A day at the Plantation and Hint #5

28/05/12 10:41 PM

Today we headed up to the plantation for a day trip with our Plantation Dog, Hurley. As we crossed the bridge and saw the house sitting on the bluff, I felt it hard to catch my breath. We have been working on this for almost one year (July, 2011) and I still get the electric feel when we see it again. I can’t wait to come home for good.

Entry driveway

When we arrived, we allowed Hurley to jump out and walk around the front yard while I walked down to let the caretakers know we were there. We then stepped into the front hall. As I stepped in, I realized that the air had not been turned on, so it was a little warm in the house. The second thing I noticed was how Hurley was reacting to the house. Now you have to understand Hurley is a very easy going dog. Nothing really affects him. He just goes with the flow. We have taken him to other places and homes and every time he was just himself, excited to be somewhere new. But this time, it was different. As he came in, he started to appear kind of skittish. His body was lower to the floor and he was walking as if he was afraid the floor would drop out from under him. I don’t think it was the floor, which is hardwood. We have hardwood at our current house and he grew up on them. But as we walked through the house, you could see he just wasn’t sure about it. And he had to look at every space in the house. When we went upstairs, he even nosed his way into a closet where the door was slightly ajar.

We decided to take him outside for water and to walk around outside. He ran as normal, nothing seems out of place. He loved the front circle and yard until he saw the back and the bluff overlooking the river.

Riverview from the balcony of the house

After being outside for a short time, we realized that he was getting over heated so we decided to take him up to the balcony for the breeze to try and cool him off. It didn’t work. So we walked back in and he walked to the other side of the upstairs hall and laid down on the landing. My husband and I agreed we need to cut it short to get him out of the heat, so I called for him to come. This is where it gets weird. He got up and started towards me and took a step off the landing. But he stopped half off the landing and just stood there. Now I have seen him do this before at our current house. My daughter who lives with us also has a cat that Hurley grew up with. If he is walking somewhere in the house and she is in the way, he will stop and wait for her to move. That is almost what he did. It was like he was waiting for someone or something to move. So I walked over to him and told him to come on. He moved around me, but walked to the far side of the wall opposite of the staircase and then made his way around to the top to head down. All I can say is weird.

Magnolias from the plantation

Brett and Hurley on the front portico

After we got back in the car and got some air on Hurley, we head to a local winery. There are two that are very close to the plantation and they are both really good! (I will post a blog about the winery soon) As we headed over to the winery, we came across (you guessed it) an antique store! I have been to this one before, but I talked my husband into stopping on the way back from the winery. Score again!! This time I found 5 new tea cups and a tea pot set. Once we reveal the plantation, I can tell you the name of this place. But I can tell you it is in a barn that belongs to an 85 year old man who has to be one of the coolest people to talk with. His favorite thing to say is, “Buy something so I don’t have to eat hot dogs tonight.” I love it!

After my last antique purchases of the long weekend (glad it wasn’t a week, I would be broke!) we headed over to a local candy store to see if they were open. This candy store (which I will reveal once we make the announcement) is one to die for! When you walk into this store, you immediately go into a diabetic coma! The aroma of chocolate is so thick here; you almost have to cut it with a knife! The owner has been in business for years. She makes chocolate confections that Willie Wonka would envy! She also makes cakes and pies people come five hours to get. She used to make wedding cakes, but her orders got to be so overwhelming she had to stop. But! We have come to an agreement that she will be making wedding cakes exclusively for our plantation. She won’t make any wedding cakes for anyone else!

However, when we arrived, we were greeted with a closed sign for her store. That’s okay; we will be back on Saturday!

New Hint!

Hint One:

Captain John Smith sailed up the river that runs by this plantation in 1608 and noted the Indian settlements along the river banks.

Hint Two:

George Washington was a frequent visitor to this plantation.

Hint Three:

It’s not Williamsburg or the area around Williamsburg.

Hint Four:

Two famous Virginians were born on this plantation. Both were very good with words.

Hint Five:  NEW!

The town located across the river from this plantation once was under consideration for Nation’s Capital.

Advice – Read other’s comments. If someone guesses correctly, I do tell them. The first hint has been answered correctly.

