Colonial Christmas Candlelight Tours and Grand Opening Recap

16/12/13 11:31 PM

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It is so hard to believe that two weeks have just flown by and that Christmas is just NINE days away! The last two weekends have been so wonderful! We had our Grand Opening and first Christmas Tours this year and I have to say it was a great success!

But I know that many of our followers weren’t able to come and see us, so we wanted to share some of the highlights with you!

On Friday, December 6th at 6pm, Belle Grove Plantation had its “Official” Grand Opening. We have been opened and operating in a “Soft Opening” stage since August 1st, but as of Friday, we have all our curtains in place and most of the furniture. We do need to get some decor and area rugs in place, but that will come as we find it. That has been one thing I wanted to do with the mansion… take my time and find just the right pieces. It gives the rooms and their furnishings so much more meaning.


Our Grand Opening had to take place in the Grand Hall instead of outside. The weather was cold and rainy so it wasn’t the best time to be out. We started the ceremony with Brett opening and welcoming all that had come to see this historic event. We were honored to welcome Dale Sisson, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors as our guest speaker. We also were honored to have Reverend Bland from Salem Baptist Church of King George attending and offering a prayer of blessing on the plantation, mansion and business. And to top the event off in style, we were honored to have Sarah Snow, solo vocalist sing during the ceremony.


Mr. Sisson, Chairman of King George Board of Supervisors

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Reverend Bland of Salem Baptist Church of King George

Mr. Sisson welcomed everyone and welcomed Brett and I to the county of King George. He also read a letter from the Governor of Virginia, Mr. McDonnell, congratulating us on opening the plantation and wishing us well as we move forward in the future.

Cindy's Corner

100 South Main Street Bowling Green, Virginia 22427

After Mr. Sisson spoke, Brett recognized the ladies from Cindy’s Corner in Bowling Green, for lending their amazing talents to decorating Belle Grove Plantation. We truly could not have been ready or as beautiful if they had not stepped up and donated the better part of the last two weeks before the opening. They are just amazing!!


Then the big moment arrived!! The Ribbon had to be placed across the Grand Hall Staircase due to the weather. But what a wonderful moment it was. Brett and I, together cut the ribbon and announced that we were on our way. The emotion of the moment still chokes me up. As Brett and I cut the ribbon, it was as if in one moment, the last 879 days of our journey flashed before my eyes. How far we have come in such a short time! Brett and I sealed the cutting with a kiss. Without each other, we would have never made it so far. In fact, we have so many to thank for all that we have and for all the support we have received. Thank you all!!


The ceremony ended with a song from Sarah Snow. She sang a very fitting song for us, “Come All Ye Faithful”. What a wonderful voice; so sweet and clear. We were so blessed to have her with us.

Afterwards, the tours opened. . .


The Parlor

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The Parlor looking to Formal Dining Room and Grand Hall

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Grand Hall Staircase

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Grand Hall

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Curved Door

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Window Swag with Osage Oranges

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Curved Porch

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Grand Hall

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Our Santa Collection

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Grand Hall

The Tours were Friday, Saturday and Sunday for the first two weekends. Due to the weather on the first Sunday, we had to cancel though. We had ice for most of the day. No snow.

During the tours, we had musical talent from near and far come and donate their time to helping us make the season bright. Thanks to JJ& T Entertainment (  our first weekend was pretty amazing!

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After Sarah Snow opened the tours, Mike and Desiree Mallick from JJ&T got everyone jumping with their soulful tunes!


On Saturday, Greg Eldridge from JJ&T spent the day, playing and singing with both his guitar and piano.

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On Saturday Night, we were honored to have the King George Colonials at the plantation. This trio performed with drum, guitar and piano forte. It was as if the music of the past was echoing through the whole house!


Saturday Night, we also had Tom Weiner perform with his wonderful bagpipes! We hope to have him back sometime during the summer to fill the night with the beautiful music!


Our last musical entertainment was on the last Saturday evening. We were honored to have Emily Elizabeth of Emily Elizabeth Music and her family perform downstairs in the Ladies Parlor. Emily played the harp and all I can say is …. WOW! In her period dress with the sweet sounds of the harp flowing from room to room, our guests were given a glance back in time. We are so excited to have Emily with us and truly can’t wait to have her here again soon!

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Besides Musical Entertainment, we had King George Historical Society on hand. They were here to help answer questions about the other history in King George and to volunteer as help during the tours. They brought along their wonderful gift ideas as well! Can you believe we already have a Christmas Ornament available!!


Speaking of volunteers, we had some really wonderful people step up to help. We had volunteers that helped us plan the event, helped us find local musical talent, helped us guide guests and greet guests and to helps us escort guests to and from their cars during the cold rainy days. To each of these volunteers, we would like to take a moment and say thank you. Without you, this would have never have been so wonderful!

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These two young ladies were here for most of the events and are always on hand to volunteer for us!

Thank you Rachel and Madison!

We would also like to thank all those who ventured out on those rainy, cold days to see Belle Grove Plantation in all it’s glory. This tour was so special to us because you came to be apart of this historic event.

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Come back tomorrow for the final recap . . . Santa and Mrs. Claus comes to Belle Grove!


Posted by Michelle Darnell | in Belle Grove History, Darnell History | 2 Comments »

2 Comments on “Colonial Christmas Candlelight Tours and Grand Opening Recap”

  1. David Says:

    A very beautiful opening. And, even a letter from Gov. McDonnell.

  2. Michelle Darnell Says:

    Thank you!