Tuesday, May 11, 2010

My World Tuesday Season # 2 Episode # 31

You can click on all the photos to enlarge them for a more detailed look.
Clifton is a small historical town not too far from where we live, a short car ride through some very pretty countryside. I remember when we first moved to Virginia and we were looking around the area. It reminded me so much of the English countryside that I knew I would enjoy living here.

We began our walk after parking our car down one of the side streets. There is a small parking lot not far from the animal clinic. This little cat was on the grounds and was shy at first but curiosity got the better of her.

In front of the houses you will find historical markers giving information on the building.

Clifton has 200 residents and was chartered as a town in 1902 but its first houses were built in the 1740's. It was also the first town in Virginia to get electricity. You can find out more information if you click right here.

George Washington often hunted in the area with Lord Fairfax. U.S Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, Ulysses Grant and Chester A. Arthur stayed in the Clifton Hotel which was turned into a restaurant over a dozen years ago. Actress Helen Hayes often visited a nephew here and when Jeff Arch was a resident, he wrote the screenplay of Sleeping in Seattle. Another well known was Nancy Reagan who enjoyed dining at The Heart and Hand with correspondent George Wills.

The main street features a church, a general store, two antique shops, two restaurants and several homes dating back to the 1700s. It was originally called Devereux Station but in 1868 it was changed to Clifton by a northern settler who named it after Clifton Springs in New York, which was a popular resort at the time. Since I visited last they have added a small pub/restaurant which is attached to the general store, and an ice-cream/hot dog eatery which can be accessed by walking down a small alley off the main street.

Many of the homes have been lovingly restored by their owners.

This place is the only Bed and Breakfast in the town called The Canary Cottage. It had the cutest garden ornaments and from their website, looked lovely inside with a garden I could have happily wandered with camera in hand.

The home below is one I showed in my previous post. The marker reads: "Built in 1941 reputedly by a gangster, this is Clifton's only stone house. Local craftsmen used stone mined from a quarry near Robey's Farm on Chapel Road. The house featured the first indoor bathroom in town."

This is the Payne House and I included the marker below its picture.

I found this cute little cat on one of the porches of a home near the church.

It's hard for me to take a full picture of the Clifton Baptist Church as there are electric poles and cables in front. I always feel taking a photo across the street just doesn't do it justice to have those included. It is, however, a very pretty structure and was built in 1876.

If you walk across the railway track you will come across the Clifton Presbyterian Church, another beautiful structure made out of stone, completed in 1872.

This lovely open field is the town park. It has a very nice play area with a mock train engine and caboose, in good use at the time we visited.

We were attracted to this old barn located in someone's private garden. Being a little nosy I stared over the fence and ......

found two eyes staring right back at me. Good boy!

Here is the Heart in Hand. I haven't been here in years but it has a wonderful reputation. This is where Nancy Reagan dined a few times. I also bought their cook book the last time I visited and still use it.

One of the antique stores called La Bella Luce but the building is called, "The Pink House". You can enlarge the photo to read its marker.

This photo I took from across the train track. The main street is between the two buildings.

Photos of the train tracks showing each direction. Trains still rumble through but never stop unless it's a very special occasion.

Here's a restored caboose located at Caboose Plaza.

This is what greeted us when we walked along the road, a 1948 International Truck.

Gregg, who knows no strangers, went up to the gentleman sitting behind the wheel and struck up a conversation. He was waiting for a car parked in front of the General Store to move, so that he could park there and take a photo of his truck in front of the store. I think he was glad for the conversation as he had been waiting a while and was only too happy to chat about his new purchase. When we passed by again over an hour later he was still waiting. I hope he eventually got his photo. Gregg made me smile when he said, "I've just realized I'm older than that truck!" Puts everything in perspective doesn't it?

The General Store sits next to the railway crossing. It used to be a gas station and I think we're all glad they kept the old Texaco sign.

I love to go inside and browse around. They have added a Pub/Restaurant since we were last here.

Now this is the original reason why we visited Clifton this afternoon, Peterson's Ice-Cream Depot. Gregg had heard about a new ice-cream place and wanted to try it out.

You walk down a narrow alley off the main road. It has great ice-cream but it also has Gregg's other favorite food item, the hot-dog. I think we will be coming back to Clifton a little more often from now on.

I know what I won't be doing. I won't be sitting on one of the metal chairs ready and waiting for any unsuspecting person to come along and nearly do a double-flip-somersault backwards. I suddenly realized as crowded as it was, why no one was sitting in them. It was a bendy kind of a metal chair, like a rocker. There were people sitting opposite on their safe little bench and I gave them a great trapeze-like balancing act as I actually prevented myself from flying through the air with not the greatest of ease, while trying to hold my ice-cream in one hand and my camera in the other. I didn't want to lose either.

Those people didn't say, "Oh well done for not landing on your nether regions dear." No, they didn't even crack a smile. I like to think they would have helped me up or dialed 911 if I had needed it, but at that moment in time I think I put them into shock. Only momentarily did I stop the ark of their spoons mid motion. The mother, father and 13 year old boy pretended I wasn't smiling at them like a Cheshire Cat, laughing at myself, partly out of relief, partly out of well ten years ago it would have been embarrassment, but I'm passed those days now thank goodness. I did let out one heck of a whoop.

