The Plantation is on Fire!

Nov. 5th 2013

Stop! Don’t Panic! Not that kind of fire!!

Our trees were at the height of their color change last weekend! It was incredible! I woke up to a beautiful, sunny morning.

The sunlight was just showing off the color so well!

We wished all of you could have been here to see it!
















Posted by Michelle Darnell | in Darnell History | 2 Comments »

Ghosts of the Past

Sep. 25th 2012

Since Brett and I have started this wonderful journey, there has been one question we seem to get over and over. When people see the manor house and find out that it is over 221 years old, we are asked, “Is there ghosts?” I can’t say that I haven’t asked the same question when I have gone to some of the historic homes Brett and I have done our research it over the years.

Well, with October just around the corner and a Wine Fest almost every weekend and the air cooling off in the evening, we wanted to answer this question head on so everyone knows.

Yes, Belle Grove has “ghosts”


The “ghosts” that I am talking about may not be the ones you are thinking of.

The “ghosts” I am talking about are the ghosts of days past. This plantation has been around for 342 years and the home has been here for 221 years. During this time, the people that have passed through the plantation have left their mark on it. It is these marks that have made Belle Grove the plantation it is today.

Belle Grove
July 1894

As I walk the plantation, I see the outbuildings that were once new and think of the hands that tolled there preparing meals for the manor.

Then I see the trees around the plantation and think of when they were first planted. What wars have them witnessed or marriages have taken placed below their branches?

I see the old boxwoods that line the driveway near the manor. What hands worked to plant them and later took care of them?

Leather Pieces and Shoe Heel Artifacts

And then there are the artifacts that we have found at the plantation. I look at pieces like the shoe heel and have “haunting” thoughts of who may have worn it and what work they may have done at the plantation to leave their mark.

Then there are the cup and plate artifacts. Who may they have served and what words were spoken that may have changed the course of the plantation?

So are there “ghosts” at Belle Grove that you expect to hear about around a fire during a cool October night?

That answer is up for debate.

But if you look at the plantation, you will find “ghosts” of day’s pasts that “haunt” it’s every corner.

Posted by Michelle Darnell | in Year of the Virginia Historic Homes | 77 Comments »