- Belle Isle State Park
Infobox_protected_area | name = Belle Isle State Park, Virginia, USA
caption = 1930s photo of Belle Isle mansion by Thomas T. Waterman of Historic American Buildings Survey
area = 733 acres (2.97 km²)
Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation
Belle Isle State Park is located in
Lancaster County, Virginiaon the Rappahannock River. It sits in Lancaster County between Deep Creek and Morattico Creek and is currently under public ownership. The park has an area of convert|733|acre|km2 and has facilities for fishing, boating and picnics. While it is not an island, the park is surrounded by Tidewatercoastal marshes. Wildlife observed includes blue herons, osprey, hawks, bald eagles, white-tailed deer and various reptiles and amphibians. It is near the unincorporated towns of Litwalton, Morattico and Somers.
The park and mansion were operated in the 19th century as a plantation. The property was acquired in 1692 by John Bertrand. Belle Isle mansion was built around 1760 by
Raleigh Downmanand restored in the 1940s. The architect for the restoration was Thomas Tileston Waterman, the first director of the Historic American Buildings Survey[http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0084-0416(198522%2F23)20%3A2%2F3%3C103%3ATTWSOA%3E2.0.CO%3B2-M] . Some of the interior rooms and paneling can be seen today at the Winterthur Museumin Delaware[http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1026/is_1_161/ai_81891357/pg_1] . The house, which is surrounded by the park but still privately owned, was placed on the National Register of Historic Placesin 1971. Bel Air, a colonial reproductionhouse on the grounds designed by Waterman, can be rented for overnight stays. In addition, there is a cottage that can also be rented.
* [http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/parks/bellisle.htm General Park Information]
* [http://recreation.gov/detail.cfm?ID=2293 More Park Info]
* [http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0084-0416(198522%2F23)20%3A2%2F3%3C103%3ATTWSOA%3E2.0.CO%3B2-M Bio of Thomas Waterman]
* [http://www.winterthur.org/visiting/tours_tickets.asp Winterthur iPod tour with Leigh and Leslie Keno]
* [http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=pphhsheet&action=browse&fileName=va/va0600/va0695/sheet/browse.db&recNum=0&itemLink=D?hh:1:./temp/~pp_Nh48::&title2=Belle%20Isle,%20State%20Route%20683,%20Somers%20vicinity,%20Lancaster%20County,%20VA&displayType=1&maxCols=2 Historic American Buildings Survey Info]
* [http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G1-81891357.html History of house and removal of paneling to Winterthur]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.