The Trackless Depot  LbNA # 38247

Placed DateMar 15 2008
LocationGordonsville, VA
Planted BySandyDuff    
Found By Annemarie
Last Found May 26 2014
Hike Distance?

This letterbox is a letterbox-geocache hybrid and a separate letterbox only hidden in a region in Louisa County, Virginia called the Green Springs National Historical Landmark District.

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALLIBEANR for the First Find!! - Great Stamp too!

Warning: There is POISON IVY here and that at the letterbox only is especially HUGE you must protect yourself if allergic. I will work on taming it a bit as time allows but please be prepared! The perils of nature :-}

The Green Springs Historic district was created to protect from development these 14,000 acres of privately owned 18th and 19h century plantations. The necessity of this protection will be clear if you make your way to this area from highway 64 as the crossroads here, though named as if a Judaic utopia, are really the meca of trucks, especially those distributing for Walmart. Frankly, it is sinking to all new lowes.

Travel north from this crossroad and on your way you may notice Springing up out of a local Creek the gated entrance to the large ‘castle like’ luxury dwellings of modern suburban royalty more fond of the view than farming. Things will quiet down, though the road itself is still quite busy, and soon you will see the sign that signals the beginning of the Green Springs National Historic Landmark District.

The 1790 farmhouse that this letterbox is on the border of is owned by the Elizabeth Aiken Nolting Charitable Foundation. The box will be found along the road named for the family. The foundation manages the property with a pond for public fishing and a birding and wildlife trail.

You may find the family road from two different accesses – one, the more traveled of the two passes an historical tavern that was the head quarters of the Marquis de Lafayette in 1781. The family’s road is an easy cantor from this tavern where Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison also frequently stayed.

If you came from 64 and are more inclined to a shorter ride, the less traveled is preferable. This other is the Eastern side of a road named for the person making the less famous southern ride to warn patriots of a British attack. On the night of June 3-4, 1781 this captain made a 40-mile ride by horseback from Cuckoo VA in Louisa County to Monticello to warn Governor Thomas Jefferson of an attack by British Colonel, Banastre Tarleton and his dragoons assigned to capture the patriots. As, Pulitzer prize winner Virginius Dabney said in part, “…...X’s arduous and dangerous nocturnal dash, much longer and more difficult than Revere’s, has never been the subject of a ballad remotely comparable in popular appeal to Paul Revere’s Ride. This is the primary reason why his name is almost completely unknown beyond the borders of his native Virginia….”

On this route you will pass one entrance to the letterboxes’ farm posted on a sign bracketted to a post on your left. Be patient, the road you want, with the foundation founder’s name, is ahead no more than a horse's gallop away.

The letterbox is only a little more than a football field away from the postal boxes for the current farm’s inhabitants but on the opposite side of the road. If you came from the well traveled tavern side you will still need to get to gravel before finding the boxes for this farm.

The location of the letterbox was chosen to give you a view of the trackless depot house, which is the subject of this letterbox. This house built in 1891 is a National Historical Landmark and is in a style called by some a ‘painted lady’ and a lovely rose of a lady she is. Her original function was as a train station at Cobham Station (in Albemarle county) but when this purpose was served she picked herself up (with the help of 20th century machinery) and found herself a more peaceful spot here amongst the fields and bracketts. She is now a private dwelling.

For letterboxers there are two hides here, one coincides with a geocache-letterbox hybrid that the clues so far have led you to. The second much smaller is meant only for letterbox purists. Travel south about a shiny Washington’s portion of a paper Washington’s mile to seek the place where the road you have traveled crosses the creek that winds through the farm. Look again on the same side of the road (the farm’s side) in a spot meant to keep the box dry - in the wooden grasp of a large 5 fingered tree. This box is smaller than the first with only the stamp, inkpad and log book. Look out for briars protecting this spot. AND as Spring has sprung so has the POISON IVY risen to amazing heights. Please take care and I will work on management as best I can.

HAVE FUN!! SandyDuff.