The plantation is revealed!

14/06/12 7:07 PM

Welcome to Belle Grove Plantation Bed and Breakfast!

Belle Grove Plantation is located in Port Conway, Virginia, across the Rappahannock River from Historic Port Royal, Virginia. Belle Grove Plantation is one of many historic plantations located in King George County.

Belle Grove Plantation started as a part of a 5000 acre land grant given to Thomas Chetwood and John Prossor by the governor of Virginia, William Berkley in 1668. This was compensation for bringing 162 people from England to help expand the colonies in the New World. In 1670, 1000 acres was sold by John Prossor to Anthony Savage and his wife, Alice Stafford Savage. At the death of Anthony Savage, 700 acres would pass to his son-in-law, Frances Thornton and 300 was passed to Frances’s daughter, Margaret to help her establish her own farm with his first cousin, William Strother, II from the plantation next door. This family would hold that 700 acre plantation for 150 years and would become the Conway Family. The plantation received its official name from John Moore, second husband of Rebecca Catlett Conway Moore.

Belle Grove – River side view

On January 9, 1731, Eleanor Rose Conway was born to Francis Conway I and Rebecca Catlett Conway on this plantation. She would grow up on the plantation and loved it dearly. On September 15, 1749, she would marry James Madison Sr. of Orange County, Virginia. Shortly before giving birth to her first child, Nellie Madison, as she was called, traveled back to Belle Grove Plantation to be with her mother for the birth. On March 16, 1751, she gave birth to James Madison. “Jemmy” as he was later called, would grow up to become the fourth President of the United States and is known as the Father of the Constitution.

Belle Grove – River side view

In 1783, Captain Francis Conway III set aside 10 acres of land from Belle Grove to lay out what would become Port Conway. In 1784, the Virginia General Assembly passed an act to establish it. Port Conway was set up into 1 acre lots and had a ferry that transported passengers and goods across the Rappahannock to Port Royal.

Belle Grove – Plantation side – Front Portico

In 1790, Captain Francis Conway sold Belle Grove to John Hipkins of Port Royal. John was a wealthy merchant and ship owner. He purchased Belle Grove for his only child, Frances “Fanny” Hipkins Bernard and her husband, William Bernard. In 1791, John Hipkins built the center section of the current home. The home in which James Madison was born had burned to the ground several years before. Fanny would only live there for ten years. After her death, William remarried and moved his new wife and family to Mansfield Plantation in Stafford County, Virginia. Belle Grove would be rented until the second son; William Bernard II married and moved his family into the home. In 1822, William Bernard II passed and the home was once again leased until it passed to the husbands of his two daughters.

Belle Grove – Front Hallway

Belle Grove would be sold in 1839 to a very prominent family, The Turners. Carolinus Turner and his young family moved in and quickly made some significant changes to the house. It was this family that gave Belle Grove its porticos and wind extensions. Carolinus would also start acquiring the one acre lots of Port Conway until he had completely reunited the land to Belle Grove. He would donate part of that land to establish the Emmanuel Episcopal Church, which still stands near the entry to Belle Grove Plantation. It was during the Turner family’s ownership that Belle Grove would be involved in the Civil War. Because of the narrowing of the Rappahannock River at Port Conway and Port Royal, both the Union and Confederate Armies saw this area as a strategic location for crossing. The area exchanged hands many times. Union Gunboats would patrol the river and Belle Grove would serve as a Union Headquarters. Thankfully, Belle Grove Plantation escaped damage and remained intact after the war.

Belle Grove – Formal Parlor

In April, 1865, Belle Grove Plantation would once again become the backdrop for history. On morning of April 24, 1865, John Wilkes Booth and David Harold used the ferry at Belle Grove to cross the Rappahannock River to Port Royal and on to Garrett’s Farm just 3 miles away. That afternoon, the detachment pursuing Booth and Harold, arrived at Belle Grove Plantation. Here Carolinus allowed them to rest in the front yard and offered them a meal. One of the officers, Lt. Everton Congar, was even allowed to sleep in the front hallway of Belle Grove. A short time later, the detachment crossed on the same ferry as Booth and Harold, and on April 26, 1865, the detachment caught up with Booth and Harold at Garrett’s Farm, capturing Harold and killing Booth. The Turner Family would continue to own Belle Grove until Carolinus’ death in 1876. The plantation was then placed in trust until his wife’s death.

