Back in September we received a request from a bride who was looking to do her bridal pictures at Belle Grove Plantation. When we received the request, my first thoughts was “Oh no. I don’t even have the landscape started or furniture in the house.” But upon reading further into the request we realized that is was no ordinary request. The bride’s family has a connection to Belle Grove that goes back to the 1850s.
When Carolinus Turner owned Belle Grove Plantation, he would have had both slaves and field hands to help him work the 700 acres. One of those field hands was a man named Samuel Andrew McGinniss. Samuel was the oldest son of Frederick and Mary Ann McGinniss. He was born on February 22, 1844 and had 12 brothers and sisters. When Samuel worked for Carolinus, he would have been in his teen years. Samuel even had a younger brother, Carolinus Edgar McGinniss who was born in 1860. Could this brother have been named after Carolinus Turner?
Samuel would enlist as a Private in Company E of the 55th Infantry Regiment of Virginia in Westmoreland County on March 7, 1862. He was 18 years old. He was promoted to Full Sergeant in September 1864. The “Westmoreland Greys” originally known as the “Westmoreland Blues” mustered at Tappahannock on July 24, 1861 with 85 officers and men under the command of Captain J. Bailey Jett. Samuel left the service on May 1, 1865.
Samuel married Mary Elizabeth Grigsby, daughter of James Samuel Grigsby and Elizabeth Rollins Grigsby on June 30, 1881. He was 37 years old and she was 32 years old. Samuel and Mary had two known children, Richard Irving McGinniss, 1885 and Andrew Hampton McGinniss, 1889.
Samuel passed away on May 12, 1912 at the age of 68. Mary would pass away 15 years later in 1927. Their youngest son, Andrew passed away in 1980 at the age of 91 years.
Now if you have been following along for awhile with our blog, you may remember us talking about an antique stop called “McGinniss Barn”. This is one of the relatives of Samuel McGinniss too! What a small world it is here!
Well, after learning that Belle Grove Plantation and the family of the bride-to-be had a connection, how could we say no? Shortly after their request, we invited her and her fiancé to the plantation to view the grounds to see if they wanted to do the shoot there. When they arrived, we also met her grandmother. It was so wonderful to walk them around the house and grounds. Grandma just had a ball seeing the place. Then a week later she, her mother and father spent the day with the photographer shooting her bridal pictures.
On Saturday, October 20, 2012, Jennifer and Nick exchanged wedding vows. Today we had a chance to see the photographs from that bridal shoot. This is the first bridal shoot for Belle Grove Plantation Bed and Breakfast. What a wonderful story to go along with the first shoot! We would like to wish the happy couple a wonderful and blessed life together! Jennifer and Nick have also told us that Belle Grove Plantation will be their yearly anniversary get away! We couldn’t ask for anything more perfect!