Posted by Michelle Darnell | in Year of the Virginia Historic Homes | 85 Comments »

85 Comments on “A day at the Plantation and Hint #5”

  1. becca givens Says:

    Historic places are bound to have spirits … and animals are very keen with their perception! 😀

  2. That is what I am figuring. We have already had a couplle of “things” happen.

  3. becca givens Says:

    What’s an historic plantation without a few invisible visitors and stories to share? 😀

    Have you considered having the house and grounds blessed?

  4. Already done by the caretakers a few years ago. We aren’t worry about it. Doesn’t seem to be bad.

  5. Pat Says:

    Sorry for the double posting LOL!! Yes I read the whole post and still don’t know what was going on with Hurley??! Do you think he saw something you couldn’t see. Antiques are all so beautiful!! I’m waiting on opening day 😀 😀

  6. That’s okay! I fixed it! I don’t know what was up with Hurley. Could be something he saw that we didn’t. We can’t wait for opening day too!

  7. Martine Says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with Becca! But sometimes they’re just friendly spirits! 🙂

  8. We think they are. “They” let us know on the first day that they were there. But I don’t think we have ever felt threatened or anything. We just look at it as the past owners watching over the house. I like to think they are happy with us and glad we are remembering them.

  9. Martine Says:

    I think it’s just wonderful that we can be in tune with the energies around us! 🙂

  10. Thank you! This plantation does have some great energy. We can’t wait to share it!

  11. Eleenie Says:

    Wow that does sound weird! Fascinating though! The magnolia is beautiful.

  12. Thank you! I don’t mind if “they” hang around! I just hope I do them proud!

  13. How very cool to have a resident from the past! If the dog sensed it but wasn’t spooked, and you have only felt good vibes, that’s a kindly ghost you have – quite an asset! I lived in my last house for 20 years and had no big problems with it once I’d moved in. The lightbulb in the bathroom even lasted for 18 years!!! When I sold, the woman who bought it accused me of not telling her about the ghost. What ghost? I said. May said she felt her looking over her shoulder as she was doing work on the house, pullng out the old doors and ripping this out and that out. ‘She doesn’t approve of me,’ she said. And it was particularly strong in one bedroom – the one I slept in, oddly enough.
    Well, it must have been the housekeeper who lived here until she died, just before I bought the place. She’d looked after an old sea captain who owned the house, and in his will he gave her lifelong tenure, and in 1988 she’d died. Anyway… her name, which did spook the new owner a little, was May.
    I never sensed her presence, but always felt safe and warm in the house, and visitors often remarked on the lovely atmosphere. So maybe old May approved of me and continued to keep an eye on the house. In 20 years no roof problems, and that lightbulb… Let’s hope your friendly ghost looks after the house for you too, and that he or she is as welcoming to your visitors as May was to mine.

  14. That was a great story! I have several that I will save for a post closer to Halloween. But I truely feel that the house is happy with us. I feel like “they” approve of us because we have worked so hard to find out who they were and have promised to always remember them and honor them! We have even named the rooms after those that came before us.

  15. becca givens Says:


  16. Thank you!

  17. Dianna Says:

    Very interesting. I’ll have to tell you about my son’s experience at Bacon’s Castle one day. Although I didn’t see it, I DID see his reaction as he was seeing it. Amazing…. Long story! Can’t wait to hear more.
    And I’m always up for a “new” antique shop!

  18. I love a good ghost story! We must get together soon!

  19. I can’t wait to see the reveal! Love your lead up to the reveal! 🙂 Thanks for liking my blog too!

  20. Thank you! We can’t wait to show the world! We also look forward to seeing more of your blog!

  21. hoogator Says:

    My wife and I are eagerly awaiting the revelation. We’re both Virginians living the ex-pat life north of the Mason-Dixon Line. Always looking for an excuse to come back South!

    Beautiful photos. Can’t wait to see it all come together.

  22. Thank you! I was transplanted from South Carolina and married a MidWest boy from Ohio. But it’s all good, I have him cooking a killer pot of grits!

  23. Lillie Says:

    I’m really enjoying these posts about your new plantation. I will be so excited when you can finally share some pictures! All the lovely teacups you are finding are making me drool. I see them frequently in thrift stores, and wonder where I would store them in my house. Suddenly I don’t care about that aspect and the next nice ones I run across will be coming home with me! Thanks for the great inspiration.

  24. Wonderful! I say sieze the moment! You only live once, why not to its fullest!

  25. Your new home just sounds better and better. A house with history, a mysterious presence… and that river view is wonderful.

