The Tombs of James and Sarah Blair Historical

The Tombs of James and Sarah Blair Historical (HM1W0Y)

Location: Williamsburg, VA 23185 James City County
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Country: United States of America
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N 37° 12.506', W 76° 46.696'

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The tombs before you mark the final resting places of The Reverend Dr. James Blair and his wife Sarah. Shortly after Dr. Blair was interred here, the church was abandoned in favor of a new building on the 'mainland'. The church and the graveyard gradually fell into disrepair. Near the end of the 18th century, bricks of the ruined church were reportedly used to construct a wall around part of the cemetery. The remaining church tower and church yard became covered in weeds and plant growth. By 1807, a sycamore tree had begun to grow between the graves of James and Sarah Blair, slowly upturning their monuments. In 1906, the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities repaired and replaced the monuments and provided new inscription stones for the Blair graves. Funding for the restoration of the tomb of Dr. Blair in 2007 was provided by the Cypher Society, a group of former members of the governing Board of Visitors of the College of William and Mary, in honor of Dr. Blair having served the College for fifty years as its primary founder and first president. "Something special in the way of notice is due to the condition of the tombs of Commissary Blair and Mrs. Blair; the latter being the daughter of Philip Ludwell, of Green Spring, who married Miss Sarah Grymes of Middlesex. The tombs were placed side by side,
and were very heavy and strong. The platform, sides, and ends were of white freestone, and the interior filled with bricks, well cemented. The top slab, on which the inscriptions were made, are of a thick dark iron-stone, or black marble. A sycamore shoot sprung up between the graves and is now a large tree. In its growth, it embraced, on one end and on the top, the tomb of Mrs. Blair, one-third of which lies embedded in the body of the tree and is held immovable. All the interior, consisting of brick, and two of the side stones, have been entirely forced out of their places by the tree and lie scattered around, while the dark iron-stone slab is held in the air, three feet above the surface of the earth, fast bound by the embrace of the body of the tree, into which it is sunk one to two feet, the inscription being only partly legible. On the other side, the whole tomb of Commissary Blair has been forced away from its place by the roots and body of the tree, and is broken to pieces in all its parts." From William Meade. Old Churches, Ministers and Families of Virginia, 1857, Vol. 1, Page 114
HM NumberHM1W0Y
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, November 30th, 2016 at 9:01pm PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 342202 N 4119476
Decimal Degrees37.20843333, -76.77826667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 12.506', W 76° 46.696'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 12' 30.36" N, 76° 46' 41.76" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)757, 202
Closest Postal AddressAt or near Backstreete, Williamsburg VA 23185, US
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