Gloucester County

09/09/12 4:07 PM

Holly Hill Antiques

In the coming weeks, we are going to be up at the plantation with several activities that we have going on, so we took advantage of this down weekend. Brett caught up on a few chores at our house in Chesapeake as well as catching a few college football games. I decided to head out for a day of antique shopping. I have just a few more plates to match to tea cups to complete my sets for the afternoon tea at Belle Grove. So I headed up to Gloucester to hit a few places I haven’t been yet.

My first stop was in Yorktown at The House Key Antiques and Interior Design. This is the company that will be assisting us in filling Belle Grove with wonderful antiques and interior décor. I spent about an hour discussing my ideas and wants for Belle Grove and getting some “homework” for us to do in order to help Susie and George in fulfilling our desired look for the plantation. With us having to wait four months for zoning, we are going to do as much as we can to prepare and find what we need so we don’t have too much more of a delay in opening Belle Grove.

I then headed to a local flea market called “Stagecoach Market and Antiques” located in Gloucester, Virginia. We have driven past this flea market many times on the way to Belle Grove and I wanted to stop and see what they had. There were some nice permanent shops there. One of these shops called “Catherine’s Place” had some really wonderful pieces. It was there that I found my first treasure of the day.

Catherine’s Place

After looking through a few more shops, I headed out to the Historic Glouchester downtown area. This is another location we have seen signs for as we drove to Belle Grove that I have wanted to see. Gloucester is a historic town that was formed in 1651 in the Virginia Colony. The county was named for Henry Stuart, Duke of Gloucester, third son of King Charles I of Great Britain. Before the English arrived this area was inhabited by a Native American tribe in an area called Werowocomoco, a stronghold of the Powhatan Nation.

The English settlers would at arrive at Jamestown in 1607. These settlers would soon come  into conflict with the Native Americans as they competed for resources. In late 1607, John Smith was captured and taken to Powhatan at Werowocomoco, his eastern capital in the present day Gloucester County. According to legend, Powhatan’s daughter Pocahontas saved John Smith from being executed by the tribe there.

Gloucester Court House

The center of Historic Gloucester has an area called Gloucester Court House. Here you will find a main street filled with quaint shops and dining. There is also a Court House Circle that has several colonial buildings and the Visitor Center. It was in Gloucester Court House that I made my next stop. “Wisteria Lane” had been recommended to me by someone at Stagecoach Market. What a wonderful shop! They have artwork, books and tons of silver! I wasn’t looking to purchase silver pieces this day, but now I have a place to go to find what I am looking for.

Wisteria Lane

My last stop was up the road a ways from Gloucester Court House. Located about four miles up John Clayton Memorial Highway, I found a wonderful historic farm, called Holly Hill Antiques that was filled with antiques as far as the eyes could see. The house located on this farm was built in 1880. There is a large barn, a very old shed and several smaller dependencies behind the house and barn. Every one of these buildings was filled with antiques!

Holly Hill Antiques

Holly Hill Antiques

Holly Hill Antiques

I started in the barn and spent a good thirty minutes walking up and down areas with every kind of antiques. There was art work, furniture, house ware, and even several wooden mermaids from old boats. I found several tea cups, which I didn’t buy because I have all I need right now. But there were no plates really in the barn. There were a few silver tea pots, but just not the right kinds I wanted for Belle Grove.

As I stepped out of the barn, I met one of the employees who shared with me some of the information of the house and buildings. Tara told me that the house was also open and would have what I was looking for as far as plates. She also directed me to one of the dependencies that might have some plates as well. I stopped first at the dependencies, but it was filled with mostly old kitchen items like cast iron pans and such.

Holly Hill Antiques

As I made my way up towards the house, I came up to one of the trees in the yard. Looking at this tree reminded me of our trip to Mount Vernon. It was as large as the trees we had seen there. Standing nearby was another employee who it turns out lived in the house as a child. I told her that this tree reminded me of the trees at Mount Vernon and that I bet it was here in the early 1700s as those at Mount Vernon had been. She agreed and said that she had no doubt it was.

Holly Hill Antiques

As I walked into the house, I was amazed at the amount of antiques in each room. Dishes and artwork were abundant. It was in the dining room that I found my second treasure of the day.

Holly Hill Antiques

Holly Hill Antiques

Holly Hill Antiques

Holly Hill Antiques

I made my way up to the second floor passing homemade quills hanging on the landing rails. It was funny, but I found myself looking more at the house than the antiques most of the time.