  26. Thank you! We can’t wait to reveal it!

  27. Hot dogs for dinner. Funny!
    Hurley all skittiish? Yikes! Who ya gonna call?!?!?

  28. What is even funnier was when I came in to get them, he had just pulled a turnip out of his garden and was going to eat it for lunch. So instead of saying “Buy something so I don’t have to eat hot dogs for dinner” he said turnips for dinner! Haha! I don’t who if they can help!

  29. That is such an interesting story about your dog’s reaction to the house!! I’ve never had that kind of experience, but I have friends who have in very old houses. We live in a building that was built in the late 1800s, so I’m glad I’ve never had any Twilight Zone moments like that!

  30. It wasn’t too bad. I don’t think we have anything to worry about.

  31. Oooh…chills. I guess you already saw: I nominated you for the Versitile Blogger Award.

  32. No I didn’t see. Thank you!

  33. sweetsabelle Says:

    Thank you for following! I would love to do a post on you when you are ready! 🙂 I am a Virginia girl by heart, grew up in Northern Virginia…

  34. Oh wow that would be great! I hope we can be ready soon! And if you are from Northern Virginia, you are going to love this place!

  35. No chance of me guessing. Interested in the china though, must post some pix of mine. [note to self, take some pix first[

  36. Thank you! Hopefully we can reveal it soon! I love your note to “self”! I look forward to seeing it! Once you do, send me a comment and put a link on it so others can come see too!

  37. Just the usual British bone china so nothing special !

  38. I would still love to see it. Do you have a favorite tea?

  39. Used to be darjeeling, currently assam. In Spain I tend to drink manzanilla con anis (camomile) and breakfast tea. Different drinks for different countries!!

  40. Those sound so good! My sister drinks camomile and loves it. I love to find out the favorite so we can have it on hand at the B&B. Thank you!

  41. Great reading. Not sure if I will ever make it over to the east. But the place is beautiful and I would love to see it in person someday.

  42. Thank you! If you ever are over here, we would love to have you stay!

  43. what a beautiful setting! and Hurley is a gorgeous dog! thanks for sharing!

  44. Thank you! He is really sweet!

  45. tdblue Says:

    A ghost! That just adds to the house’s appeal. And I am so in love with that teapot set. Gorgeous!

  46. Thank you! That is what we were thinking about the house. But I don’t think it’s something that would hurt anyone. We have been there many times. Hopefully we will have more tea cups and tea pots to share soon!

  47. GlobeTramp Says:

    Wow, beautiful dog and beautiful posts! LOVE the teapot X

  48. Thank you! We enjoy sharing it!

  49. ladyfi Says:

    What a beautiful dog. Wonder what it is that he sees?

  50. Who knows. I do know that he generally doesn’t react that way even with he doesn’t know. But I don’t think it’s bad. Just different to him.

  51. Sara T Says:

    I got chills reading about the dog’s reaction! Clearly the plantation is haunted 😉

  52. Well…. We think it might be. : )

  53. Hi! Enjoying your blog! Thanks for visiting mine. By the way, is the plantation Mt Vernon?

  54. Thank you! I appreciate you reblogging our blog! Now the fun can be shared! Nope the plantation is not Mt Vernon. It was because of Mt Vernon that the town across the river was not selected. George Washington wanted the Capital to be closer to his home. I will be posting a new blog this evening and another clue. Thanks again for coming along on this journey with us!

  55. Vanessa Says:

    Very cool! I’ll look forward to seeing what others things have happened! I’m in Mathews County and racking my brains trying to think of which plantation it could be….

  56. Thank you! I can give you a small hint. You are about two hours from this plantation.

  57. Vanessa Says:

    Hmmm… It isn’t Mt. Stuart is it?

  58. Nope, sorry, not Mt. Stuart.

  59. Reblogged this on EMPOWERED RESULTS ~ Creating A Difference In Our Communities… and commented:
    Hi Readers! Here is a trivia hunt you must participate! Let me tell you a bit about it…Apparently, our featured blogger purchased a historical B&B (Bed and Breakfast) and is currently renovating the place. So, she has been given out hints (which the 1st one was found,,,the name of the river) I found the answer to that while reading the comments while reading her earlier entries. Thus, my original answer is definitely probably wrong! But it so much fun to do the research. Tomorrow I will do more and ask about my findings.

