One Small Article

March 20, 2015

Philly Newspaper

You know as we continue to build our business and get the word out about Belle Grove Plantation, it just amazes me how just one small thing can become a catalyst for something great. We recently had just that happen here.

About two weeks ago, we had a couple from Pennsylvania come stay with us here at the plantation. They were a wonderful couple and we really enjoyed getting to know them and sharing Belle Grove Plantation with them. In the course of their stay, we spent some time up on the riverside balcony chatting with them. It was this conversation that we learned how they came to know who and where we were.

Seems that a Philadelphia newspaper ran a small article about Belle Grove Plantation just a few months before. It was through this article that they decided to come and see us. Well, I have to say we were floored.

We never even knew that the article had run. If you follow us, you know I have my finger of the pulse of the plantation as well as the marketing and promotion of it. I know when articles are being done and promote them through our social media so others can enjoy them as well. But to have it run without me knowing … wow. The last time this happened was back in July 2014 during our 4th of July fund raiser, “Red, White and Blues” with the Alexis P. Suter Band. We put out a press release that the Fredericksburg Free Lance Star ran. Shortly after, the Associated Press picked up the story and ran it all over the nation. That lead to another article being written by a newspaper out of Winchester, Virginia about the two Belle Grove Plantations in Virginia!

See how it can snowball?

Since this article has run from Philadelphia, we have seen marked increase in people from Pennsylvania coming to stay here at the plantation. Just this week, we had a couple come down for three nights due to this one small article. Last night, we had another couple book a suite for October this year.

One thing leads to the next ….

The couple staying with us this week have been just overwhelmed by the beauty of the plantation. They have admired our antiques, the mansion, the bird watching and just the relaxing atmosphere that we have here. She is so impressed that she is going to write an article in another Pennsylvania newspaper talking about their stay with us.

That gets me thinking ….

We would really like to ask for your help. There are so many newspapers in America that we could run ads in. But ads don’t always get the attention needed to bring people here. So we would like to see how many articles we can get into local papers in America. This is where you come in. All we need is for you to contact your local paper and let them know about us. Let them know that you would like to submit an article or have a report contact us to write one. Then contact us for a prepare article or for our contact information for the reporter. Just by this, we could reach so many more people. And this could become another catalyst for another movement here that the plantation. While it would take some effort on your part, it will be a priceless gesture that could help us advance Belle Grove Plantation!

Below is the article that ran in the Philadelphia newspaper.


Set in the midst of beautiful scenery and infused with a vast amount of history, Belle Grove Plantation Bed and Breakfast in King George, Virginia is a hidden gem.

“While many people have not heard of Belle Grove Plantation, once they visit they fall in love with the place,” explains Michelle Darnell, business owner and innkeeper.

Historically, the bed and breakfast is the birthplace of President James Madison, as well as his mother.

The following highlight much of what Belle Grove Plantation has to offer.

Special Events. The bed and breakfast hosts numerous events that are open to the public, including special Christmas tours and teas.

Tours. There are numerous tour options of the plantation, including for individuals, groups and school tours. The tours allow people to see the plantation fully and learn about its rich cultural history, including how each of the four master suites are decorated per the time period and named after a family that once lived at the plantation.

Weddings. For those looking for a romantic and historical setting for their wedding, Belle Grove Plantation provides beautiful scenery.

Bird Watching. There are numerous bird lovers who flock to the plantation for the year-round opportunities to catch a glimpse of some rare breeds. From bald eagles and re-belled woodpeckers to downy woodpeckers and eastern bluebirds, there are plenty of birds to view.

Picnics. The grassy grounds along the river at the plantation make for an ideal picnic place. The plantation does allow family or romantic picnics, giving people an ideal place to relax and eat, as well as take a tour before they leave.

“If you are looking for a place to have fun, learn a little bit of interesting history, and see some great antiques, this is the place for you,” added Darnell.

The Belle Grove Plantation is located just 90 minutes from Washington D.C. and Baltimore, and 50 miles from Richmond. Built in 1791, it is set on the banks of the Rappahannock River, and offers views of both the river and plantation. The bed and breakfast offers four suites or guests to rent, as well as public tours, events, and other activities. For more information on Belle Grove Plantation, visit the site at:


The Belle Grove Plantation is the birthplace of President James Madison, as well as his mother. It was built in 1791, and today is a bed and breakfast that is open to the public.


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