Holly Hill Antiques

Holly Hill Antiques

Holly Hill Antiques

Holly Hill Antiques

Holly Hill Antiques

I think the wallpaper amazed me the most. What wonderful old patterns it had. Upstairs there were four rooms and a bathroom in the back wing of the house. It even had a servant’s staircase that was blocked by antiques. I think I spent a good hour or two just looking around. Another thing that amazed me was the family pictures. Albums and wall-mounted pictures were all over the place. Looking at them, I wondered if they had lived there and what their lives must have been like.

Holly Hill Antiques

As I walked back to the car, Tara wished me a good day. I know that I didn’t see half of what this farm has to offer. I can see another trip here soon! If you love antiques and want a true treasure hunt, I wound highly recommend a detour down John Clayton Memorial Highway to this historic farm.

Posted by Michelle Darnell | in Year of the Virginia Historic Homes | 20 Comments »

20 Comments on “Gloucester County”

  1. Clanmother Says:

    Thanks for sharing your adventure – it was as if I was there with you! I agree – Very interesting wall-paper!

  2. Glad you could join me! 😉 Thank you!

  3. terry1954 Says:

    love the whole set up of the property!!!

  4. It was a true 1900s style Virginia farm.

  5. terry1954 Says:

    it was wonderful!!!!

  6. I love everything!!

  7. Thank you!

  8. Dianna Says:

    Holly Hill Antiques has been there FOREVER! I remember going there with my first husband when my son was just a baby (he’s now 32). Next time we’re over that way, I’ll have to stop in.

  9. It was my first and it really was an adventure! I can’t wait to stop by again to see what else I can find.

  10. It may have already occurred to you but there are a lot of commercial travel blogs on the net that are always looking for pieces on local spots that they can tout to there clientele. You’re developing a treasure trove of such work here in your search for new ideas, designs, decor and recipes. You might have to use a new by-line but that’s not to say you couldn’t plug the upcoming grand opening. Greater exposure? Just a thought.

    I’m not an antiques person myself but I am enjoying the tour of Virginia places I’m only vaguely aware of despite having been born and raised here. I am couple of weeks away from launching a one year trip round the country to do similar exploration and build up my photographic portfolio a bit but when I get back I might begin to take a closer look ’round the Commonwealth. In that regard, thanks for the (unintended) encouragement. I won’t be around when you all finally open but will look forward to spending a couple of days next fall. I’ll do a Belle Grove/Port Conway shoot. 🙂

  11. Richard – I am so glad I have been somewhat of an inspiration to you to discovery what is in your own backyard. I too have lived in Virginia since 1992 and am just now getting a chance to discovery it. I really like you idea about the travel sites. Could you email me at I would love to talk to you more off line about your idea. We will miss meeting you at the opening (we are hoping for March 16th – James Madison’s Birthday). Thank you for being such a wonderful and loyal supporter! It really does mean a lot to us. We also can’t wait to see hope your lens sees our beloved plantation!

  12. clothmonkey Says:

    Oh my goodness, that place is AMAZING!! I think I would probably turn inside out or something if I ever visited 🙂 Thanks for sharing your pictures I love them

  13. It was really cool. I can’t tell you how many times I have driven past wondering what was there.

  14. Jane Sadek Says:

    Your second treasure of the day looks just like the china I used to eat on at my grandmother’s house. I was a young single girl not paying much attention when my mom and her sisters had an estate sale liquidating my grandmother’s possessions. I’ve always regretted that they sold every single piece of that set. Today I’d be thrilled just to run onto a cup and saucer of that pattern. I’m not much of an antiquer, but when I do end up at a garage sale or an antique store, I always look through the china to see if they have any.

  15. Well, guess what! They had two of them available and I only bought one. If you would like the second, I could swing by and pick it up. I think the second had a small chip on the rim, but other than that it was in good condition. I would be happy to send it to you… for your grandmother’s memory.

  16. Jane Sadek Says:

    Oh my! That would be wonderful! Email me the details at! And thanks!!

  17. Pat Says:

    Mercy me,my ankles and legs are hurting LOL!!! And you did all of the walking LOL!!! Wow! so much to choose from,I saw the cast iron frying pans and pots,love them and the quilts so beautiful!! Gosh Michelle I enjoyed the trips and many stops,but I’m so tired now I’ve got to go rest! Oh I did enjoy this so much and I hope you found all you wished for.
    Love you 😀 I’ll get back later 😀

  18. Thank you! My legs were sore the next day too! Holly Hill Farm was a little hilly. 😉 But get your rest! We have a lot more walking to do next weekend!

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