Continuously Cultivated For 400 Years


Mainland Farm — October 2019


The other day, I had the opportunity to have a conversation with John McGlennon, my James City County Supervisor, about the upcoming election in early November. We had a chance to talk about the health of the county and how things have changed and developed over the years that he and I have lived here. As part of the conversation, I asked what was the one image that stands out when he thinks of this area. Mainland Farm was his immediate answer. He pointed out that it was the first land farmed by the English, has been continuously cultivated for 400 years, was the site of the Battle of Green Springs, is under the cultivation of the national record holder for corn yield, and, is a beautiful and peaceful place. I also found out that it is the resting place for the Tomb of the Unknown Patriot Soldier of the American Revolution, and is the location of the Church on the Main. It should remain under cultivation and will be accessible to all due to the foresight of the James City County Board of Supervisors, who voted for a conservation easement on the property in 2013.
It always impresses and amazes me that I live in an area where I can go and stand in the same field where battles for freedom were fought, or visit buildings where legislative bodies started to manage those freedoms, and view them as they might have appeared so long ago. I have spent the last few weeks waiting for the light to be right and looking for an angle that would be representative of the large acreage that is Mainland Farm. This image only shows a portion of the land. What I have enjoyed the most when walking this field, and perhaps due to its proximity to the James River, is the sense that I am standing in the middle of a golden soy bean river, flowing toward me. I wonder what it will feel like when the crop is wheat or corn? At least it will be there for me, or anyone else, to find out.



  1. John McGlennon October 31, 2019 at 7:59 am #

    What a beautiful shot, and your description does an outstanding job of describing the significance of this property.

  2. 52 Weeks Photographer October 31, 2019 at 11:47 am #

    Thanks John. It was a great suggestion. I learned a lot about this place and will look at it differently from now on.

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