A Post-and-Beam Mystery at William & Mary

A Post-and-Beam Mystery at William & Mary 1

Heather Hughes Ostermaier for The Chronicle

William & Mary's Terry L. Meyers, in the doorway to a campus building that he believes may be the oldest extant school for black children in the country.

One semester several years ago, Terry L. Meyers was on a research leave, waiting to correct page proofs for three volumes of letters by Algernon Charles Swinburne—"the bad boy of Victorian poetry," as Mr. Meyers likes to think of him. The proofs never showed up, to Mr. Meyers's distress, but soon the semester took a surprising turn away from Victoriana: Mr. Meyers discovered that a nondescript house squeezed onto the edge of the College of William & Mary's campus could be the