Field of Dreams

13/01/13 11:18 PM

Hurley on the way to the Plantation

Hurley on the way to the Plantation

Saturday was just amazing! I know you must have heard this phrase”

“If you build it, they will come”

Field of Dreams

Well, we found out how true that phrase really is this weekend!

When we drove to the plantation on Saturday, we were amazed by the amount of fog we encountered. It just seems to go on and on forever. Just as we got to the plantation, we were still amazed the fog wasn’t lifting. This made me sad because that meant we wouldn’t get to see the eagles. Brett did catch sight of two later in the afternoon, flying just above the river, but it was just too hard to see them.

View from the Riverside Portico. You can't even see the river!

View from the Riverside Portico.
You can’t even see the river!

We had three appointments for Saturday. Our first was with our favorite archaeologists from Ferry Farm. It was their first time at the plantation and we couldn’t wait to show them around. The two archaeologists, Mara and Jason have been helping us date our artifacts for the last year. They brought along a group with them that wanted to see it as well.

Ferry Farm Group(l to r) Mara, Joe, Lu, Kyle, Jason and Nona

Ferry Farm Group
(l to r) Mara, Joe, Lu, Kyle, Jason and Nona

We first toured the Mansion. As we were almost finished, I looked up to see a truck coming up the drive. I knew we had another appointment, so I thought they are just a little early. So I had Brett take over with our friends from Ferry Farms and I stepped out on the front portico. The truck had stopped at the front gate, so I waved them in. When they pulled in, I realized that they were not our appointment. They were a couple from Gloucester, Virginia that had happened up on the plantation. They had come back to get a better look at the house. So I offered a tour of the Mansion while they were there.

As Brett finished up on the Mansion with the Ferry Farm group, I had just finished up with the couple on the first floor of the Mansion. So we changed groups and I headed out to the outbuildings with the Ferry Farm group and Brett finished showing the house to the couple from Gloucester.

I was so excited to have the archaeologist look at the outbuildings. I have only had them reviewed by photographs, so no one had really looked at them to give us an idea of their true age. Joe, Mara’s fiancé knows a lot about historic architecture, so I was hoping he could give us a better idea of the dates.

Inside the Summer Kitchen

Inside the Summer Kitchen

Inside the Summer Kitchen

Inside the Summer Kitchen

In the Slave Quarter side of the Summer Kitchen

In the Slave Quarter side of the Summer Kitchen

At the Smokehouse

At the Smokehouse

While looking at them, we did find two small artifacts. One bottle neck, that was dated sometime in the 20th century and a small shard that could have been a cup or saucer bottom. There wasn’t much to the shard so it was hard to give a true date to it.

An artifact is found!

An artifact is found!

As I was showing them the outbuildings, our second appointment arrived. This person is with a chapter of the Colonial Dames of America. She is looking to set up a meeting and luncheon for her group in 2014. They came over and joined the group from Ferry Farms as we finished up with the outbuildings.

The rough estimate we got on the outbuildings is as follows:

Summer Kitchen

Summer Kitchen

The Summer Kitchen / Slave Quarter are really just that. We had a rough date from photographs as it being sometime around 1790. Joe feels that it could be mid to late 1800s. He noted that it is unusual for there to be a wood structure that has been bricked in. So we may have had a brick structure that they covered later with wood. We need to have someone look closer into that.

The Smokehouse

The Smokehouse

The Smokehouse is not 1790s as we thought. It was build last and could date around the mid to late 1800s. We do know that the roof has been replaced since its last use because there is no smoke stains on the ceiling, just the walls and roof framing.

Ice House

Ice House

The Icehouse may be 1790s or even earlier. Joe feels that it was not like the others in construction and could date earlier than the other two. Of course we don’t have the ice pit open. It was filled in long ago. Once we get a chance, we will see about digging out the pit and see what we can find.

After we finished up with the outbuildings, we said our good-byes to our Ferry Farm friends. I then took our appointment into the house for a tour. As we got half way done with our tour, the first couple from Gloucester finished and left. I finished showing the Mansion to our appointment and discussing our ideas for their meeting and luncheon.

As I finished with their appointment, I saw another car pull in. Again I thought it was our third appointment and that they were just a little early. As I walked our second appointment to the front door, Brett came in with an young couple. He informed me that they weren’t our third appointment. They were a couple from the area that had taken a chance to stop by and see if we were going to do weddings at Belle Grove! So we invited them to come in as our second appointment left.

