Miss Tiani Miller
Tiani joined our staff during the summer of 2019 as a rising high school senior at Surry County High School. She was a member of the marching band and flag corps; and participated in the dual enrollment program, taking classes for college credit while still in high school.
Tiani's Thoughts on Surry
A lot of people may ask, "What is in Surry that might interest me?" Many people may respond back with, "Nothing," but there is more than you think here in Surry - and you would enjoy it! Surry has so much history in its background and they don't even acknowledge it in schools today. In order for you to love Surry, you have to "savor the secrets".
What I love about Surry is that it has more of a laid-back, "everybody is family" type of vibe. Yeah, it's the lil' ole' country, but in this lil' ole' country people are nice, caring, and warmhearted. Anywhere you go in Surry, there are people with smiles on their faces showing pride in their community. That's one thing about Surry that I love.
Another thing I love about Surry is the historical background. I bet if I asked every person in Surry, "were there ever Native Americans who settled in Surry and what was their name?" people would say "No," or "I don't know." In 1607 Surry did have a group of Native Americans who settled near where the town of Claremont is today. Those Native Americans were named the Quioughcohancock Indians, they were members of one of the greatest Indian empires on the east coast, the Powhatan Confederacy.
I bet if I asked people, "Who was Chanco?" most people would say, "I don't know." Chanco was a very important person to Surry. He warned his godfather, Richard Pace, of an attack on the settlers by the Powhatan tribe. This action that he pursued saved the colony from total annihilation.
Many people also don't know that there was actually an African American educational institute located in Surry County. Education has strong roots in Surry County. Private schools flourished in the county of Surry, which caused the Smallwood Institute to be formed. "Mother" Amelia Howard started the first school for black students in Surry County in 1866.
Surry is filled with history that should be learned. You hear a lot of people saying how Surry has nothing to offer, but that's wrong. Surry offers facts and truth that people fail to learn or don't care to learn. In order for citizens in Surry to show pride in their community: they have to care about how the community was made and its history.
My favorite historical site in Surry County is Bacon's Castle! No, it is not a real castle, nor is it made of bacon! I like Bacon's Castle because it has a lot of meaning to it. Bacon's Castle got its name because of a fight called Bacon's Rebellion. The house originally belonged to a man named Arthur Allen. Mr. Allen had his house built and then 4 days later, he died. Allen did not live to enjoy his house. When Allen died, he left Bacon's Castle to his son Arthur Allen II, who was a firm supporter of the Governor in Bacon's Rebellion.
Arthur Allen II was present at the fateful court session of August 10, 1676 when the Surry justices voted to send supplies to the rebel Nathaniel Bacon. He must have opposed the decision, and shortly thereafter he hid his silver, left his home and followed Governor Berkeley. He was at Jamestown when Bacon attacked and burned the town, and he later became one of Berkeley's most trusted officers. He was "Captain Allen" by later November 1676, and he led some of the attacks on the rebels from one of the ships in the York River in front of West Point.
That is the real reason why "Arthur Allen's Brick House" is called "Bacon's Castle". That's why I enjoy Bacon's Castle and that's why Bacon's Castle is my favorite historical site in Surry County.
I enjoy being a citizen in Surry because Surry is something special! Surry has a lot of secrets, and it's worth the investment to dig a little deeper in order to understand and know the true beauty of the county you live in.