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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Williamsburg in James City County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Tombs of James and Sarah Blair

 
 
The Tombs of James and Sarah Blair Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, October 23, 2016
1. The Tombs of James and Sarah Blair Marker
Inscription.
The tombs before you mark the final resting places of The Reverend Dr. James Blair and his wife Sarah. Shortly after Dr. Blair was interred here, the church was abandoned in favor of a new building on the ‘mainland’. The church and the graveyard gradually fell into disrepair. Near the end of the 18th century, bricks of the ruined church were reportedly used to construct a wall around part of the cemetery. The remaining church tower and church yard became covered in weeds and plant growth. By 1807, a sycamore tree had begun to grow between the graves of James and Sarah Blair, slowly upturning their monuments. In 1906, the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities repaired and replaced the monuments and provided new inscription stones for the Blair graves. Funding for the restoration of the tomb of Dr. Blair in 2007 was provided by the Cypher Society, a group of former members of the governing Board of Visitors of the College of William and Mary, in honor of Dr. Blair having served the College for fifty years as its primary founder and first president.

“Something special in the way of notice is due to the condition of the tombs of Commissary Blair and Mrs. Blair; the latter being the daughter of Philip Ludwell, of Green Spring, who married Miss Sarah Grymes of Middlesex. The tombs were placed side by side,
The Tombs of James and Sarah Blair Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, October 23, 2016
2. The Tombs of James and Sarah Blair Marker
The marker is the third marker to the right in this view. The other two panels make up "The Tombstones" marker. The Blair graves are roughly in the center of this view, behind the rebuilt church.
and were very heavy and strong. The platform, sides, and ends were of white freestone, and the interior filled with bricks, well cemented. The top slab, on which the inscriptions were made, are of a thick dark iron-stone, or black marble. A sycamore shoot sprung up between the graves and is now a large tree. In its growth, it embraced, on one end and on the top, the tomb of Mrs. Blair, one-third of which lies embedded in the body of the tree and is held immovable. All the interior, consisting of brick, and two of the side stones, have been entirely forced out of their places by the tree and lie scattered around, while the dark iron-stone slab is held in the air, three feet above the surface of the earth, fast bound by the embrace of the body of the tree, into which it is sunk one to two feet, the inscription being only partly legible. On the other side, the whole tomb of Commissary Blair has been forced away from its place by the roots and body of the tree, and is broken to pieces in all its parts.”
From William Meade. Old Churches, Ministers and Families of Virginia, 1857, Vol. 1, Page 114
 
Location. 37° 12.506′ N, 76° 46.696′ W. Marker is near Williamsburg, Virginia, in James City County. Marker can be reached from Colonial Parkway. Touch for map. The marker is at the Jamestown
<i>Famous Blair Tomb and Church Yard, Jamestown, Va.</i> image. Click for full size.
circa 1920
3. Famous Blair Tomb and Church Yard, Jamestown, Va.
National Historic Site, just south of the Jamestown Church. Marker is in this post office area: Jamestown VA 23081, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Tombstones (here, next to this marker); The First General Assembly of Virginia (a few steps from this marker); Jamestown (within shouting distance of this marker); Barracks (within shouting distance of this marker); Jamestown’s Churches (within shouting distance of this marker); Pocahontas (within shouting distance of this marker); The Greate Road – An Early Highway pre-1607-1700s (within shouting distance of this marker); Storehouse & First Well (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Williamsburg.
 
Categories. Cemeteries & Burial SitesCharity & Public WorkColonial Era
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 1, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 30, 2016, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. This page has been viewed 141 times since then and 50 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 30, 2016, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico.   3. submitted on December 1, 2016.
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