Our travels today took us through the tiny, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it town of Bowling Green, the county seat of Caroline County to our south. This is a charming, old-timey town (population in 2000: 936), with a main street that is just about a block long, and everything you’d expect to find in a rural county seat: the courthouse, the hardware store, a tailor, a few shops and churches and county offices. There is a cafe where the locals gather on a Saturday morning, and the office of the Caroline Progress, the weekly newspaper that serves the county. The houses leading up to the “commercial district” are lovely old homes with huge trees and wide lawns.
Our first stop was the Visitor Center. It's good that the Visitor Center is open Monday through Friday from 10-2, so they can catch the multitudes of travelers who do their touring in the middle of the workday. It's understandable that the staff would be too exhausted from that grueling schedule to be around on Saturday morning at 11.
In front of the courthouse is a statue honoring the Confederate soldiers of the Civil War (Virginia is the heart of the Confederacy, after all).
What was much more unexpected was the monument just a few steps away which honored the contributions of the county's racial, ethnic and religious minorities. On this black obelisk, two sides were devoted to Caroline's African Americans, one to the Quakers, and one to the many ethnicities represented among the county's settlers.
The cafe on Main Street is named, surprisingly, The Cafe on Main Street. We were tickled to discover that the only other restaurant we saw in town turned out to be a Thai place.
Here's some gourmet cookware from the window of the home center:
These two historic churches were so sweet, standing side by side. On the left is the Shiloh Baptist Church; on the right, Antioch Christian.
Every now and then, it pays to take the long way home.