National Geographic : 1956 Apr
One can still see the hoofprints in the steps. Even more evident, saber scars mar the ex quisitely carved walnut banister (page 444). Could it be that Banastre Tarleton resented his wooden name? Belles Said "No" to Budding Statesmen Now Mrs. Archibald McCrea lives at Car ter's Grove with ghosts and guests. Whether or not Tarleton rides again some night, she has apparently forgiven him; his portrait hangs on a living-room wall. What's more, she is resigned to the damage he did the stairway. But the others ... Ghosts, Mrs. McCrea? "Sometimes in the evening when we are sitting quietly, we can hear footsteps on the brick walks," said Mrs. McCrea. "A guest may ask, 'Who's that?' And I'll say cas ually that it might be George Washington, or perhaps Thomas Jefferson, returning to the scene where both were refused in marriage." * In the "Refusal Room," Mrs. McCrea told me, George Washington proposed to Mary Cary, who turned him down. Later, she went on, Thomas Jefferson met with similar disappointment in the same drawing room when Becky Burwell said "No." Guests? Mrs. McCrea once invited every Episcopal bishop in the United States to tea. In honor of that occasion she nearly changed the name of her place to "House of Bishops." Although not open officially during Garden Week, Carter's Grove receives its share of visitors throughout the year. Mrs. McCrea asked an architect over from Williamsburg to explain the house to me. * See "Stately Homes of Old Virginia," by Albert W. Atwood, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE, June, 1953.