Belle Grove – Formal Dining Room

Belle Grove was sold in 1901 to Captain J.F. Jack, an experimental farmer from Los Angeles, California. Captain Jack had already purchased the Walsingham Plantation next door just a year earlier. His goal was to see if he could raise alfalfa in Virginia. He would sell Belle Grove in 1911 to Otto Brant and William Allen, also from California, who would use it to raise corn and wheat. Just a couple years later, Otto Brant would sell his interest to William Allen, who would turn Belle Grove into a dairy farm.

Belle Grove – Library

In 1929, William Allen sold Belle Grove to John Palmer Hooker and his wife Mary. John was a wealthy real estate broker from Chicago. They had purchased Belle Grove as a summer home. Mary quickly set about restoring Belle Grove back to the grand old plantation it once was. She installed landscaping and gardens, which she would use later as part of her well known garden tours in the spring. John would later join her and this would become their primary residence until his death in 1974. Mary passed away in 1981.

Summer Kitchen and Cooks Quarters – possibly built 1791

Ice House – possibly built 1791

Smokehouse – possibly built 1791

Belle Grove stood empty until 1987, when it was purchased by the Haas Family of Vienna, Austria. In 1997, the Haas Family started on a large restoration project that would completely restore and preserve Belle Grove for future generations. They took special care to ensure that the house was not damaged down to a special mortar that was used to keep from damaging the bricks of the house. The slate roof that once topped Belle Grove had to be removed because it was becoming too heavy for the frame of the house. It was replaced with a lighter copper roof. In the basement, steel beams were added to the subfloor to shore up the base of the house.

In July, 2011, Brett and Michelle Darnell found Belle Grove Plantation through an online advertisement. Just two days later, they were walking into the front hallway that Lt. Congar slept and many others passed through. It was love at first sight. Since that time, Brett and Michelle have worked tirelessly to create a business that will be worthy of this historically significant home.

Congratulations to the following for guessing the name of the plantation!

(chronological order of correct guess)


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

Answer:               The Rappahannock River

Hint Two:             George Washington was a frequent visitor to this plantation.

Answer:               George Washington was born just 16 miles from Belle Grove. His grandfather grew up at Mattox Creek, just nine miles from Belle Grove. We have been told, though not confirmed that Augustine Washington, father of George Washington was childhood friends of William Strother II of Millbank Plantation (next door to Belle Grove) and Margaret Thornton of Belle Grove Plantation. It was also stated in a 1930s survey that George Washington was a frequent visitor to Belle Grove.

Hint Three:         It’s not Williamsburg or the area around Williamsburg.

Answer:               Williamsburg is located two hours south from Port Conway, Virginia.

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

Answer:               President James Madison, Father of the Constitution and Thomas Lomax Hunter, Virginia State Poet Laureate 1948 and grandson of Carolinus Turner.

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

Answer:               Port Royal, Virginia. This town was under consideration for the Nation’s Capital, but was vetoed by George Washington. General Washington wanted the capital to be located closer to his home at Mount Vernon.

Hint Six:                An assassin passed through this plantation on the way to his death.

Answer:               John Wilkes Booth used the ferry on Belle Grove Plantation on April 24, 1865 to cross the Rappahannock River before traveling to Garrett’s Farm just three miles away. Two days later, he was killed there.

Hint Seven:         Name the Birds

Answer:               “James” and “Dolley”

Thank you to all for being so patient and joining us on this journey! Lots more information to come!

“Like” our Facebook page and see more pictures of Belle Grove Plantation

Posted by Michelle Darnell | in Year of the Virginia Historic Homes | 196 Comments »

196 Comments on “The plantation is revealed!”

  1. Ted Says:

    I knew where you were, and a good bit of your history. I just didn’t want to give before it was official.


  2. Thank you! If you have any history that I might have missed, please feel free to email me at I am always looking for personal stories or bits of history to add to my files!

