Things I Learn On the Job: Hampton Architecture and Big Virginia Trees

I was recently referred by JoNika Yarborough of Old Point National Bank to look at the roof of the parsonage of the Bethany United Methodist Church in Hampton Virginia and give an estimate to replace it.
The gentleman that met me there was very proud of the age of the building as well as the size of the tree behind it.
He told me the house was built in the 1800’s.

That sounded a bit too old to me. Its not uncommon for church stories to get “skewed” a bit when passed along from member to member, not unlike the “Telephone Game” we used to all play in grade school.  Although its no definitive authority,  I checked the age on It was listed as built in 1928, which seems more reasonable to me.
Then there was a tree. A big tree. The church representative told me that five of the members tried to hold hands and reach around the base of the trunk and couldn’t clasp hands. He also told me it was the third largest tree in Virginia.

It was a big tree that’s for sure. I was impressed. However when I checked on Virginia Tech’s site Virginia Big Tree Database it didn’t make the list. Oh well, its still a really big tree.

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