Before we got started with their tour, our third appointment arrived. Brett greeted them and brought them in. We gave a tour to the final group and talked about our vision for the Mansion and plantation. As we finished up, the unexpected couple gave us their information and thanked us for the tour. We were able to sit down with our last appointment and answer some of their questions about a Bridal shoot at the plantation.


Yes, if you build it, they will come. Whew…

The whole time we were giving the tours and talking with the groups, Hurley made himself at home. He was ready to greet the Ferry Farm group at the door with they first arrived. And he followed everyone through the house, making sure that everyone felt loved and welcomed. As our last appointment got ready to leave, Hurley had to be the last one to say good-bye. As they walked to their car, he quickly ran over to say good-bye again.

Of course, we didn’t get to one brick pulled on Saturday. No sun and the air were really cool. The fog never lifted and we even drove home in fog at 5pm. But it didn’t stop us from have a wonderful time with our guest, expected and unexpected. Brett and I also showed that as a team we could really work well together! I don’t know what I would have done without him!

After we got home Hurley passed out

After we got home Hurley passed out

After we arrived home, it didn’t take Hurley long to pass out. I think he really got a workout at the plantation. Running all over the grounds, walking up and down stairs and making sure everyone was okay. Of course we did have a few times that he acted kind of “funny”. While Brett was showing the two Junior Suites, he heard Hurley whimper. Brett stepped out of the doorway of one of the Junior Suites to see Hurley standing at the threshold between the Parlor and Library. You have to go through the Parlor and Library to get to the Junior Suites. Brett called for Hurley to come to him, but Hurly just stood there and wouldn’t come into the library. Hurley also had an issue in the Madison Room. He wouldn’t go into the bathroom from the bedroom and just stood at the doorway. Funny thing is that later he walked right in to both rooms when we returned with other groups. Humm…

Hurley, the door greeter

Hurley, the door greeter

Hurley running the plantation

Hurley running the plantation

Hurley checking on the fog before we left to go home

Hurley checking on the fog before we left to go home

Hurley getting the last "good-bye" with our final appointment

Hurley getting the last “good-bye” with our final appointment

It was a great day at the Plantation!Brett and Hurley

It was a great day at the Plantation!
Brett and Hurley

Now we are preparing for the coming week. I get to travel Monday to Wednesday night for my current job. The best part is that I am going to Washington DC / Maryland. I will “have” to travel up past the plantation and back by it as I come home. It’s going to be hard to see it yet again this week. Sigh…

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Posted by Michelle Darnell | in Darnell History, Hurley | 35 Comments »

35 Comments on “Field of Dreams”

  1. John Says:

    Whooaaa!! Whirlwind busy!

  2. Yes we were! Busier than a one arm paper hanger 😉

  3. terry1954 Says:

    i have such a wicked mind when it comes to spirits and ghost topics. makes me wonder what Hurley saw . So excited for you. The unplanned visitors and the appointments. Word is getting out that you have something fabulous happening!!! so happy for you!

  4. Thank you Terry! I know, makes you wonder what he is seeing. We think so too!

  5. Jennifer Says:

    Wow, what a day! Things are certainly looking up, with more weddings, and people just dropping in ‘off the street’ 🙂

  6. Thank you! Yes, I have to say if this keeps happening, we won’t mind! 😉

  7. Jennifer Says:


  8. Ah, I have lost my heart – again!!! Hurley, you make me smile, mate! I love you. Okaym, so I’d better explain, eh? My wife and I had a beautiful Golden Retriever (not sure if an Australian versions of ‘Setters’ or ‘Retrievers’ but she was just magnificent. A true vivacious blond bombshell. Okay, perhaps,,not the smartest tree in the woods but, for sure, the most attractive. I had to pout her down at the vet’s when arthritis became too crippling. But Hurley would be a good substitute. Dogs add SO MUCH to one’s life, I am glad the Plantation has such a wonderful ‘caretaker’! Who knows what memories – or more! – he may sniff out!!!!! Go, Hurley.

  9. Thank you! Hurley is our gem at the plantation. He loves everyone and is a great listener! I just hope he doesn’t sniff out any snakes! I am scare to death of them. Your baby sounded like a wonderful girl! Yes, dogs are so much to one’s life.

  10. becky6259 Says:

    Lol, in that first picture of the dog, it looks almost like the dog is underwater! Looks like Hurley had an especially good day today!