  3. Wow, just stunning. I will be planning a visit to Virginia!!!

  4. Great! We will keep the light on! Thank you for joining us on the fun filled journey!

  5. A gorgeous work of art and a fantastic name!!

  6. Thank you! It is really something to see in person!

  7. So beautiful, majestic really. What a wonderful B&B this will be. It looks like it was painstakingly restored. Congratulations so happy for you!

  8. Thank you! You will have to come see us sometime and experience the majesty in person!

  9. When are you targeting opening the doors to guests, probably too early to even ask?

  10. We are hoping to be open by September 2012!

  11. Holy Cow, I hope to visit your lovely plantation soon.

  12. Lillie Says:

    The pictures of your ‘new’ place are simply amazing! I am sure that in person the house and grounds are even more so. Congratulations on getting the news that you are close enough to make it public now. That must feel great…! Yay! *dancing in happy circles*

  13. Thank you! We are dancing in circles too! Today was so hard to get through work so I could get home and let the cat out of the bag!

  14. Lloyd Parlee Says:

    Wow that’s huge. It’s beautiful. I’ve been to the Port Royal in Nova Scotia, hopefully I’ll make it up to your place in the future.

  15. Thank you! It is really something to see in person! We hope to see you some day!

  16. Mary Lou Says:

    Amazingly beautiful. Thanks for putting the answers to the hints.

  17. You are welcome! We wanted to make sure everyone had the answers. Now you must come see it in person!

  18. What a lovely estate! The history is amazingly rich. I hope we can get back down to that area again.

  19. We hope you can too! To see it in person is a moving experience!

  20. We were in parts of VA in March. Not sure when we’ll get back, but this B&B sure does increase the appeal!

  21. Whenever you can, we will always be here!

  22. elle Says:

    It’s absolutely stunning,and your interior color palette is spectacular! I wish you the very best.

  23. Thank you! Now the fun of filling it!

  24. domesticnews Says:

    Drop dead Gorgeous!! I had to find a map listing–you are 2,851 miles away, a 48 hour drive. Or a detour from a DC conference. 🙂 Those rooms are crying for some furniture, have fun decorating! And please keep posting, maybe even some recipes for those of us far away? I’m happy for you!

  25. Wow that would be some detour! Heres hoping you have a conference in DC sometime! I will be doing a lot more postings as we move through the process. I will try and put some of the recipes up too! Thank you!

  26. Debbie Says:

    So amazing! Thanks for sharing here for all of us to see. I need to plan a trip to Virginia 🙂 Congratulations.

  27. Thank you! We are so excited to finally be able to share it!

  28. thebeadden Says:

    That takes my breath away! So beautiful inside and out. The molding on the ceiling the trim is looks almost knee high! I thought our old house had high trim! Just stunning!

  29. Thank you! But you have to see it in person! It is so much more than any photo can show!

  30. So excited to see it at last. I can’t wait to stay there. What a beautiful place. Imagine a wedding there. Unforgettable!

  31. Thank you! We are so glad we can finally share it! It is an amazing place! We hope to have lots of weddings there! We look forward to meeting you some day!

  32. Everything including the name is magnificent! You will have no trouble filling it. Thank you for sharing and compliments on your accomplishment.

  33. Thank you! We hope you will have a chance to see it in person some day! It is so much more than any photo can show.

  34. jmmcdowell Says:

    What a beautiful property! And a fascinating history. The archaeology would be amazing, but sometimes it’s best to simply keep it preserved in place.

    You’re not too far from Montgomery County, Maryland. 🙂 I’m thinking this would be a beautiful place for a short getaway.

  35. I agree the archaelogy would be amazing. We have already found things just lying on top of the ground. I have made sure to pick it up, clean it and bag it. I have also noted where it came from on the property. I know that there is so much more to find. As we start doing the landscaping, I am sure we will uncover more. I have mindful of how we are going to work so we are able to recover things without destroying them. Then we will preserve them and display them in the future. I am going to do a post later on all this. We do hope that you will come down for a getaway! We look forward to meeting you!

  36. Wow, what an absolutely gorgeous building, and such history! You were right – you’re well on your way to convincing me to make the trip from Canada!

