What’s in a name

I’m sure you’re wondering where the name Spotswood House came from. It all started with a visit to Montpelier, President James Madison’s estate, located in Orange, VA (where our house also happens to be located). We were touring a new exhibit, The Mere Distinction of Colour, which chronicles the lives of those enslaved at Montpelier told by their living descendants. One of the artifacts was a ledger of slaves living on the property,  and one of them was named Spotswood. As soon as I saw that name my heart skipped a beat.  It is the coolest name, kinda like a debonair British spy or an artistocratic dog, Spotswood Alistair Windor IV.

Spotswood also happens to be the name of everything in the area. You have Spotswood Trail, Spotswood Baptist Church, Spotswood Elementary School, Spotswood Lodge – an 11 acre farm located in Gordonsville, VA that rents from $800 per night, and then the man himself, Alexander Spotswood, for whom all of this is named after.

Alexander Spotswood was  Lieutenant Governor of Virginia from 1710 – 1722. He was also Deputy Postmaster General from 1730 – 1739. When he “retired” he had over 80,000 acres of land in Virginia. He is known for exploring land beyond the Blue Ridge Mountains and established what was perhaps the first colonial iron works.

The man, the myth, the delapidated house

So we settled upon Spotswood but the name sounded so solitary, it needed something else. Manor was way too fancy, Cottage sounded too dainty, Farm was misleading (we only have one acre after all), and Hill it is not, we are on flat land. The only thing that fit was “House” and thus our home became Spotswood House. I love the name more and more each day.

What would you / have you named your house?

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