The Writing Is on the Wall: Photographs of Belle Grove's Attic Graffiti

Posted May 01, 2014
The Writing Is on the Wall: Photographs of Belle Grove’s Attic Graffiti

Belle Grove Plantation recently developed the exhibit, The Writing Is on the Wall: Photographs of Belle Grove's Attic Graffiti, and installed it temporarily in March and April 2014.

The exhibit features photographs taken of the graffiti in the Belle Grove Manor House attic.  The tradition of signing the attic walls began with soldiers that occupied the home during the Civil War.  It continued with owners’ family and friends and with visitors when the house was operated as an inn in the 1920s.  Due to safety concerns, the attic is not open to the public.  Therefore, this exhibit was designed “to bring the attic downstairs” by using large scale color photographs and a video tour.  

There are more than 557 legible signatures or other writings that Belle Grove staff and volunteers transcribed. Click here to view the index (use Ctrl F to search the list). The index notes the location of signature and the wall, section, and photograph number corresponds to the title of photograph on the online photo album located here

8 x 10 photographs available for $5 each (includes postage to US addresses). To order, email photograph title (wall, section, and photograph number) along with the name or writing you are interested in to info@bellegrove.org.

Belle Grove has enjoyed interacting with visitors and hearing their stories of the relatives, friends, or community members whose names are written on the walls--please send stories or corrections to info@bellegrove.org.

Read more about the exhibit here.

This project was made possible through a grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  Photography was done by Rick Foster and videography was done by An Affair to Remember Video in Winchester, Virginia.