  37. Since you’re coming that far, I think you should stay a week! 😉 haha

  38. Oh, if I came, you’d likely be unable to get rid of me. I might have to start saving up…

  39. That is funny. Brett told the owners that once I got into this house, they would have to pull my dead fingers off of it. haha

  40. Tori McRae Says:

    Congratulations Michelle and Brett! Such exciting news after so much work and a long wait. I can see now why you’ve been on shopping trips. It’s a lot of house to fill. I’ve passed your blog site along to my daughter in Atlanta and hope at least she will get to visit Bella Grove even if I may not get to. I’m so happy for you both!
    Tori McRae

  41. Thank you! We are very excited about this adventure. And the shopping trips don’t hurt either 😉 We hope to see your daughter some day, but hope that maybe you too will be able to experience this grand old Virginia Home!

  42. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. We may have to make our way down there. Congratulations, and good luck!

  43. Thank you! We look forward to meeting you soon! We can’t wait to see really how beautiful this place is!

  44. NJ Vinoman Says:


    Absolutely beautiful. If I can’t make it, I will be sure to recommend it to friends.

  45. Thank you! We really appreciate you passing us along to others! We hope to also meet you one day too!

  46. twisterfish Says:


  47. Yes it is! You have to see it in person to really get why we have worked so hard!

  48. Stacey Says:

    I found your blog through a mutual friend on Facebook – I live in Southern Maryland, and we’re just about a hour from Belle Grove! I’ve driven past it for years on 301 going back and forth to college in Ronaoke VA, always noticed the little beautiful episcopal church and the historical marker for Belle Grove. I assumed for the longest time that there was nothing behind the church, until one day last winter when the trees were all bare, I noticed the house up above the river coming across the bridge from Port Royal. I’m so excited for your B&B to open! I will definitely be coming for a visit once you open 🙂 I love historical sites!

  49. Stacey Says:

    And I know how to spell “Roanoke”… silly me…

  50. You were just excited and typing too fast 😉

  51. Now you know how we felt when we first saw that beautiful home on the bluff. That church is also part of the property and history! I will be sharing alot of it in future blogs! We are so excited and are glad people are sharing this beautiful place with others! This will really help us keep this open to all who want to experience the history! We look forward to meeting you!

  52. Angeline M Says:

    Wow, do you feel like you’ve given birth?
    Beautiful plantation.! Congratulations.

  53. Wow… if that were the case, that was a really long labor! (started in July 2011) Thank you! It is very beautiful! We hope you can come and experience it some day!

  54. MixerUpper Says:

    Fascinating and gorgeous! We are not too far away (NJ), and I am definitely going to plan a visit when you open. How many guest rooms will you have?

    I will help a you make breakfast. 😉


  55. Great! I never turn down help in the kitchen! Right now we have four master suites in the main house. We are hoping to add some cottages at a later date. Yes, NJ isn’t too far to come for such a beautiful place!

  56. Laurie Says:

    Just beautiful! Best wishes to you!

  57. Thank you! We hope to see you one day!

  58. Laurie Says:

    Yes, that would be great!

  59. Oh how wonderful! I’m so excited for you! I one day hope to come to Virginia and visit this historically important house!

  60. Thank you! We hope to see you some day soon!

  61. beautiful!

  62. Thank you! There is so much more to share. Please check back for more post to come!

  63. You delivered what your readers were anticipating, AND HOW!
    What a find, what a history, what a beauty! Your journey to this point is over and the real fun has begun. Visit to Belle Grove Plantation is now in our ‘bucket list’! 🙂

  64. Thank you! We look forward to meeting you some day! If you think the pictures are great, wait until you see the house!

  65. Absolutely beautiful!

  66. Thank you! It is a wonderful place! We hope you can come some day and see it for yourself!

  67. thanks ♥

  68. What a beautiful place! It is easy to see why you have fallen in love with it!

  69. Thank you! It is something to see! We hope one day you too can come and fall in love with it!

  70. GrayFoxDown Says:

    My wife and I think it’s a beautiful place. We may get the old Mustang tuned-up and head on down to Belle Grove for a spell. Regards!

