New London Museum

Preserving the history of New London, Virginia

December 9th book signing with the author of First House


Sunday, December 9, 2012, at 2:30 PM, the Friends of New London will host a program and book signing by author Mary Miley Theobald.  The event will be at 672 Alum Springs Rd., the FNL office [former New London United Methodist Church] and is open to the public.  From Timberlake Rd. or US 460, turn South onto Turkey Foot Rd. or turn at the Seven Eleven at Wildwood.  Copies of Ms. Theobald’s book will be available for $34.95 with one half of the proceeds benefiting the Mead’s Tavern Capital Campaign.

Mary Miley Theobald has written over 175 magazine articles and eight books.  She received her BA and MA in History at the College of William and Mary and has taught American history and museum studies at Virginia Commonwealth University for thirteen years.



First House: Two Centuries with Virginia’s First Families

Walls do, indeed, talk in this compelling chronicle of Virginia’s 200-year-old executive mansion. Created to coincide with the mansion’s bicentennial in 2013, First House brings to life the private stories of the governors and their families who shaped the destiny of this unique home.  Lavishly illustrated with images old and new, most seen here for the first time, the book traces triumph and tragedy through the turbulence of wars, fires, economic depressions, and renovations in a story that mirrors Virginia’s progress from the nineteenth century into the twenty-first. This stately home on Capitol Square, completed in 1813 and occupied by more than fifty “first families,” has truly earned its place in history as Virginia’s “First House.”

Coming October 2012. Retail $34.95

Governor’s Mansion Press Release:

In 2013, Virginia’s Executive Mansion-the oldest occupied governor’s residence in all the fifty states-marks its 200th anniversary. To celebrate this milestone, the Citizens Advisory Council for Interpreting and Furnishing the Executive Mansion is planning a yearlong series of special events at the mansion and on Capitol Square, capped by the publication of an official bicentennial history of Virginia’s “First House” – a must-read for lovers of Virginia’s proud past.

This handsome coffee table book, written by historian Mary Miley Theobald with an introduction by novelist David Baldacci, and designed by Carol Roper Hoffler of Literati, will chronicle the mansion’s important role as residence, office, and social setting for the past fifty-four Virginia governors. Conceived during the Revolutionary War, built during the War of 1812, and looted during the Civil War, the mansion has endured fires, threats, riots, and hurricanes. Research has unearthed a wealth of stories and illustrations never before published. Tales of famous guests, pets and pranks, and ghosts weave through two centuries of additions, modernizations, and changing interior fashions. Newly discovered photographs, drawings, paintings, and antiques from private and public collections throughout Virginia and around the country bring these stories to life. Interviews with all ten living First Ladies provided a peek into the upstairs lives of the commonwealth’s First Families.

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