected by swells.

    Other comments: on private side, wake surfing should only be at the dikes in areas 200 feet wide and 300 feet long; leading and biased questions; rip rap should be used instead of seawalls; should limit on private side too; limits are unfair to wake surfers, shoreline damage is mitigated with bulkheads; clamp on jet ski platform was knocked off; monitor this but we should NOT ban wake surfing, people should be forced to protect their land with rip rap or others; wake surfers have so much fun with no liability for property damage.

    How can LACA help to achieve fair use of shared space and respect for the notion that one person’s right to enjoy their favorite sport should not interfere with another person’s right to do the same?

    Our survey reflects your thoughts and provides guidance for LACA. We hear you:

    63% think wake surfing should be limited to wide parts of the Lake

    58.4% believe there should be 200 foot setbacks for wake surfing and 100 foot setbacks for towed sports.

    58.4% think there should be additional No Wake Surfing Zones in narrow sections of the Lake.

    15.3% support banning wake surfing and only 6% think LACA should not take any further action.

    As Chair of Safety and Emergency Services, I value your opinions. Thank you! Your responses will help shape our actions going forward.

    We continue to work closely with all first responders on Lake Anna which includes law enforcement, fire and rescue, and 911 Communications Directors from Louisa and Spotsylvania Counties, Conservation Police from Department of Wildlife Resources, and the Coast Guard Auxiliary. We are committed to making our Lake safe for all its users.

  • March 01, 2023 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By John Conway – March 2023

    When I was a boy up until I turned 18 years old, there were only two creeks (Pamunkey Creek and Terry’s Run) and where they came together was known in those days as the “Fork Field”. From that area the “river” became known as the North Pamunkey which ran onward to what was known as the “Splits” where it met the North Anna River.  My father referred to that area as “Miss Molly Gardner’s home place.”  These creeks and rivers all became part of Lake Anna, little known to many as the streams before Lake Anna was ever established.

    The story that I am about to tell would not have been possible without my father and mother’s love and commitment to their three sons. They always felt being good stewards of the land was particularly important.

    Helen Lucille Brogdon and James Ashby Conway met at the War Department (now known as the Defense Department) in Washington, DC.  During WWII.  In the latter part of 1942, my mother and three girlfriends came by train from Birmingham, Alabama to seek work and, of course, adventure.  My mother had gone to a small business school in Birmingham and found a clerical job which, during WWII, was in high demand.

    My father, being born and raised in Virginia, thought that he would finish his basic training and do his part either in Europe or the Pacific.  Dad had gone to a technical school and had experience in electronics and radio before the war.  When the time came for him to be assigned for duty, he had another physical exam, and it was found that he had a heart murmur.  He was told he would not be allowed to go overseas.  My father always said afterwards how disappointed he had been, but in the same breath would tell us that he would not have met our beautiful mother if he had gone.

    My two brothers and I spent our summers on our 188-acre * property.  Pamunkey Creek was on one side with the Woolfolk, Goodwin, and Harris Farms on our borders.  On the other side of our property was Terry’s Run, where we bordered the Baker Farm (where we always got our fresh milk from cows Mr. Baker milked by hand) and the Woolfolk Farm (Southwind Shores and Sunrise Bay). * Because our property bordered on both streams and both sides of the Pamunkey (where Kelly’s Landing is today), approximately 91 acres ended up under the water when Lake Anna was established.

    My mom would pack up the old Studebaker and come to “Conway” as it was known the day after school was out for the summer.   We lived in Waynesboro, and my father worked for General Electric and would come down to “Conway” on the weekends. Note: My dad and mom bought the homeplace known as “Conway” in 1954 from siblings and cousins.

    This peaceful and very rural area seemed to me like a place to run and play with no boundaries, and it teemed with adventure.   Fishing was one of the many adventures where I would catch chub or sun perch or an occasional small mouth bass.  It seemed every morning for breakfast my mom would have fried fish and jelly toast and MAN, was that good!  My mom always made homemade grape jelly from our grape arbor and picked wild blackberries and black raspberries for making jam.

    Sometimes, I would go fishing from Dillard’s Bridge (where the Cove Restaurant is today) to what we called the “Swimming Hole”.  There was a bend in the Pamunkey with a large sandbar.  A large white oak tree had fallen across and made a nice deep hole for swimming.  It was over 6 feet deep for it was over my father’s head and he was 6 feet 1 inch tall.

    When I was little, my mom would go with us to the swimming hole.  She would have sandwiches and candy bars for lunch for us.  Mom would relax on the sandbar while my brothers and I wrestled on the big log to see who would end up as “king” of the log. I was the youngest so most of the time I would be tossed off the log.  Today where that swimming hole was located is across from Kelly’s Landing about 150 feet west from a large outcrop of rocks on our property that we call “the fishing rock”.  Those rocks visible today were under a large canopy of mixed hardwoods (hickory, poplar, oak and river birch) and were not exposed until the lake was created.

    Other fishing trips began at the swimming hole where I would walk and fish along Pamunkey Creek until I got to Andy Bennett’s Bridge going in a northwest direction (Runnymeade).  For much of the fishing I would wade in the water as it was much easier to get to the “good fishing holes”.

    On the north bank of Pamunkey Creek before Bennett’s Bridge, Henry Holladay had a team of work horses that he was still using for his farm.  When I was very small, I remember he would come to our place with his team and mow a small field with his sickle mower.  I was fascinated by this.  When he was finished, he would stop to rest his horses and he would pick me up and place me on one of the horses.  I can still feel the horse’s sweaty back while I was hanging on to his collar. Little did I know, I would have my own work horse to plow on our farm in West Virginia in the mid-70’s.

    There were two freshwater springs on our land, both on the Pamunkey Creek side.  One of them came pouring out from a rock about the size of a 55-gallon drum.  My father kept it clean by digging it out so we could go there and drink the cool refreshing water.  He kept a metal ladle hanging on a tree to use for dipping.  I can still taste that water and how good it was.  This spring was approximately 200 yards downstream from the swimming hole.

    The other spring was located upstream from the swimming hole in what is now a small cove.  That spring was a good place to play.  The spring bubbled out of the ground under some large rocks.  On one rock, (a boulder about the size of a pickup truck), there was a place in the top of the rock that was scooped out.  In my mind, I wondered if it had been where early native Americans may have used it to grind corn, or most likely, acorns into meal to make Appone or Ponop cakes.  Native Americans lived in this area thousands of years ago.  I have no proof of the use of this rock, but it seems probable.  As a boy, I was fascinated by that area, and the mystery of its origins. 

    There were many lost historical features on our property.  One such feature on the Terry’s Run side was a huge (4 to 5 feet wide) beech tree that we referred to as the “initial tree”.  There were initials carved into the tree from my family on back to those of my grandfather, Raleigh Travers Conway, great uncles, the Mansfield’s (of the Baker Farm) and Raleigh Dillard’s initials and many more that I did not know.  It was a remarkable piece of history.  I wish it was still there but, unfortunately, the lake swallowed it up.  What a loss.

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