Friday, June 22, 2018

Meeting and Greeting, Virginia Style!

It was a day of new faces and new off-the-beaten-path places -

And even the gently intermittent summer rain didn’t slow us down.

You can definitely forget cell phone connectivity out here, and leave it behind gratefully while you reconnect with nature and the surrounding ever-present history of this place.

Independence, Virginia.

The Town of Independence came into being in 1850 as the settlement of a dispute about where to locate the county seat. At that time, a controversy arose between the people of Old Town and people of the Elk Creek area. Each group wanted the County seat in its area. 

The final decision, made by three commissioners from adjacent counties, was to locate on the site favored by a group of "independents" and to call the town Independence. These commissioners hiked to the top of Point Lookout Mountain and looked down into a grove of trees where 5 streams met and decided that would be the site for the new town.

Independence, Virginia is located 15 miles west of Galax, 40 miles east of Marion, 29 miles south of Wytheville, and 10 miles north of Sparta, North Carolina.  [source]

Interesting factoid:  The architect for the 1908 Courthouse in Independence was also the architect for Quiltville Inn, the Old Field's Mansion. Click HERE for my post on that beauty!

Outside of Independence, down a long and winding dirt road stands Ward Manor


On the road to Ward Manor.

Housed on 280 acres that remain of an original land grant of 660 acres deeded to Nathan Ward by the Commonwealth of Virginia in 1777.  

Ward Manor has been held in the Ward family in a direct line for the past 230 years.  In the 1930s, the Ward farm came into possession of Rose Ward Jenkins.  Upon her death, the land was bequeathed to Michael D. Jenkins, current owner.


Rain clouds gather overhead.

Ward Manor has been a working farm for the entirety of its existence.  Through feast or famine, war or peace, good times or bad, crops and livestock have been raised without interruption on the farm.  

Every resource available had to be used, but also preserved and cared for in order to keep the farm in good shape for the next generation.  

The beauty and preservation of this land  is the fruit of nearly two and a half centuries of meticulous stewardship.


In 2001, Michael D. Jenkins inherited Ward Manor upon the death of his beloved Mother Glenda Jenkins.  

Raised, always, to keep in mind the preservation of the farm; and faced with changing times, he decided the best way to keep the farm intact and productive (in addition to the ongoing agriculture) was to open the house and grounds to the public as a Bed and Breakfast.


Steps  to the “Garden Shed”

In 2012, renovation of “The Garden Shed” was begun in order to make it ready to open as a rental cabin independent of the Bed and Breakfast.

This was the cutest cutest little place, and it housed the bathroom we were using from our pavilion in the 1800s restored barn for our luncheon:


Poppies and lilies, oh my!


A gathering of quilters for a catered lunch and much chatter!


Fields of wild growing daisies just make me happy!

I enjoyed my afternoon of meeting the members of the Alleghany Quilters Guild, listened to their upcoming plotting and planning for their quilt show that is right around the corner, and even volunteered to have a quilt show sign placed in the front yard at Quiltville Inn as I am right on the main road that passes through Mouth of Wilson to Independence.

Of COURSE I would help get the word out!


Coming up, mid July!

Many folks brought guests to the luncheon, and I met several who have lived in the area for many many years and remember the Field’s family when they owned Quiltville Inn, the general store and the auto dealership across the street.  

So many stories of going to the corner store in the heat of the summer, and picking out a cold Orange Crush from the cooler, cold enough to have chunks of ice floating in it.

I love the connection to these memories and want to learn all I can about the history of this place.

Carolyn, who picked me up at Quiltville Inn on our way to the luncheon told me she has lived here for 50 years and remembers when my post office was THE post office for the area.

I so value these stories and look forward to learning more.


Some of this happened when I was back at the Inn.


8 blocks left to go!

No borders needed, and I think I’ll bind it scrappy.

I’m on my way home today – there is much to do before my flight to Chicago on Sunday, and I’ve done all that I came to do.

Remember, I’ll be seeing you TOMORROW NIGHT (Saturday, June 23!) as I join with HollyAnne Knight of String & Story via Facebook Live on HER String & Story Facebook Page for Summer Social Hour at 8pm EASTERN!  

