Starting a new business from scratch is bound to be an adventure—and a flyer in self confidence and the confidence in whatever one is trying to sell.
When I first approached my husband and told him I thought we should share our beloved, oh so special North Point Plantation with others, I knew he would be receptive because when we first met in late 2012, he told me he had always thought North Point would make a great Bed & Breakfast. He didn’t say so at the time, but he didn’t have to: he just didn’t have the right woman to take that adventure with.
This month, North Point received its first press attention when Richmond Bride Magazine published a wonderful article about our Valentine Suite. There, in the main bedroom, on February 14, 1854, one Ella Willis Brown, a daughter of North Point’s then owner Archie Brown, etched her initials and those of her fiancé with her new diamond ring in a window pane of the room. (This act was according to custom of the day, a way that a young woman could prove that her diamond was authentic.)
That window pane and her etching remains at North Point today, thus the name I have given one of the loveliest guest suites in the house. The main bedroom is where brides and their bridesmaids ready for weddings; the suite includes an adjacent bedroom that was a children’s nursery in the old days.
Then last week, I received an email from the New York TV producer of the reality show, Four Weddings. She said she wants to film one of the four weddings the show profiles each season at North Point. Wow oh wow, right? I think it would be a blast to have our beloved, more than 275 year-old house on a show that is probably as contemporary in concept as any on TV today.
As we come upon this Fourth of July, 2017 weekend, I am feeling thankful, not only that my husband and I are fortunate enough to dwell in this beautiful place and that I am able to do work that I love. But I am also reflecting upon the state of our great Nation. I never for a moment lose sight of the history that is omnipresent here. Virginia was the largest and most important colony in America when North Point Plantation—then known as Mount Pleasant– was patented in the early 1700s. Williamsburg, less than an hour away, was the political and cultural center of Virginia. It was here in Virginia, home to many of our Founding Fathers, where the foundational ideals of our country, based on those of the European Enlightment, were conceived: liberty, free speech, basic human rights, and others.
When I stand on North Point’s grounds this weekend, savoring the calm of the Mattaponi River and surrounding farm fields, I will be thinking as I often do about all those who came before us here, who lived between the walls of this great home and trod upon these lands: sons and daughters of the Revolution, the Civil War, the First and Second World Wars, the Great Depression in between, the Civil Rights movement and the Vietnam War, and now, a people and a world still trying to steady ourselves in time of great technological change. America IS great because her people and her ideals are great. Let us celebrate each other, our past, and our future as one people, with differences, yes, but as children of a beautiful nation.