Manor House Attic Graffiti
The tradition of signing the attic walls in Belle Grove's Manor House began with soldiers that occupied the home during the Civil War. It continued with owners’ family and friends and with visitors when the house was operated as an inn in the 1920s. Due to safety concerns, the attic is not open to the public. So in 2014, Belle Grove photographed all the graffiti and brought the attic downstairs by developing an exhibit with large scale color photographs and a video tour.
There are more than 557 legible signatures or other writings that Belle Grove staff and volunteers transcribed. Click here to view the index (use Ctrl F to search the list). The index notes the location of signature and the wall, section, and photograph number corresponds to the title of photograph on the online photo album located here (you can also just browse the album too). To watch a 55-minute Zoom presentation about the attic and hear some of the stories behind the signaures, click here.
8 x 10 photographs available for $5 each (includes postage to U.S. addresses). To order, email photograph title (wall, section, and photograph number) along with the name or writing you are interested in to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Belle Grove has enjoyed interacting with visitors and hearing their stories of the relatives, friends, or community members whose names are written on the walls--please send stories or corrections to email@example.com.
This project was made possible through a grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Photography was done by Rick Foster and videography was done by An Affair to Remember Video in Winchester, Virginia.