  71. Thank you! We would love to see your old Mustang drive up to the front portico! We’ll have the mint juleps waiting!

  72. jeff salter Says:

    I’m very impressed.
    I have a special place in my heart because I grew up in Covington LA on Madison St. which was named after that President. [The adjoining streets were Jefferson, Monroe, Jackson, Tyler, etc.]
    Those were wonderful years in my life and seeing the name “Madison” always brings them back. I’d love to stay at your B&B some day.
    And thanks for visiting my blog today!

  73. Thank you! We feel the same about the name Madison. We seemed to have been lead to this place, first by way of another Belle Grove in Middletown, VA and then by Montpelier. Whatever lead us here, we are in love and can’t wait for the first of our “friends” to come and stay! We also look forward to seeing more of your blog! Btw, we love LA! We spent our 25th wedding anniversary in and around New Orleans!

  74. jeff salter Says:

    I grew up on the “north shore” across Lake Ponchartrain from N.O. … in Covington. And, another interesting tie-in: for about 26 years in the Shreveport area, we lived on a street which made a right angle with Belle Grove [don’t recall if it was ave., or St., or Dr.]

  75. Oh wow! You must come to the plantation! Its in your destiny!

  76. How exciting! This is an amazing place and an amazing purchase. I would love to visit you when you’re up and running (we’re not that far away!). Congratulations, and best of luck to you in this exciting endeavor.

  77. Thank you! We would love to have you come and see us! We look forward to sharing it with you!

  78. swagataraha Says:

    Congratulations! The plantation has such a rich history and you both are so passionate about the place. If I ever visit Virginia, I will know where to stay.

  79. Thank you. We do love the history here! And yes, please consider a stop to see us! We would love to have you!

  80. Beautiful, wonderful history, nothing else to say than WOW. Congratulations. Hope I can get there some day.

  81. Thank you! We hope to see you some day! It is so much more that pictures or words can say!

  82. WOW. Gorgeous! I hope I can go visit one day

  83. Thank you! We hope you can visit one day too! This house is something to see!

  84. I believe that 🙂

  85. foxress Says:

    Congratulations! It looks beyond stunning! I’ll be in Va next month…too soon. I’ll definitely have to make a trip back after you open. It looks so wonderful.

  86. Thank you! You will have to keep me informed of when you come. Maybe we can make some arrangements for you to get a quick peak!

  87. Wow! It looks amazing! I was excited so I can’t imagine what you guys were. 🙂

  88. Thank you! We like to thing this house is amazing too. I have to tell you, after almost one year of seeing Belle Grove, I still get so excited seeing it again. It is just something about it that draws you in! We hope one day, you too can come and feel that excitment!

  89. What an amazing looking building and one that is steeped in history. I do hope that your venture is a great success.

  90. Thank you! Yes, there is so much history here! I have been doing research since last July and every time I think I have all there is to it, I find more just waiting to be discovered! We look forward to sharing these discoveries and all the fun of opening a new business!

  91. Amy Says:

    WOW! Such a beautiful, beautiful building! Congratulations 🙂

  92. Thank you! We hope you can come and experience it in person! Pictures and words just aren’t enough!

  93. Jolly good show what!. Look forward to visiting you next time I am over in the colony 😉

  94. Thank you! We’ll have a nice cup of tea waiting on you!

  95. lvaletutto Says:

    Lovely photos of the plantation. I’m glad you were able to reveal it to everyone and I hope your business will be booming as soon as you are able to get all the logistics squared away. Just out of curiosity how many people guessed the name of the plantation correctly?
    Laura V.

  96. Thank you! We had four people that guess correct. I had to hold their comments until we revealed the plantation though. But now everyone knows!

  97. lvaletutto Says:

    Oh just wondering because I guessed correctly as well (by email) but didn’t see my name listed.
    Laura V.

  98. Did I miss you! I am so sorry! I thought I got every one! I will add you to our list.

  99. lvaletutto Says:

    Laura V.

  100. bentneedle Says:

    Oh. My. God. It’s gorgeous, and what a story! When can I come visit?? I’m off to find your FB page to see if it says when you’ll be open for business, but if it doesn’t I hope you post all that info soon!

