Mother’s Day Tea

May. 11th 2014


 “All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.”   ―     Abraham Lincoln

The modern American holiday of Mother’s Day was first celebrated in 1908, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother in Grafton, West Virginia. Her campaign to make “Mother’s Day” a recognized holiday in the United States began in 1905, the year her beloved mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, died. Anna’s mission was to honor her own mother by continuing work she had started and to set aside a day to honor mothers, “the person who has done more for you than anyone in the world.” Anna’s mother, Ann Jarvis, was a peace activist who had cared for wounded soldiers on both sides of the Civil War and created Mother’s Day Work Clubs to address public health issues.


Anna Jarvis

Due to the campaign efforts of Anna Jarvis, several states officially recognized Mother’s Day, the first in 1910 being West Virginia, Jarvis’ home state. In 1914 Woodrow Wilson signed the proclamation creating Mother’s Day, the second Sunday in May, as a national holiday to honor mothers. In a thank-you note to Wilson Jarvis wrote of a “great Home Day of our country for sons and daughters to honor their mothers and fathers and homes in a way that will perpetuate family ties and give emphasis to true home life.”

Today at Belle Grove Plantation, we celebrated Mother’s Day with an Afternoon Tea for some wonderful ladies and their family and friends.







Today we served

Avocado-Cilantro Chicken Salad on Crusty Croissants

Lemon-Line Salmon Cups

Asparagus-Virginia Ham Dijon Crescent Roll-ups

Wild Blueberry Mini Scones

Orange-Cranberry Mini Scones



Italian Orange Cream Puff Pastries

Cream Puffs

Mini Sugar Cookies with Icing

Vanilla Madeleines shaped into a Clam and Pearl


We would like to take the time to wish each mother a very special day tomorrow.

Thank you to all mothers, who love, kindness and endless patience has shaped the world we have lived in and the world that will be follow us.


Posted by Michelle Darnell | in Darnell History, Food and Recipes | 2 Comments »

Final Update

Nov. 20th 2012

My mother peacefully passed away this morning at 5am.

She was surrounded by love and family.

Rebecca Boykin
1946- 2012

We have finalized the funeral for Monday.

I have been asked to give the eulogy.

If you would like to see a copy of her obituary, you may view it on the funeral home’s website site:

This pass week has been one of the most difficult, yet most beautiful times I have ever had. To be given the chance to spend nine days with her, to make peace with her and to help her in her final hours was something I would never trade with anyone. I held her hand, talked her through moments of distress, washed and brushed her hair and cared for her as she moved through the process of dying.

Soon we will restart our lives, return to the routines and goals we had laid before us. As we work towards our dream of opening Belle Grove Plantation, I know that my mother will be with me and will be proud of what we are doing. She never had a chance to see it in person, but knew how much passion we had for it and “saw” it through our eyes.

To every one of you who sent me love, support, hugs, prayers and words of encouragements, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to each of you. Your words helped me through one of the most difficult times in my life. I came to lean on them as I sit in my mother’s room hour after hour. Thank you just doesn’t seem enough. But Thank you from the deepest part of my heart.

To my sisters Shay and Catherine – I love you both so much. Together we have come through this past week. Thank you for being my shoulder to cry on, my guardian to tell me to eat and go to sleep. I am so blessed to have each of you in my life.

To my brother Patrick and brother-in-law Andrew- I love you both. Through your support, love and endless hugs, we have been able to get through this last week. I am so thankful for you both!

To my daughter Alexa and son Tyler – I love you both. In losing my mother and your grandmother, I now cherish our time together. It goes oh so fast.

To my husband Brett – I love you with everything that I am. You have been there to pick up the slack and to be my rock. You have carried on with what needed to be done with our business and home and I thank you for it with all of my heart.

To my mother – I love you and miss you so much. It is hard to think that I won’t hear your voice or feel your hugs again. But you have made me strong and I will go on.

Posted by Michelle Darnell | in Year of the Virginia Historic Homes | 234 Comments »