News Release from Governor’s Office! Belle Grove Plantation Made the Video!

Dec. 12th 2012

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December 12, 2012

Video VA Exe Mansion


Governor and Mrs. McDonnell Launch Year of the Historic Home Website

RICHMOND—Governor McDonnell and Mrs. McDonnell are pleased to announce the launch of the Year of the Historic Home website.  In September, Governor and Mrs. McDonnell signed a proclamation recognizing 2013 as the Year of the Historic Home and the new website,, features information on the participating houses around Virginia and tools for citizens to interact with Virginia’s rich cultural history.

The Governor and First Lady are pleased to initiate this new effort to recognize the importance of the many historic homes around the Commonwealth as they commemorate the bicentennial of the Executive Mansion. Virginia has more than 100 historic homes that span from pre-Colonial times through the Modern era, all of which provide an abundance of cultural, historical, and architectural information and promote an understanding of, as well as an interest in, Virginia’s story. Most of these homes are open to the public as museums and historic sites, and have drawn visitors from around the country and even from around the world.  Included on the new website is a video PSA graciously donated by PixelDust studios in Washington DC, featuring First Lady Maureen McDonnell and the voice of Salvatore Vecchio, a voice actor of many National Geographic series.

In addition to the interactive features on the new website, the Virginia Time Travelers Program has also been revived for this initiative and students and families are encouraged to participate. In order to achieve the status of Master Traveler, students must download a passport from the website, visit eight participating homes in Virginia, and mail the completed passport to the Executive Mansion. All Master Travelers will be recognized on the website, receive a certificate signed by the Governor, and be entered to win additional prizes.

Both the website and the Time Travelers Program are part of the initiative supported by the Secretary of Natural Resources, the Department of Historic Resources, the Virginia Association of Museums, and the historic homes in Virginia. By highlighting the educational value of these homes and promoting tourism to the sites, the Governor and the First Lady intend to ensure their vitality and enhance their value as Virginia cultural assets.

Managers of historic homes that should be included in this celebration or are currently listed and would like information updated should contact Audrey Trussell at

Check out the Year of the Virginia Historic Home Video!

Video Belle Grove

Belle Grove Plantation ~ Birthplace of James Madison

Made the Video!

Video Link

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Posted by Michelle Darnell | in Year of the Virginia Historic Homes | 48 Comments »

Lazy Sunday

Jul. 1st 2012

Today, I decided to jump in the car and head out for a drive. This time, it lead me to a whole nother state! North Carolina. We live in Chesapeake, Virginia, about 15 minutes from the North Carolina border. When I was looking at antiques yesterday, someone brought up Elizabeth City, North Carolina. So I thought I would head down there and to Edenton to check out what I could find as far as antiques. Sadly, most of antique stores were closed. I did find one in Hertford, North Carolina. (Thank Goodness for GPS or I would have never found it) I pulled into this small town and found Hertfordshire Antiques. It is located in a historic area of this town in an old store front. I was so excited! I found my first Mint Julep Cup! Those suckers are hard to find!!

Hertfordshire Antiques Hertford NC

Afterwards I headed down to Edenton, North Carolina. While I didn’t find any antique stores, I did find some wonderful old houses.

Pembroke Hall 1850

Wessington House 1850

Dixon-Powell House 1895

Edmund Conger House 1910

Elliot-Sitteson House 1895

The Granny Bond House 1873

Beverly Hall 1810

Beverly Hall 1810 Side Door

Then I headed back to Virginia, stopping for a quick view of Elizabeth City, North Carolina. Here is one of the best houses there!

Roninson Mansion 1914 Elizabeth City, NC

Posted by Michelle Darnell | in Year of the Virginia Historic Homes | 68 Comments »