  11. The first picture I took using the rear view side mirror on the car. He just looked like he couldn’t wait to get to the plantation. But because of the fog, we have moisture building up on the windows and mirrors. Yes he had an awesome day. Thank you!

  12. Dianna Says:

    Love the picture of Hurley looking out the front door!

  13. Thanky ou. He was so eager to see everyone. I think he is going to be a great add to the plantation.

  14. Thanks for the tour Hurley! You are a very good plantation dog!

  15. Hurley says, “Anytime!” He also says he can’t wait to show you around in person! I just need to get him to be able to tell the history and we could have a new tour guide! lol 😉

  16. Jane Sadek Says:

    Sounds like Hurley my have some paranormal skills. Watch out for those ghosts!

  17. I think you may be right! Maybe we need to call that show “Taps” lol

  18. Mara Kaktins Says:

    So happy we could help you with information, as always! And thank you again for the lovely tour! The Plantation is beautiful, it will make a fabulous B & B and you two have the most fantastic ideas for the property! -Mara and Joe

  19. Thank you Mara and Joe! We really appreciate all you have done for us! It really has been so much help to us!

  20. Always love Hurley picture! What fun to hear about your progress. Give Hurley Melody and Rhythm’s love. Has Hurley see the K-9 Luthern Comfort Dogs that have been working in Sandy Hook? They each have their own FB page. Most are goldens and remind me of our dogs.

  21. Hurley says to tell Melody and Rhythm hello! We saw the K-9 group on the news! How wonderful! Maybe we should think of starting a page for our Hurley!

  22. Yes, he needs his own page! I should talk my medium friend into visiting Belle Grove. She could tell us about the spirits. Interestingly she is also a lawyer.

  23. Ha! I don’t know if I would want a lawyer who is a medium too! They could tell me too much about myself! 😉 I think I might work on the Facebook idea. Hurley is getting some fans on here! 😉

  24. David Says:

    Hmmm … a ghost in the mansion?

    It must be nice to have visitors thinking you’re open.

  25. Hmmm… I don’t know 😉 Yes it is so nice to have people just showing up! I love it!

  26. The story just gets greater…and I love Hurley and he could be seeing things that are truly there 🙂 ….my airedale Mattie would have a blast…

  27. Thank you! Maybe he is seeing something. I would think your Mattie would! There is so much land to run on!

  28. It is such a joy that you are living your dream. I am so looking forward to staying at your plantation. And I wouldn’t be surprised that Hurley might have seen a spirit. There is a lot of things that happened at your inn from previous people living there. Maybe that they know you are really going to re-open the plantation, they are checking to see what your intentions are. Don’t know if you are open, but I would ask James Van Praag to pay your B & B a visit to shed some insight.

  29. Thank you! We love living the dream! I don’t know if Hurley is seeing anything, but he has done it a few times. Maybe we need to look into it. 😉

  30. cc2001 Says:

    I have been following your blog from the very beginning and can’t wait until the grand opening! I remember from the post on your lovely late mother that she was a Boykin. Are you related to the great civil war diarist Mary Boykin Chesnut? I just read her diary and it was fascinating. You certainly have her skills if not her DNA.

    On Sun, Jan 13, 2013 at 11:19 PM, Belle Grove Plantation Bed and Breakfast wrote:

    > ** > virginiaplantation posted: “[caption id="attachment_4515" > align="aligncenter" width="474"] Hurley on the way to the > Plantation[/caption] Saturday was just amazing! I know you must have heard > this phrase” “If you build it, they will come” Field of Dreams Well, we > found out how tr”

  31. Thank you so much for following us! We can’t wait to open and have you come to see us too! Sadly, there is no DNA connection. Her husband, Charles Boykin is my step father. My maiden name is Murphy.

  32. ramaink Says:

    So happy for you! Cannot wait to visit it someday. 🙂
    Hurley is adorable!! And such a sweet and considerate host!

  33. Thank you! We can’t wait to have you stop in to see us! We are sure Hurley would be happy to meet you at the door! 😉

  34. oh, so many appointments, glad you got them see the mansion and glad Hurley was there to guide the visitors, he is so cute 😉 Love all the pictures but my favourites are the ones with Hurley 😉 I wonder what he could see when he went in those rooms

  35. Thank you! Hurley takes his “job” at the plantation very serious! He knows he is there to make everyone feel at home. Even those that may be there still 😉