February 7, 2014
STUART, Va. — A birthday party Saturday for Gen. JEB Stuart will include a display of binoculars said to have been used by the Confederate hero and Patrick County native.
Stuart was born on Feb. 6, 1833 at a site in Ararat known as Laurel Hill and died in 1864 after being wounded at Yellow Tavern near Richmond. A party has been held annually in recent years in the town named for him, according to Tom Bishop of the JEB Stuart Birthplace Preservation Trust.
The site of the event is the Granny’s Attic antique mall at 301 S. Main St. in downtown Stuart, where the birthplace preservation organization maintains a vendor spot offering Civil War books, prints and related items.
Saturday’s event, scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., is free and open to the public and unique for its timing.
“In 2014, we will give special attention to this famous Patrick County native, 150 years after his death,” Bishop explained.
That involves the historical artifact to be shown.
Gen. Stuart’s binoculars are on loan for one year to the JEB Stuart Birthplace Preservation Trust from Gerald Hancock of De Pere, Wisc. For several weeks after the party, the binoculars will be on display at the Patrick County Historical Museum at 116 W. Blue Ridge St. in Stuart.
In addition to the public viewing of the binoculars, Saturday’s event will include free cake and lemonade, along with live entertainment by The Lone Ivy String Band. The group’s repertoire includes Civil War-era songs, Bishop said.
A Stuart radio station also plans a live remote broadcast from the site.