    As many of my close friends know, I too want to open a B&B in a few years. So, I cannot wait until she unveils her location.

  60. Thank you for sharing my blog with your readers! We are very excited to share this journey with everyone. We have wanted to open an B&B for years so this is a dream come true! And we couldn’t have asked for a more perfect location! We would love to help once you do decide to open your B&B! It’s always helpful to have a mentor so you don’t repeat mistakes.

    We will be posting a new hint tonight so stay tune!

  61. Debby Says:

    Thanks for liking my work. I wish you every luck in your new very exciting venture and if I’m ever out that way, when you’re all up and running, I’d love to take some shots for you.

  62. Thank you! That sounds wonderful! I look forward to seeing more of your work!

  63. WOW the river view from the balcony is amazing!

  64. Thank you! It is a very beautiful sight! Even better is that the sun sets on the other side of the river so you could sit on the balcony and watch the sunset.

  65. Dianna Says:

    Oh, I’ll have to come at sunset to take pics for Sunset Sunday!

  66. That would be great. At 5pm each day we are going to have a Wine and Cheese Reception (along with our Mint Juleps from the past). That would be a great time to relax and watch the sun go down. We also have a resident couple of ospreys and there are bay eagles too.

  67. unique, old teacups are the ONLY item my mother collects. (she HATES collecting in general–thinks doodads are a waste!)

    The group you’ve acquired thus far are so reminsicent of hers!! When you set a pretty table for a party or gathering, you will DIE at how pretty they look and how the conversation immediately flows because of them. Excellent choice for your new digs!!!! Can’t wait to see more!

  68. Thank you! We are going to the plantation today so you know what that means. We have to stop at another antique store on the way. I am sure we will have some more to show soon!

  69. Did you purchase the plantation near Woodbridge? I know it was on the market in the past few years. Starts with an R. I think Rippon Lodge maybe? Dianne

  70. When are you opening? I’m ready to book my visit!

  71. We have to finish with this final contract. The attorney is dragging their feet on it. If we can get it done this week, we should be open by September 1st. We will start booking in August. We hope to see you there!

  72. orples Says:

    I would have to research your hints, but I’m thinking “Berkley Plantation”, although it is not all that far from Williamsburg. Why keep it a secret?

  73. Sorry, its not Berkley Plantation. It’s a little too close to Williamsburg to ours. You would need to go north about 2 or 3 hours. We aren’t keeping it a secret for fun or to drive others crazy. We are in the final negotiations for the lease of the plantation with the owners. We aren’t allow to share it yet until we sign that last contract. Believe me, it has been really hard to keep it a secret. But we hope to be able to reveal it this week.

  74. orples Says:

    I wish you the best of luck, both with the final contract, and then with the bed and breakfast itself. 😉

  75. Thank you! : )

  76. How exciting!…so beautiful and a beautiful story to tell and be told…love to visit someday!


  77. Thank you! We hope you can visit us soon! We will leave the light on!

  78. jmlindy422 Says:

    Hi, thanks for stopping by my blog, Snide Reply, and liking my post. Your plantation looks beautiful. I adore magnolias, they remind me of my mother who died about four years ago and was from Tennessee and Georgia.

  79. Thank you for stopping by ours! We love the magnolias as well. We have to move the driveway though and may end up losing one one or both of them.

  80. I hope Hurley and the house spirit are okay together. I have a poem in my new book about a spirit and how animals can sense it.

  81. You know I do know they do. I don’t think the spirit in the house is bad. Just friendly. I will have to see that poem!

    Will you help us Save our History?

  82. sudebaker Says:

    Fascinating! Thanks for sharing…and following my blog 🙂

  83. Thank you! We enjoyed sharing it with you. And we look forward to seeing more of your blog in the future!

  84. Jennifer Lay Says:

    Hmmmm 85 year old antique store owner with that witty sense of humor… sounds like Mr Merle McGinniss to me! Thanks so much for sharing Belle Grove with us! I’m enjoying reading your blog too! I can’t wait to visit there – Nick and I are talking about making it our tradition to come there every year for our anniversary! I can’t wait to see what you and Brett do with it!

  85. What a great tradition! We hope to see you both every year! Yes we adore Mr McGinniss! He is so cool!