Housewarming Party

Jun. 7th 2013

As we draw closer to our opening, we are finding some needs that we would like to ask your help on.


So we have decided to have a “Virtual Housewarming” Party.

For those of you that are not familiar with a housewarming party, here is a little information about it from Wikipedi:

“A housewarming party is a party held within approximately 180 days of moving into a new residence. It is an occasion for the hosts to present their new home to their friends, and for friends to give gifts to furnish the new home. Housewarming parties are generally informal; usually there are no planned activities besides a possible tour. 

It is considered proper etiquette to invite guests at least a few days, and up to three weeks, in advance.

Gifts are customary but not necessary. They usually consist of something for the new house (such as a potted plant, a vase, or a picture  frame) or something to be enjoyed during the party (such as a bottle of whiskey, a bouquet of flowers, or a gift basket of foodstuffs). Bluebirds are often given as they are believed to bless the new house with happiness and good luck. In modern day it is also customary to provide bluebird-themed paraphernalia such as china. Pineapples are also common housewarming gifts and the pineapple has served as a symbol of hospitality and warm welcome through the history of the Americas.

In East Lancashire as in parts of Scotland (particularly Ayrshire and Banffshire) a frog is seen as a giver of good luck. A gift of a frog is often made as a wedding or housewarming gift for good luck and fertility.

The term “housewarming” is descended literally from the act of warming a new house, in the days before central heating. Each guest would bring firewood, and build fires in all the available fireplaces, offering firewood as a gift. Aside from warming the house, this was also believed to repel evil spirits by creating a protective atmosphere of warmth. Uninhabited houses were considered targets for vagrant spirits, and therefore required a certain level of cleansing before a house was safe to be occupied by young children.”


What we would like to ask is your help in stocking our library. We have five sections of shelves with five long shelves each. This is allot of book to find and buy. And personally we would like to have a good mix that are recommended reading from others.

So this is where you come in.

We would like to break each section down to catalogs.

Here is what they are:

Books that James Madison would have had in his library – These are books that James Madison would have had to read in his personal library. Or it could have been books that Thomas Jefferson would have allowed him to borrow. Here is a link of reading material Thomas Jefferson wrote about :

Books on the Founding Fathers (and Mothers) and the Constitution – These are books that are about the great men and women who help form America. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, George Mason, Martha Washington, Dolley Madison and on. We would also like to have books on the Constitution or the Bill of Rights.

Books on the military events and American History – Since Belle Grove’s history spans every period in American history, we would like this section to have books about the periods in American History. Of course the American Revolution and Civil Wars touched Belle Grove because they happened here, we would like to have several on these. But we would also like to have the rest too because it would have touched each family in some way.

Books on Virginia and American Life – These books would talk about life in Virginia and in America. Send us a book about your great state or your favorite Virginia sights.

General Interest Books – These can be of any interest. Fact or Fiction. Good stories that you think people would like to read. You may also like to send us a copy of a book you have had published.

A Couple of Requests

Because these books are going to be placed in this historic home, we would like to acknowledge you for making this donation to our library. In the front of the book, we ask that you place the following information:

“This book was donated to Belle Grove Plantation by (your name) from (City, State and Country) on (date) to help complete their library.”

This will help us preserve your place in our history.

We would also like to request that your book be a hardback book that isn’t too large. If the book is too large, it may not fit on the shelf. Paperback books are nice and inexpensive, but as people read them, they get worn over time. We would like your book to last as long as possible.

Books we already have

So we don’t get repeat books, once we receive a book, we will list it on our a blog page. Look on our left column under “About Us”. It is listed as “Housewarming for the Library

Here is what we have picked up so far:

The Asent of George Washington – John Ferling

Madison Writings – Jack N. Rakove

A Slave in the White House – Elizabeth Dowling Taylor

The Debate on the Constitution – Bernard Barilyn

James Madison – Garry Wills

War at Our Doors – Rebecca Campbell Light

Images of America Virginia Presidential Homes – Patrick L. O’Neill

Places I Have Known Along the Rappahannock River – Beverley C Pratt

Come Retribution – William A Tidwell

A Perfect Union – Catherine Allgor

Gordonsville Virginia – William H.B. Thomas

Orange Virginia – William H.B. Thomas

Dearest Friend  A Life of Abigail Adams – Lynne Withey

Patriots of the UpCountry – William H.B. Thomas

The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas

Dolores Claiborne – Stephen King

The Dead Zone – Stephen King

Pet Sematary – Stephen King

The Tommyknockers – Stephen King

To get your books to us, please ship them to the following address:

Belle Grove Plantation Bed and Breakfast

9221 Belle Grove Drive

King George, Virginia 22485


Brett and I would like to thank you so much for supporting us throughout this last year and continuing to follow along with us as we reach that all important Opening Day. We look forward to see each of you at the plantation and sharing this beloved plantation with the rest of the world!

To see more of Belle Grove Plantation, please view our virtual tour at

Keep up with us on our Facebook Fan Page

Facebook Link

Please “Like and Share Us” with your friends!

Posted by Michelle Darnell | in Darnell History | 28 Comments »