My old brain is still hoping we can get this split screen double trouble video chat going.  It’s going to be fun to try, no matter what happens.

I’ll catch you tomorrow from home!

June 22, 2018 at 06_52AM

Quiltville Quote of the Day!

I remember being told by my father as a young teenager that not everyone was going to like me, and I needed to accept that.

I think this is something that quite a few of us still struggle with, trying to please everyone so they will love us.

Especially through social media. It leads to frustration.

The first one to love you should be you!

Have a happy Friday!


  1. I have such a piece when I see all of the beauty surrounding you. Your stories of the area are what life should be (I know it isn't always roses) with enjoying what God has given us and working through each day - one day at a time. Your history of the area gives us in other areas a chance to enjoy your part of the country. Thank you for sharing. I know you will be a welcome addition to your newest group of ladies. Keep on keeping it real.

    1. Thank you, Brenda! I appreciate your thoughts and comments! :)

  2. That's a perfect Quote for the day after 'Selfie Day'. I don't take good selfies. Always the doublechin, lol. I love the History of the Quiltville Inn area. Glad you got to meet and mingle with the local Guild. That weekend is Sister's! I am going to be busy with Grandma Camp. Sounds like a Fun FaceTime tomorrow.

  3. What a lovely place to hold their meeting and I'm so glad you are getting to know more about the INN and your neighbors. Safe travels and I look forward to quiltcam.

  4. Looks like a good time was had by all. I love hearing about the history of your surroundings. I will be sorry to miss Quilt-cam tomorrow as we are in Seattle where my husband is having surgery today. I will just have to watch it later. Sounds like it will be fun!

  5. Lovely countyside! I will miss the live fast Saturday. I am with the Littles (DIL name for my grand children. ) while Son and DIL are on 2nd honeymoon. I look forward to catching up later. Enjoy trip to Illinois.

  6. Love the daily quote today. Thanks.

  7. Bonnie, thanks for sharing the history and the gorgeous photos of the rural area you are in, and the last comment: The first one to love you should be you! Your Dad gave you sound counsel when he said not everyone will like you/us. That is for sure! But, there are many of us who do like you, and love you for who you are and all you do to make quiltmaking just a wonderful as it was in the past.

  8. I love seeing the countryside. So many photos could be taken here in VT with the rolling hills. The mountains aren't quite the same though.

  9. TY so much for sharing the History of this area where Quiltville Inn is located...it adds so much to our Quilty Pleasure...<3

  10. Morning Bonnie’ I have read your blog every morning before getting out of bed for many, many years. I now realise it’s like reading my novel at night but only better. I never reach the end of your story, the central characters remain the same but there is always a great adventure. I may never get to the states but I have travelled your country with you and met the loveliest people. Thank you. Xx

  11. I just loved your story today about Independence and the Ward Manor! And such gorgeous pictures! What a delight to read. Thank you!

  12. I love all the house updates. I'm sorry to say that I think you have to do two more rows on your string quilt (which I love) because you have 9 ziggy squares with 4 squares on point inside each one and if you stop now you will have half a square instead of a full on across the bottom. Did I make myself "clear as mud"?

  13. So fun for me to see your posts about Quiltville since I spent summers as a child in the Elk Creek area where my mom’s side of the family is from and is there today. I’m thrilled to know there’s a thriving quilting community there.

  14. I love hearing about the history of Quiltville Inn. We have a college student from Galax living with us this summer. He was so tickled when I showed him a picture with Galas as the location. Beautiful place. Thanks for sharing and look forward to Quilt Cam tonight.

  15. The Ward Manor was such a lovely place for a quilter's luncheon! It is wonderful when places are loved and preserved! I especially enjoyed it because my husband and I are spending the night in Wytheville on our way home to Ohio after spending a week at the beach in NC with our daughters and their families. I love stopping here so I can go to the local quilt shop, Batiks Etcetera and Sew What Fabrics. I am looking forward to making a trip to the Quiltville Inn when it opens!

  16. Hello Bonnie ,
    Thank you for the lovely photos and the history on your new home and the exciting life to come yet for you.It is so nice of you too share with all of is who follow you.Enjoy 😎😍😉☺


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