  101. Thank you! We are hoping for September, 2012. We are just hoping to get everything done as soon as we can. But you know what they say about the best laid plans!

  102. Absolutely stunning! And I love the history behind the place. I’ll be sure to come and stay when I finally get over to the US (I’m an Aussie!)

  103. Thank you! We have a lot of Aussies following us! Great People! We hope that you will have a chance to come and experience this wonderful house! It is so worth the trip!

  104. Wow. Just wow.

  105. Thank you! We feel the same!

  106. What an amazing place to have as your business and home. There is so much history here. My wife and I will come.

  107. Thank you! We look forward to meeting you some day! It is an amazing place to see in person. It just blows us away with all the beauty and the history.

  108. What an amazing historical story and a gorgeous home. The adventure is just beginning and I’m looking forward to hearing more.

  109. Thank you! It is amazing what history we are finding! We look forward to sharing it with you. Thank you for joining us on this journey!

  110. Spoon Feast Says:

    Finally the cat is out of the bag! I am so intrigued by the church and the kitchen out buildings. What a wonderful place!
    I told Robert we have to make a long weekend trip. I love the history you are providing us. Can you ‘feel it’ there? I love places where history washes over you like a wave.
    Good for you guys!

  111. Thank you! We are so glad to let that cat out! The church and the outbuilding are truly something to see! We are going to do a feature post on each of them. It’s too much to do in one! We look forward to meeting you and Robert! Can we “feel it”? I would have to say a very big YES to that. It’s like an electric charge as soon as you pull in. It’s so thick at times, you can almost cut it with a knife. I just have such a hard time really telling you how it feels. You just have to come and see what I mean.

  112. Congratulations. You’ve made it! It must be a wonderful feeling to live in a beautiful house with so much history. Good luck and I hope to visit one day.

  113. Thank you! And we appreciate you following along for the whole time! We know it was getting hard to wait, but we are glad that its over and we can really share it all!

  114. It looks absolutely lovely, Congratulations!!

  115. Thank you! We are so happy to be able to share the information with everyone! We can’t wait now to really show you what its all about!

  116. Beautiful! And I love all the history.

  117. Thank you! We do too! There is such great history here and we are excited to share it with everyone!

  118. Wow, what a spectacular bit of history. It’s wonderful when individuals preserve our past, rather than pave it over because it “will take too much work, cost too much money” or doesn’t meet some other cost-benefit analysis guidelines. The fact is, this is a one-of-a-kind structure. I understand that we can’t conserve everything from the past, but once something like this is gone, it’s gone. Thank you for helping to preserve our past.

  119. Thank you! We feel just as you about this house. The history here is beyond your wildest ideas. And its not just this house, its also three very special outbuilding that were built in the 1790s. To have all three is just amazing! And as we start to restore them, I can’t wait to see what story it will tell!

  120. chrisstov Says:

    Congratulations and all the best for the future. Look forward to seeing how things progress.

  121. Thank you! I know you have been along with us on this journey for awhile. Thank you for joining us!

  122. Absolutely breathtaking!! We wish you well on your adventure and look forward to following your journey. Walt and I have put Belle Grove Plantation on our travel bucketlist! Best of Luck!!

  123. Thank you! We can’t wait to meet you and Walt! It’s funny, when I show the picture I carry of Belle Grove, I get the same reaction.. an open gasping month! I can’t wait to see that the reaction will be once you see it in person!

  124. divadicucina Says:

    It is gorgeous! And what a fabulous history to go along with. Congratulations! I have loved reading your posts all leading up to the big reveal.

  125. Thank you! We have enjoyed writing this blog and enjoyed meeting such wonderful people! We look forward to sharing this journey and hope that one day you can come experience this wonderful plantation!

  126. I haven’t been following your blog for long, but I’m so excited for you! Doing a happy dance on your behalf. 🙂

  127. Thank you! May we join that happy dance!!

  128. Ah Belle Grove. I got the river right. The history of our state never ceases to amaze me. Good luck with your endeavor. Dianne

  129. Thank you! We had a lot of people that were really close! It was so hard not to tell!

  130. Looks like a nice starter home… I wonder what the today’s translation in economic development would be for bringing 162 jobs?

