Laetitia and her group left the Blue Ridge Mountains and headed northeast across Virginia. They spent much of the day at the Green Springs Historic Landmark District, a 14,000-acre area dotted with dozens of fine historic rural manor houses surrounded by woods and agricultural land farmed in traditional ways. Afterward they went to Cuckoo. The town’s appellation is not a pejorative description the mental state of the community’s residents. It was named for a tavern that figured prominently in the Revolutionary War. The eighteenth century Cuckoo Tavern was so named apparently because it had a cuckoo clock. The timepiece was a great novelty because it was the only one in the area.
Most Americans are familiar with the famous ride of Paul Revere because of Longfellow’s poem, but few know about Jack Jouett, whose similar ride prevented the British from capturing Thomas Jefferson. Jouett was a 27-year-old captain in the colonial militia who was at the tavern on June 3, 1781 when he saw 250 British dragoons and mounted infantry led by Colonel Banastre Tarleton. He correctly surmised that they were heading to Richmond to capture Jefferson and the Virginia legislators. Jouett rode all night on back roads arriving in time to warn them and allow them to escape. The original tavern building is gone.
After a walkabout in Cuckoo, Laetitia brought her group to their hotel in Louisa. The cocktail lounge where Laetitia went for happy hour was poolside. When she mentioned that she and her group had just come from Cuckoo, the bartender told her about a young Cuckoo resident named Jeannie who scandalized her hometown at a previous happy hour. She and her friends had too much to drink and were more unrestrained than the folks back home thought prudent. Laetitia chose the episode as the topic for the limerick of the day.