Dear Friends:

Members of the Moss on the James Chapter of the P. Buckley Moss Society came to Mathews Saturday for a tour of P. Buckley Moss Galleries, Ltd. (known to many as The Moss Portfolio) and a potluck lunch at my house.  My daughter Patty Moss and my assistant Tricia Miles gave them the tour and answered their questions.  Being with the girls was a lot of fun, and the potluck was really, really good.  We all had such a good time and laughed a lot.

Patty, left, described the shipping process for the renewal brooches to the chapter members.

Tricia, in the background, talked a bit about what she does.

My house.  We all enjoyed the quiet peacefulness of Mathews.

My welcome entrance.

I can seat fifteen people easily on my sun porch.

L. to R.:  Marie Ehrlich, Gay Bowman, Pat Whitlow, Audrey Woodcock, me, Donna Cousins, Opal Dyke, and Barbara Dyke (Chapter President).

After lunch we all went to historic Christ Church, Kingston Parish, and did a little exploring.  Mathews has a rich Colonial history and was known as Kingston Parish when it was part of Gloucester County.

Church in Mathews County, VA, formerly known as Kingston Parish.

Jamestown, established in 1607, is the oldest English-speaking colony in the New World and is not very far from Mathews County.  As the colony established a foothold in Virginia, named after England’s virgin queen, Queen Elizabeth I, and began to expand, it became necessary to establish four original incorporations in 1617.  In 1634, eight original counties were formed.  One of those was named Charles River County, which was renamed York County in 1642.  Gloucester County was formed from a portion of York County in 1651, and within Gloucester there were several parishes.  Most historians agree that Kingston Parish was founded around 1652.  The Vestry of Kingston Parish (Anglican Church) in the 16-1700’s had more responsibilities than purely religious and church matters.  They were also responsible for the entire social welfare of the Parish; for the upkeep of roads and construction and repair of bridges; and, together with the courts and sheriff, for discipline.

Kingston Parish officially became Mathews County effective May 1, 1791.  The county is named after Brigadier General Thomas Mathews, Speaker of the House of Delegates in Virginia’s General Assembly, who introduced the legislation for the formation of a new county from Gloucester’s Kingston Parish.  This is why Mathews only has one “t”.  It wasn’t named after someone with a first name of “Matthew”.

The American Revolution brought with it a rejection of the official Church of England, of which Kingston Parish was part.  Eventually the Protestant Episcopal Church was formed to replace it; but, in the decades following the Revolutionary War, the denomination lost favor with the people.  In the early 1840’s, the Episcopal Church experienced a revitalization in Virginia, but by then the church buildings of Kingston Parish were in ruins.  Elizabeth Tompkins, daughter of prominent local merchant Col. Christopher Tompkins, is credited with convincing community members of the need to rebuild the church.  The new church building was completed by the end of 1841, and for the first time in over twenty years there was a minister and church services in the Parish.  Sadly, a little more than a year later, Elizabeth and two of her sisters became ill and died.

Elizabeth’s last remaining sister, Sally Louisa, grew up to become Capt. Sally Tompkins, CSA, the first woman ever commissioned as an officer in an American army.  For more information about Capt. Sally Tompkins, please see my June 15, 2011, newsletter.  Elizabeth and Capt. Sally are buried beside each other at Christ Church, and a monument stands at their plot.  Additionally, Elizabeth’s memorial stone lies behind the alter rail in the chancel of the church.  The church that was built as a result of Elizabeth’s efforts burned in 1904 and was rebuilt later that same year.

Parish Church, features Christ Church in Mathews, VA.

The P. Buckley Moss Foundation for Children’s Education has received a wonderful report from the Southeastern Education Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, regarding the success of their educational program, which the Foundation funded with an award of $700 for the 2010-2011 school year.  The purpose of the program was to learn about how different things are for students in Africa and how education opportunities are not a given right for all youth there.  The students participating in the program made up the words to a story and also a song within the story.  As they composed the song, they worked on reading, spelling, music composition, and social interactions with one another.  The drumming experience within the story helped the students develop their math skills.  The students made the story board, created the art work, and had many after-school practice sessions.

The student group was invited to perform the drumming portion of the project on July 5, 2012, at Milwaukee’s Summerfest, “The World’s Largest Music Festival”, at the Tiki Stage.  Summerfest’s yearly attendance is nearly one million people over the course of the ten-day festival.

I’m excited about this year’s annual Christmas print, which features skaters appreciating the famous ice skating rink and decorations at New York’s Rockefeller Center.

Christmas at the Center
IS: 10-3/8 x 11-3/4 ins.


P. Buckley Moss Galleries, Ltd
74 Poplar Grove Lane
Mathews, VA 23109
(800) 430-1320
©P. Buckley Moss 2012

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