    Congrats and good luck! It truly is a really majestic and gorgeous estate!

  131. Thank you! I don’t know, but maybe one day we can offer 162 jobs from the growth of this plantation! Wouldn’t that be grand!

  132. Wow. That is so beautiful!

  133. Thank you! We hope that one day you can come and experience this beautiful plantation!

  134. afracooking Says:

    STUNNING! I wish you the best of luck with this amazing adventure!

  135. Thank you! We really think so too! We hope some day you can come and see how wonderful it is in person!

  136. How exciting! I can’t wait to come and visit!

  137. Thank you! We can’t wait to meet you!

  138. Jennifer Says:

    I am of the ‘open gaping mouth’ variety. That is just iuncredible. A wonderful history, beautifully restored and sure to be a winner in all stakes. Congrats and fgood luck on your new journey 🙂

  139. Thank you! We were the “open gaping mouth” too! This journey has just be one of the best of our lives. We have had highs and lows, but we have always believed in this plantation. It is so nice too see that others see the same as we do in it!

  140. How absolutely beautiful! You are living one of my dreams; I hope you enjoy every minute of it. I’ve been enjoying your blog tremendously.

  141. Thank you! It has been a dream of ours for many years. We hope that as we share our journey it will inspire others to chase theirs! Thank you for coming along on this ride!

  142. Congratulations! How amazingly beautiful it is! Excited for it to open.

  143. Thank you! We look forward to everyone coming and seeing how truly beautiful this house really is!

  144. Lissa Rabon Says:

    Wow! You did it! Congrats!

  145. Thank you! Yay! We can share it now!!

  146. It takes my breath away–so beautiful! You should be so proud 🙂

  147. Yes we have to say it feels that same way for us! We can’t wait for everyone to come and see this true piece of history!

  148. Love it! Especially the Riverside view.

  149. You know most are drawn to the Plantation side because of all the details, but the River side has such a quiet stately look. You know that side is the considered the front of the house too!

  150. Thanks for all of the likes too!

  151. No problem, we enjoy reading others blogs!

  152. Victoria Says:

    What a wonderful place with a wonderful history. Here’s to a wonderful future! Congratulations! Beautiful!

  153. Thank you! We look forward to a great future with a lot of new friends!

  154. oceannah Says:

    It is beautiful!! What a great place to be having a B&B!

  155. Thank you! We think so too! We hope you can come and see it for yourself some day!

  156. Myrna Says:

    What an amazing adventure you have been on for the last 10 months! The restoration of the house looks amazing! I’m so glad that you came to my blog and your name piqued my interest. I have been reading your posts every since. I wish you much success with your B&B! Afternoon tea sounds wonderful in your special home.

  157. Thank you! If you think Afternoon teas are wonderful, wait until you see my next post! We went shopping again!

  158. Lillie Says:

    I can’t wait to see what you found! I’m holding my breath in happy anticipation. When I make it over to Virginia someday to visit you, I will want to see your tea cups and china collection FIRST. Then you can show me to my room.. *giggle*

  159. You got it!

  160. rockitruby Says:

    Wow. Just wow. Absolutely gorgeous!

  161. Thank you! We get “Wow” a lot 😉 But to experience it in person.. “WOW is just not enough.

  162. Really amazing! So beautiful! All the best to you! 🙂

  163. Thank you! We can’t wait to share it for real. Soon!

  164. Thank you! We are looking forward to sharing it for real soon!

  165. Wow! My heart stopped a little when I saw these pictures. I will come stay some day and drink tea out of your beautiful teacups!

  166. Thank you! We are very excited to share this plantation with everyone!

  167. this place is absolutely beautiful! my family lives up north so i can’t wait to someday stay at your bed and breakfast during a visit! it will be a wonderous treat!

  168. Thank you! We look forward to meeting you some day! This is a great place to visit and just to relax!

  169. Your bed and breakfast is so gorgeous. I wish I could stay there! Quite a few states away I’m afraid. Best of luck. Thank you for stopping by my blog today.

