She Has A Name!

28/08/13 7:58 PM

The Naming Contest is complete

and our elegant lady has a name . . .


Sara Elizabeth

Thank you to Suzanne W. for suggesting the name and to Dolley Madison for narrowing the choices to the top ten!

Let’s have more fun!

Now that Sara Elizabeth has a name, she needs history!



Belle Grove Plantation’s 1st Short Story Writing Contest!

Using our Lady’s new name and picture, we would like you to create a history for her.


1. The Short Story must be between 2,000 and 7,500 words.

2, The history must be set some time between 1670 to 1790.

3. She must have had some connection to Belle Grove Plantation and the families that were here during this period. See below for the time periods and family. You can’t change the course of history for these people.

1670 – Captain Anthony Savage, his wife Alice Stafford Savage and young daughter Alice. He also had an older daughter, Dorothy Savage Strother who was married and lived next door at Millbank Plantation with her husband, William Stother I. Belle Grove Plantation wasn’t called Belle Grove, but “Mangecemuzen” an Indian name. There was 1000 acres at the time of purchase in April.

1695 – At Captain Savage’s death – Granddaughter Margaret Thornton (daughter of Francis Thornton and Alice Savage Thornton’s daughter)¬†who had married her first cousin, William Strother II at Millbank Plantation received 300 acres of the 1000 acres. The other 700 acres to Elizabeth Thornton Conway, second daughter of Francis Thornton and Alice Savage Thornton. By this time, Alice Savage had died in 1692.

1698 – Edwin Conway passes and Elizabeth Thornton Conway holds on to the property until their son, Francis Conway I becomes of age and inherits the property.

1717 – Francis Conway I and Rebecca Catlett Conway marry and Francis inherits the property.

1722 – Francis Conway I and his wife Rebecca Catlett Conway welcome their second child, Francis Conway II. Francis Conway II would inherit the property after the death of his mother in 1761.

1730 – Francis Conway I and his wife Rebecca Catlett Conway welcome their sixth and final child, Eleanor Rose Conway who is also known as Nelly. She would go on to marry James Madison Sr. when he comes to Port Royal to ship out his tobacco. She would return in 1751 to have James Madison Jr. at her mother’s home.

1736 – Francis Conway I passes. Rebecca will remarry to John Moore in 1737 and hold the property until her death in 1761. John Moore renames the plantation “Belle Grove”.

1748 – Francis Conway II and his wife Sarah welcome their first son, Francis Conway III.

1751 – Nelly returns to Belle Grove to have her first child, James Madison Jr. at her mother’s home. Her brother Francis Conway II and his wife Sarah also live there. Their home is just next door.

1761 – Rebecca Conway Moore passes. Francis Conway II also passes away this year. Francis Conway II’s wife Sarah remarries in 1765 and holds the property until her death.

1784 – Sarah Conway Taylor passes away and Belle Grove goes to Francis Conway III and his wife Elizabeth Fitzhugh Conway.

1789 – Captain Francis Conway III (former Minuteman during the Revolutionary War) sets aside 13 acres of Belle Grove Plantation to establish the village of Port Conway.

1790 – Captain Francis Conway III sales Belle Grove Plantation, without the rights to Port Conway, to John Hipkins. John Hipkins would remove the Conway homes and build what is now the center section of the current mansion at Belle Grove Plantation for his only child, Francis (Fanny) Hipkins Bernard.

4. The contest will run for one month. It will start on Thursday, August 29th and end at 12:00am (eastern) September 30th.

5. All writings must be submitted in word document to our email address at

6. Submitted stories should be sent to We will confirm receiving it by email.

7. No stories will be entered if received after the deadline.

8. By submitting your story, you are giving up all rights to the story to Belle Grove Plantation Bed and Breakfast.

9. You agree to allow us to publish on blog, facebook or any other form media or paper your story including your name as author. Full credit for the writing will be given to you.

10. Any of the rules that are not met will cause your story to be rejected.

11. Include the following information with your Short Story:

Full Name


City – State – Zip

Phone where we can reach you:

Email Address


The Winning Short Story Prize

On October 5th, we will announce the winner of the Short Story Writing Contest on Facebook and our Blog. If you are selected, you will receive a Free Night in the Conway Junior Suite where our Lady now lives. We will also contact you by phone of your selection.

You story will be published on our blog and promoted throughout our media resources.

Good Luck and Happy Writing!!

To see what we are up to at the plantation

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Posted by Michelle Darnell | in Belle Grove History, Darnell History | 4 Comments »

4 Comments on “She Has A Name!”

  1. […] Belle Grove Plantation’s Short Story Contest […]

  2. Thank you for sharing our blog with your readers! We really appreciate it!

  3. Jen Says:

    Finally catching up…love it!

  4. Thank you!