Captain Jack Sails the Rappanhannock

When I began my search for Captain Jack, there were very few leads on him. So I first turn my research to the internet. Knowing he was from California, I started my search there. Libraries and museums have been some of my best resources of information so I looked to those located in Los Angeles. This search would reward me with one of the best finds I have had in regards of Belle Grove’s history.

I found the Seaver Center located at the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles County. Here IĀ found within its collections a group of photographs that were from John F. Jack. The photographs weren’t on the website to see. So I had to email the Seaver Center and request information on them. They told me that it was collection of photographs of Rappahnnock River and James River. I requested that they make copies of them and send them to me.

I have to tell you the wait was terrible. I didn’t know what they were of and I could only hope they would give me some ideas as to what it was like during this period at Belle Grove. Wild thoughts ran through my mind. Could there be a lot of pictures of the Mansion and grounds? Could there be pictures of Captain Jack himself? At this point, no one knew what he looked like. So I just held me breath and waited.

We were rewarded handsomely…

This collection was marked as 1906.

This would means they were taking during his search for the right land to try his experiment on alfalfa farming.

Emmanuel Church adjoining Belle Grove Plantation. We are assuming the man is Captain John F Jack.

Emmanuel Church adjoining Belle Grove Plantation. We are assuming the man is Captain John F Jack. 1906

Emmanuel Church adjoining Belle Grove Plantation. We are assuming the man is Captain John F Jack.

Emmanuel Church adjoining Belle Grove Plantation. We are assuming the man is Captain John F Jack. 1906

A Tenant and His Family on the Walsingham Plantation, next door to Belle Grove Plantation1906

A Tenant and His Family on the Walsingham Plantation, next door to Belle Grove Plantation
1906

Barns on the Walsingham Plantation1906

Barns on the Walsingham Plantation
1906

Barns on Walsingham Plantation1906

Barns on Walsingham Plantation
1906

Barns on Walsingham Plantation1906

Barns on Walsingham Plantation
1906

Building on the bank of the river on the Walsingham Plantation1906

Building on the bank of the river on the Walsingham Plantation
1906

Farm Building on the Bank of the River1906

Farm Building on the Bank of the River
1906

Granary near the old home site on the Walsingham Plantation1906

Granary near the old home site on the Walsingham Plantation
1906

Granary on the Back Field of the Walsingham Plantation1906

Granary on the Back Field of the Walsingham Plantation
1906

Old sheds on the Walsingham Plantation1906

Old sheds on the Walsingham Plantation
1906

Old Tenement House on the Walsingham Plantation1906

Old Tenement House on the Walsingham Plantation
1906

Showing Mill for shelling corn and apparatus for discharging grain into schooners on the river1906

Showing Mill for shelling corn and apparatus for discharging grain into schooners on the river
1906

Showing method adopted by the Government Engineers for deepening the channel of the river1906

Showing method adopted by the Government Engineers for deepening the channel of the river
1906

Teams plowing on the Walsingham Plantation1906

Teams plowing on the Walsingham Plantation
1906

Tenants Quarters on the Walsingham Plantation1906

Tenants Quarters on the Walsingham Plantation
1906

Tenement House on the Back Field of the Walsingham Plantation1906

Tenement House on the Back Field of the Walsingham Plantation
1906

The Spring House at Walsingham Plantation1906

The Spring House at Walsingham Plantation
1906

The steamer Middlesex passing the Walsingham Plantation1906

The steamer Middlesex passing the Walsingham Plantation
1906

Walsingham Plantation on the Northerly Shore of the River. Lumber on the Port Royal Side1906

Walsingham Plantation on the Northerly Shore of the River. Lumber on the Port Royal Side
1906

Loading of Freight on a Steamer at Port Conway1906

Loading of Freight on a Steamer at Port Conway
1906

Loading of Freight on a Steamer at Port Conway1906

Loading of Freight on a Steamer at Port Conway
1906

Looking up the Rappahannock. Railroad Bridge in the Distance1906

Looking up the Rappahannock. Railroad Bridge in the Distance
1906

Preparing for Departure1906

Preparing for Departure
1906

Schooners loading grain from the Walsingham Plantation1906

Schooners loading grain from the Walsingham Plantation
1906

Showing Port Royal Wharf and Lumber Ready for loading opposite Port Conway. If you look to the left on the high bank you will see Belle Grove. Across the river is Port Conway's Ferry and Wharf. Today this area is lost to the wooden area around Belle Grove and the James Madison Bridge.1906

Showing Port Royal Wharf and Lumber Ready for loading opposite Port Conway. If you look to the left on the high bank you will see Belle Grove. Across the river is Port Conway’s Ferry and Wharf. Today this area is lost to the wooden area around Belle Grove and the James Madison Bridge.
1906

Belle Grove viewed from the river1906

Belle Grove viewed from the river
1906

Belle Grove seen from the river1906

Belle Grove seen from the river
1906

Belle Grove from the Carriage side in the Bowling Green. Some of these trees are still standing there today.1906

Belle Grove from the Carriage side in the Bowling Green. Some of these trees are still standing there today.
1906

North View Belle Grove1906

North View Belle Grove
1906

North View of Belle Grove1906

North View of Belle Grove
1906

River side of Belle Grove1906

River side of Belle Grove. The tree to the far right is still standing there today.
1906

River side of Belle Grove. We are assuming this is Captain John F. Jack.1906

River side of Belle Grove. We are assuming this is Captain John F. Jack.
1906

To see more photographs of Belle Grove over the years

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16 thoughts on “Captain Jack Sails the Rappanhannock

  1. seniorhiker says:

    What a great find. These are wonderful pictures.

  2. vanbraman says:

    Thanks for sharing the pictures. Do you know for sure that the J stands for John? The Jno F Jack that I found on the 1910 census is listed as Joe F in 1920. I couldn’t find the image for 1910, but saw the original image for 1920.

  3. John says:

    Wow, what a catch! You hit the jackpot in photos! I just love this era, so full of mystery. So glad you are able to add all of this to Belle Grove, it will enrich the home for sure.

  4. Sheryl says:

    These pictures are incredible! I can really picture what the plantation was like in 1906.

  5. Jane Sadek says:

    The pictures are cool, but the main question exists, why did this man leave California? Hope you find a clue. Family still in the area? Escaping unrequited love? Fear of earthquakes?

  6. Research….it’s all about passion, persistence and determination!
    I think you’ve got it!

  7. jericho777 says:

    Reblogged this on Jericho777's Blog.

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