We very wisely found another more dependable wooden bench in the back, away from the family who was not amused. As I looked over my shoulder I saw that the young boy had grabbed my vacated acrobatic seat and was rocking quite happily while finishing off his ice-cream and I went back to enjoying mine. He looked like he was enjoying his ride, he was welcome to it and I was glad to provide the afternoon's entertainment.

Good dog! A beautiful girl patiently waiting for her humans to finish their delectable treat. Maybe she was hoping I would go flying again, this time dropping my ice-cream so that she could lap it up. I think she appreciated the attention and at least I got a smile out of her. Just look at that smile, isn't she beautiful? She didn't bother anyone and we were sitting on a bench right next to her with our ice-cream. For most of the time I had my back to her and I half expected a couple of paws on my shoulders but no, she was so well behaved.

We followed our nose heading along a road we hadn't traveled before and found another lovely house on a hill this time with a very big garden in front of it.

This one we passed coming back and I had to stop and take a photo of that mailbox. I can see one of those in the front of our house.

We enjoyed our trip around Clifton and I'm already looking forward to going back.

Thank you Klaus, Sandy, Wren, Fishing Guy, Louise and Sylvia for hosting My World.

You can see other ‘My World’ photos or join in and share your own by clicking right here.


  1. What a pretty place. Thanks for the tour! Glad you survived that trickster chair!

  2. what a picturesque town. this looks like a movie set.:p i love the signs/markers. thanks for the tour.

  3. Bellissime foto, sarebbe piacevole vivere in questa piccola città :-)

  4. I love the history of old houses and old buildings. This looks like one fun day!

    My favorites: the kitty peeking around the tree; the first dog pic (what gorgeous markings he had); the Texaco sign; and, of course, the chicken mailbox!

  5. Wonderful photos and I loved the tour of the twon Clifton, Denise. I love the snail garden ornamrent, very cute. the houses are all lovley. Love that mailbox too!

  6. Delightful post today. What a charming place you've highlighted here. I've always loved Virginia, my birth state. Looks like a place I'd like to live! I like small towns. ~karen

  7. Thank you for the tour around Clifton. My chair is quite stable, actually that is not true as I'm sitting on a gym ball to avoid my back hurting.
    I love those living museum towns it is such a unique way of learning about the past.

  8. Beautiful scenes and captures.
    Thank you for sharing Denise.
    Have a lovely week.

  9. What a wonderful journey you and hubby had, Denise. Your lovely photos make me miss my northern roots and all the beautiful old towns...

  10. My childhood friend used to live here up until a few years ago. You did a nice job of capturing this beautiful little town. It really is a wonderful place to visit.

  11. Such an interesting and beautiful old town! And what a great tour you've taken us on! Your photos are terrific, Denise! Really enjoyed reading the history of the town! Thanks for taking us along! Hope your week is off to a great start! Enjoy!


  12. What a quaint little town. I love learning about all that history of places. I grew up in a very old town in New England.

  13. Your commentary of your walk through the town is half the fun. Your photos are spectacular as always, Denise. I love those old restored towns. It's sort of like our Galena in Illinois.

  14. Denise: A neat look a a historic town, it is neat to look at these places.

  15. What an interesting presentation about Clifton! I like small, quit places for living!

  16. What a quaint and historic town, just so lovely.
    I could live there also, just so picturesque and enchanting, you can tell from your pictures the residents are so proud of their town.
    A lovely day out Denise, thank you for taking us along :)

  17. This is a very pretty little town and thank you for all the photos. I have never been to a historical town with that much in it. Glad you had a nice walk through, it looked like a nice day. Thank you for coming by.

  18. Great show of a bevvy of beauties.

  19. I love to stroll around historic places such as this. Thanks for the virtual tour. Your photos are lovely.

  20. I had a wonderful time reading your lovely post! What a charming village, one I would love to visit. And of course stop for an ice cream! I loved the mailbox. Thanks for taking us along on this pretty day.

  21. Such a lovely town Denise! You've captured many details. You would make an excellent tour guide.

  22. That was a nice tour that you took us on, Denise! We have driven very near Clifton but never stopped. If I had known all that it had to offer, we would definitely have stopped! Have you ever been to Middleburg, VA? We attended a British Car Show there in October 2007. If that event still happens in Middleburg, I would recommend that you attend it. You would like the show and the grounds on which the show is held.

  23. What a nice sightseeing tour ! It's always so interesting for me to see how towns were created and the first emmigrants started with the first houses ! It's a very cute town ! Certainly nice to live in there.

  24. I enjoyed my trip around Clifton with you - thank you :-)

  25. Loved seeing the photos and hearing about this historic little town. Had to laugh about that tricky chair!

  26. So much to take in it would probably take more than a day. The clinic..the animals look happy- what a setting. I love the green and the field in that photo! We didn't get electricity in our parts until less than ten years ago, lol (we had a generator until our new house was finished). What a quaint looking cottage with so much historical significance! I could spend hours here too! A beautiful tour and share Denise!

  27. I have enjoyed reading all your comments very much. Thank you for stopping by.

  28. As much as I love where I live, I would happily make their population 201. Such a pretty town and an interesting history. You would make a great tour guide!