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LakeAnnaLifeTimesAugustSeptember 2015 16 did you knowLAKE ANNA HISTORY TRIVIA Much history remains around Lake Anna passed down through generations of first settler families with names like Tyler Goodwin Carr and Duerson. Look at a map and youll note these names on points creeks and various other lake landmarks. One such landmark that is often won- dered about is Bear Castle. While many might think they know its secrets and story there are few that actually do. Eu- genia Bumpass and Claudia Chisholm of the Louisa Historial Society documented the history of Bear Castle and this draws heavily upon their work appearing the Lousia County Historical Magazine De- cember 1970 edition. The home itself is unpretentious but stately. The structure is one-and-a-half stories with four rooms downstairs and two up with a central hall and a base- ment. The front entrance is flanked by four windows two a side. Three dormer windows front and back break up the sharp pitched roof. Three-cornered chim- neys once bookended each side of the house. Interior wainscoting were made of solid walnut. The floors were wide plank pine with hand forged nails. The doors were hung on L hinges. An enclosed stairway rose from the back of the central hall to a small upper hall that opened into two low-ceiled rooms. The basement had a brick floor. Bear Castle is located on the Louisa side of the lake in the lower region about a mile below the north Anna Power Sta- tion. It is a home built in the early 1700s by John Carr the son of Major Thomas Carr. The Major was granted 1000 acres of land on Elk Creek and the North Anna River adjoining William Winstons and on August 17 1725. In 1727 he received another grant of 400 acres on the south side of the North Anna and later that same year received 3770 more acres on the south side of the river. John Carr deeded 1000 acres that in- cluded Bear Castle to his son Dabney in 1772. Dabney grew to be a fairly influ- ential Louisan representing his area in the House of Burgesses and becoming a close friend of Thomas Jefferson. Dab- ney Carr was a rival of Patrick Henry and when he was 22 fell in love and married Jeffersons sister Martha. Eventually Bear Castle passed from the Carrs to the Tylers then to the Good- wins the Colemans a Richmonder named Schroeder then a Schmidt and finally back to a Louisan Simeon G. Du- erson. The Duersons bought the house and 329 acres at 9acre in 1871. When Dominion built the reactors and Lake Anna all but 80 acres were sold. The home is currently serving as a pri- vate residence with over 200 years of history that tied together many of the original families of Louisa County. Bear Castle as it stands today serves as a private residence by if its walls could talk it would be able to reveal much about the history of central Virginia. Contrary Creek runs orange from just above the Rt. 522 bridge crossing until it mixes in with the lake. The Story Of Lake Annas Bear Castle BY LIBBY HAYES Did you know that beautiful Lake Anna has one of the countrys most polluted creeks draining into it While the effects have been mitigated now from all accounts before the lake was impounded in 1972 the North Anna River below the confluence with Con- trary Creek for about a mile was se- verely impacted and mostly devoid of aquatic life. Along the banks of Contrary Creek just above the Rt. 522 crossing are the remains of extensive mining opera- tions. These abandoned base-metal sulfide mines and quartz-gold vein deposits affected the Contrary Creek watershed by lowering the pH level to the point at which most life was unsus- tainable. Runoff and leaching from the mines and tailings from them along the banks of the creek are the cuprits. Acidic drainage from what was known as the Arminius Mine enters Contrary Creek during periods of heavy rainfall as well as some during normal condi- tions. This low pH water is mercifully diluted once it reaches Lake Anna. The portion of the creek above the lake however still flows redbrown due to the continued runoff of mine tailings. Inches of highly acidic iron hydroxide a leftover residual precipitate due to the high amount of dissolved metal in the water coat the creek bottom. Mining continues today along and in the creek. The Contrary Creek Pros- pecting Lease is a recreational gold prospecting lease on the private land surrounding Contrary Creek managed by the Cutalong development. Gold prospecting has become a popular pastime with prospectors on the site just about every weekend. Some use traditional gold panning techniques others have larger portable dredges that are used in the creek bed itself. Paddlers curious about the change from lake to creek can venture up Con- trary to the fall line. The water beomes clearer and clearer and the orange coating more prevelant the further up the creek you go. Visitors that stay in the creek bed can try gold panning. A careful eye might even spot garnet stones a semi-precious gem. Ventur- ing outside of the creek bed is not per- mitted. For more information on gold mining in Contrary visit www.ccpros- Want to know more about the Rapture Sculpture Check out Why Is Contrary Creek Contrary And Who Were the Contrarians The Contrarian CastleRapture sculpture as seen in August 2012 before demolition. Photos from