  170. Thank you! We hope that if you are in the area, you might stop by and see us. If not, we hope you will enjoy following us on this amazing journey!

  171. bookzine Says:

    Very interesting – thanks for sharing.

  172. Thank you for stopping by! We hope see you again sometime!

  173. Ashima Says:

    Wow!! Congratulations.. it’s so beautiful.. and so big and so so steeped in history 🙂
    We are coming to US next week for a 2-week vacation.. but since it’s just 2 weeks we will be busy with family .. my sisters have already booked a vacation home somewhere close to Jersey, would have loved to stay in your’s and experience all the history!

    Good Luck!

  174. Thank you! We would love to have you come and stay some time! We should be open (hopefully) around September 1st. Fingers crossed! Maybe next time!

  175. Hello,
    “Ooooh my I do say, how beeeeautiful your home is”
    Absolutely wonderful, would love to see it furnished, I just love period homes and this one is amazing. Hopefully I can visit one day! Good Luck! 😀

  176. Thank you! We are looking forward to furnishing it! Just wait until we start posting pictures of those purchases!

  177. OMG! I can’t wait, I am sure I will see period pieces… BTW I loved the tea cups! I am a collector myself hehehe Have a great day! 😀

  178. Congratulations!!! It’s GORGEOUS! Can’t wait to see it in person some day! 😀

  179. Thank you! We can’t wait to meet you and share this wonderful plantation!

  180. What a gorgeous place! Congratulations on this wonderful endeavor! Did you ever read Rita Mae Brown’s biography of Dolley Madison? Great story!

  181. Thank you! No I haven’t, but it has been recommended to me before. I just need to get the time to read it! I will have to go into the library at the plantation, then some day. 🙂

  182. Claire D Says:

    How exciting – have been following you for a bit but when i saw the photos it made following your journey so much more fun. I look forward to continuing reading your adventure and one day hopefully visiting your beautiful B&B. Best wishes as you move forward with your new life!

  183. Thank you! When I found the pictures, I was so excited. To see the face of people that lived there just floors me! We hope that you will enjoy our future postings as well and can come experience it some day!

  184. No Map Girl Says:

    Gorgeous! And fascinating history!

  185. Thank you! There’s lots more to come! Please stop by again!

  186. Sarah Says:

    I’m not usually someone who uses the word ‘wow’ – but Wow! No wonder you are so excited about your new venture. The plantation look absolutely beautiful – well worth waiting for.

  187. Thank you! I have to say I know exactly what you mean. To see it in person though, “Wow”!

  188. Russ L Says:

    Wow! Great plantation! We are going to have to visit someday! Thanks for visiting my blog, I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  189. Thank you! We love this plantation and can’t wait to share it with you one day! We also look forward to seeing more of your blog!

  190. This has been a very interesting story a walk back into history,if you will.
    Thanks for sharing.

  191. Thank you! It has been a true walk back into history! Wait until I post what I did yesterday!

  192. looking forward to reading it…thnx

  193. Jim Heimbach Says:

    To Brett and Michelle–I stopped over at the house today but nobody was home, so I left a note. I’m a member of the Port Royal Town Council with responsibility for getting our webpage on-line, and hope to include the Belle Grove Plantation B&B on our Local Businesses page. (Though I understand you’re not up and running yet–but soon we all hope!!!) You have a GREAT house–my wife and I received a tour through it about five years ago because we were using the architect and contractor who renovated Belle Grove to do our house (Riverview, in the town across the river from you). Anyway, welcome to the area!! Please contact me, and maybe we can get together to introduce you to Historic Port Royal, the Ruritans, and other local exotica!

  194. Jim, Thank you for your wonderful message. We are not at the house just yet. Just the caretaker is there. We are still waiting for the contract to be finalized. (argh!) It seems to be taking forever! But we do appreciate you stopping by to see us. We are planning on being at the house this weekend so maybe we can meet up at that time. Brett and I would love to meet the Historic Society and others!

  195. What a treasure (and Hurley is a gem!)! Will add Belle Grove to the Pinterest Travel Bucket List!

  196. Thank you so much for sharing us! It means a lot!