Ever have one of those days where nothing goes right? Well, today was mine. I made little progress today in my treck for home. The person I was supposed to meet in the afternoon was elusive, I got lost multiple times between a poor map and an overzealous GPS system that insisted that I go back to the interstate no matter how far out of the way it was. Nothing is more irritating than a nagging machine. And to top it off, I had no cell signal for several hours. But instead of detailing what went wrong, I’ll share with you the silver lining to the cloud. I wound up tonight in South Boston, Virginia. Don’t even ask how. Now the good news is that my family is from Halifax County, Virginia, where South Boston is located. Not my current family, my ancestral family. It’s somehow ironic that I had to make a concerted effort to get here many times for research, and now that my research is done, this is the second time I’ve “landed” here during another journey. Of course, I had to go and visit one of three family cemeteries here. The one I visited is public and relatively easily accessible. The other two are remote and on private land, so not easy to get to and certainly not without prior notice to the property owner. I visited my my great-great-great-great-grandfather, George Estes, who was born in 1761 and served in the Revolutionary War in place of his father Moses Estes. Thankfully he lived until 1859 and filed for both a pension and bounty land, giving us a plethora of information to work with. Unfortunately, the graves were moved by the family early in the 1900s when the city “bought” the land. They supposedly moved old George and perhaps his father Moses too, but the story was that all they found was a casket hinge and a collar bone. Whatever parts they found of him are now buried in the family plot in the public cemetery, and the rest of him, well, he’s under the city landfill now…..so he’s a lot more than 6 feet under.
One of the best things about South Boston is visiting Ernie’s Restaurant. No matter how unhappy I was with my lack of progress, it was somewhat soothed by the knowledge that I could visit one of my favorite haunts. Ernie’s has been a fixture in South Boston since 1958 when the original owner opened the first Ernie’s, which burned to the ground in 1991. Today, the “new” Ernie’s is a favorite of the locals and visitors alike. Ernie’s overlooks a creek and includes a mill wheel, I believe from the original building. Ernie retired in 1981 and sold the restaurant to his son and daughter-in-law who still own the establishment. Ernie’s claim to fame, aside from all-around good food at reasonable prices and southern hospitality is their buffet. On Friday and Saturday night, they have a seafood bar with lots of variety and that is in addition to their regular buffet offerings of fried chicken, Bar-B-Q made on the premises and other southern favorites. The seafood includes two kinds of steamed shrimp, fried oysters, oyster stew, baked cod, fried fish, deviled crabs (to die for) and lots of other goodies plus of course the veggies and salads and a dessert bar too. One of my favorites is the deviled crabs and on the veggie bar, their stewed tomatoes. Now I can hear you laughing….stewed tomatoes, or maybe I should call it stewed tomato pudding….but don’t laugh until you have tried it. It’s no laughing matter, but it will definitely tickle your fancy! For dessert, you just have to try the home made banana pudding, and maybe the chocolate divinity too. And after all of that, you’ll have to sit a spell on their inviting front porch because you’ll be too full to walk to your car.
This blog is © History Chasers
Click here to view all recent Searching for the Lost Colony DNA Blog posts