The End of a Great Weekend

Mar. 22nd 2013
The James Madison Museum

The James Madison Museum

After we finish visiting with the Madison’s at Montpelier, we headed over to Orange, Virginia. Orange is just five miles from Montpelier. We have stayed here several times before. If you have been following the blog, you might remember the Holiday House Inn and Mayhurst. But this time we wanted to go to the first bed and breakfast we stayed in, Chestnut Hill Bed and Breakfast.

Before we made our way there, we made a stop at The James Madison Museum, another attraction in Orange that we enjoy seeing. At this museum, you can see items from James and Dolley Madison as well as others from contemporaries of theirs. The museum as has exhibitions that they carry for a limited time. On this visit, we wanted to see the Victorian exhibition.


Dress, Jacket and Cape

Dark blue taffeta with velvet trim and decorative buttons.

Worn by Miss Mildred Ann Bond when she wed Mr. Edward Virgil Huffman on January 10, 1886



This chair was owned and used in the White House by President James Buchanan



2 Pair of High-Top Shoes

(left) two-toned black leather with grey/green brushed leather buttons

(right) black leather and black satin lace-ups



16 piece composition with bisque head, brown human hair wig and brown glass eyes.

Manufactured by Guttmann & Schiffnie (1897-1924)

The doll has original undergarments and wearing a period party dress



Carriage Parasol

Black silk parasol with lace covering and fully lined; Chinese ivory handle not carved or engraved. Carriage parasols were smaller and could be folded by sliding the brass fitting.


Hump-Back Dome Trunk

The dome lid trunk allowed for the packing of bulky items such as lady’s hat and it prevented other trunks from being put on top. The pictures are ancestors of the lender. Circa 1870s


Deck Chair

Early version of the folding lawn chair, it is hinged to fold in a number of positions. It was made in 1876 of walnut and caned back and seat with beautifully carved sunburst and flower petals.

To see more of the exhibition,

you will need to hurry to the James Madison Museum in Orange.

It is here for just a short time.


After our visit to the museum, we headed to Chestnut Hill Bed and Breakfast. We were excited to see our favorite innkeepers, Troy and Kathleen. Most people don’t know this, but they have been mentoring us since the beginning. We first spoke to them shortly after seeing Belle Grove for the first time. It is these two wonderful people that we come back to with questions and who have helped guide us with their experiences. Brett and I can’t tell you what wonderful examples they have set in helping others reach for their dreams, just as they have gotten theirs. Brett and I hope we too will be able to help guide others as they have us.

Chestnut Hill is a wonderful B&B that sits at the top of a small hill. Many may not know this of Chestnut Hill, but this historic home was purchased by Kathleen and Troy through a city auction for just one dollar. But to see it today, you would never know that it was in such bad need of repair! Wonderful rooms and a grand breakfast await the tired travelers. In the evening, they serve some of the most delicious appetizers along with their wine social!


We arrived just towards the end of the wine social and had the chance to meet several wonderful guests who would also be staying at Chestnut Hill with us. We met people from Hampton, Stafford and Richmond. But it isn’t unusual to see couples from across the United States staying here.


For dinner we headed over to our favorite place in Orange, Elmwood at Sparks. We have been here three times now, but you wouldn’t know that if you saw us enter. We were greeted by staff who knew who we were and got a wave from the open kitchen from the Executive Chef, Randy Cooper. This time we set at the back counter so we could watch the kitchen staff at their craft. To see some of their food leaving the kitchen, it was just too beautiful to eat!

We started our dinner with our favorite, Shrimp and Grits! I just love Chef Randy’s version of this classic Southern dish. Being back by the kitchen, I was able to pull together the recipe for Belle Grove!! What a great dish to serve to our guest!!


We were able to order our favorite entrees, Wild Mushroom Pasta for Brett and Filet Mignon for me. These are the same dishes we have ordered each of the time we have come. Believe me, they have several other wonderful dishes, but we just love these entrees!



For dessert, we ordered Sweet Crepes with Port Butter Sauce, Raspberry Sauce and Vanilla Ice Cream. We should have started with dessert!! Wow! It was just so good that we could have licked the plate if it had not been bad manners.

Our Room at Chestnut Hill B&B

Our Room at Chestnut Hill B&B

Chestnut Hill B&B

Chestnut Hill B&B

Chestnut Hill B&B

Chestnut Hill B&B

After a great night’s sleep and filling breakfast, we sat down for a quick conversation with Kathleen and Troy. As other guests came to say good-bye, it was funny to see each couple lingering in the hall as if they just didn’t want to leave.

Funny, we had the same feeling.

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Posted by Michelle Darnell | in Darnell History | 10 Comments »