Erected in 1759 on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, Eyre Hall is still occupied by descendants of its builder. It retains a rich variety of objects from furniture and books to silver and paintings acquired by the family, reflecting the tastes and aspirations of its many different generations. Only a small handful of places in Virginia can claim such continuity. The material culture of Eyre Hall illustrates the everchanging meanings of this place in American culture from the seventeenth- through the twenty-first century. It represents the cultural endeavors of southern society that was built on slavery and suffered the tribulations of wars, emancipation, and economic depressions. This study explores the mutability of this inheritance in the wake of such transformative events. The book is divided into four sections. The first recounts the history of those who lived at Eyre Hall. The second examines the architecture of the house and its service buildings. The third explores the formal garden. The fourth section is a catalogue raisonné of its objects.
Acknowledgments; Foreword: Thomas Savage; Eyreloom: An Introduction: Cary Carson; Part I: The Changing Fortunes of the Eyre family through four centuries; Chapter 1: Golden Quarter: Carl R. Lounsbury; Special Focus: Eyreville: Archaeology of the Late Seventeenth Century: Haley Hoffman; Chapter 2: Eyre Hall: Power House: Carl R. Lounsbury; Special Focus: Working the Land: Sam Florer; Chapter 3: The Bounty of Eyre Hall: From Working Plantation to Summer Retreat in the Long Nineteenth Century: Carl R. Lounsbury; Special Focus: Escaping Enslavement by Whaleboat, 1832: Alexandra Rosenberg; Special Focus: Health Retreats and Pleasure Grounds: Robert Watkins; Special Focus: Hoofprints: Elizabeth Palms; Chapter 4: Eyre Hall in the Twentieth Century: “I’m Home”: George McDaniel; Scrapbook: A Scrapbook of Recollections by Those Who Called Eyre Hall “Home”: George McDaniel 1. Margaret Baldwin 2. Pinky Foeman 3. Georgia Curtis 4. Different People 5. Foodways 6. Future of Eyre Hall Part II: The Architecture; 1. The Architecture of the House: Carl R. Lounsbury; Special Focus: Architectural Hardware: Edward A. Chappell; Special Focus: Wallpaper: Margaret Pritchard; 2. The Domestic Service Buildings: Carl R. Lounsbury; 3. The Home Farm: Overseer’s House: Carl R. Lounsbury; Part III: The Landscape; 1. The Garden and Grounds: Will Rieley; 2. The Green-house: Will Rieley; 3. The Graveyard: Carl R. Lounsbury; Part IV: The Catalogue 1. Furniture: Sumpter Priddy 2. Silver: Mark B. Letzer 3. Ceramics: Robert Hunter and Angelika R. Kuettner 4. Glass: Angelika R. Kuettner 5. Paintings: Laura Pass Barry 6. Maps: Katie McKinney 7. Prints: Katie McKinney 8. Books: Bennie Brown 9. Musical Instruments: John Watson 10. Sheet Music: Gary Stanton 11. Costume and Textiles: Neal T. Hurst 12. Ironwork and Arms: Erik Goldstein Index