Author Archive

Our Friend and Angel Connie Richeson has gone to her Heavenly home

There are some  people in this great big world who just shine like a star and Connie was one of them.


Everyone was her friend and she would go out of her way constantly to make you feel special or help you in anyway.

I remember her  taking over the kitchen here and feeding our guests when Rochelle and I could not be here for that.

She would travel to Central America to help those in need and just glow about it. Always taking on the work of The Lord and living it too.

Constance was a living example of what it means to be a Christian and I am sure the Good Lord would agree.

We Love you and you will be sorely missed. 

The following words were written for Connie by Sarah McMillin and Caroline Donnelly and spoken at the service yesterday (1/10/13)by Sarah.

Where can I find Connie?

She is the warm love within our hearts , She is the Ray of light that breaks through the cloud cover, She is the resplendence of the blue crab,

She is the dancing of the sandpipers, She is the laughter inside our souls, She is the dramatic glow of a Sandbridge sunset,

She is the gentle caress of the ocean wave, She is the wonder in a child’s eyes, She is the fierceness of the mighty osprey,

She is the devotion of a pair of Tundra swans, She is the playfulness of a leaping dolphin,

She is that comforting summer breeze as it glances your cheek,

She is a love everlasting, She is home in the Glory of God, and


Ryan Pelton is back to perform his world famous Elvis Presley Tribute.

Ryan Pelton is a World Class Elvis Presley Tribute Artist

Ryan Pelton and his wonderful crew are here again to weave another magical tribute to Elvis.  We had the pleasure of their staying here at Rockwood Manor and getting to know them on a somewhat personal basis. Their show tonight at the Pulaski Theater is almost sold out and I can see why. He is a true artist with a voice to match his looks and both are so  close to the King’s it is scary.  I see why he is so popular and traveling the world performing and yet so down to earth and humble. So many of the performers that have stayed with us are completely different from their stage persona and he is too.  At this one of their last performances as a Tribute Band, Ryan told of his intentions of creating his own musical style and going for it. I know he has the talent to do so.


You GO Ryan.


60th Anniversary of Ann & Frank Magill

We were surprised and delighted to have Ann and Frank Magill visit us from their home in Keene, New Hampshire. They love to come back to Dublin Virginia and the home (Rockwood Manor) of his mother and grandparents. This time they brought Frank’s sister Becky Barnette from North Carolina with them. Her family had just celebrated Becky’s 90th Birthday here and Crystal Magill recently married Chris Jenkins here as well.. So wonderful to have this great group of cousins who so love our family home and to see them grow and prosper in it’s presence.


The Airshow Flying Circus Comes to Dublin VA

Celebrate the 5oth Anniversary of our great local New River Valley Airport in style.  So many acts on the ground and in the air that will take you back to the good old days of barnstorming.

Our family has ties to those great days. My wife Rochelle’s father was a young man in Kansas who fell head over heals for aviation and even designed and built his own plane the Murray Sport.

He then went on to teach another young man (Mudhole Smith)  to fly and that became his life story in Alaska.

My father engineered and built aircraft with Glenn L Martin in Baltimore during WWII and later sold missile systems to knock them down

and I too worked in the Army Air Defense with Nike Hercules missiles that now stand at the entrance to Radford Army Arsennal next door.

NRV Skyfest Airshow


Check out all they have to offer at    and for a great place to stay while you visit the show try Rockwood Manor and all it      has to offer.

The Magill Family returns to Rockwood Manor for a wedding 97 years later.

For over 135 years now this great old family home has been blessed with a variety of family weddings and events.

This weekend we are blessed to have the Magill Family return to the home of their Grandparents.

Crystal Magill will be wed today to Chris Jenkins on the same front lawn as her great grandmother Ellen Howe Bell married Orrin Magill in 1915.

Orrin and Ellen went to China with the YMCA and spent the majority of their early lives together there. Most of the children were born there and the family has grown up all over the world.

Her Grandfather Orrin Magill was born here at Rockwood on one of the families return trips from China.

We wish Crystal and Chris the very best in their future life together. Check out their wedding site .

Magill to wed at Rockwood Manor

Remembering Lieutenant Elliott Hampton Howe

On our basement wall is a scrolling signature of Elliott Hampton Howe in 1897. I always thought he was a cousin but did not know the ties.

Then I was able to read the book on the Howe Family “Listen to the Mockingbird by Col Daniel Dunbar Howe.
I was now able to put a tie to Elliott and learn of his storied fate. Elliott came from a family of soldiers and his duty to our country cost him his life.
He died for this wonderful country in France during the Meuse Argonne offensive of the First World War.
On October 11, 1918 this young cousins life ended so that our great Nation could continue.
We would like all to remember him on Memorial Day.
And now I can put a story to his signature and thank him for what he did.


Rockwood Manor B&B has been Pinned by BnBFinder

Apparently our beautiful Italianate Architecture caught the eye of Marisa at and she has put us up on Pinterest under “Inn-triging B&B Architecture.

Thanks to my Great Grand-Parents Francis and Sarah Bell and their alliance with James Burkholder a architect from Lynchburg VA. His outstanding design is

unrivaled in this part of Virginia.


Kentland Community Heritage Festival

Kentland  was the homeplace of  James Randall Kent and his wife Mary Louisa ( Cloyd )Kent. Their daughter Sarah James Kent was the wife of Francis Bell and my Great Great Grandmother.              She and Francis built the home Rockwood here in Dublin Virginia where they could be close to the railhead for shipment of cattle and farm goods to markets in the Big Cities.                                               We today continue their legacy under the name Rockwood Manor  Bed and Breakfast. To show how family names continue on both my Mother and Sister are named Sarah Kent.                                                                                                                                                                                                            Kentland Farm is now owned by Virginia Tech as a experimental farm and is 3200 acres of the best farmland in Virginia.

The Link below is to a poster describing the upcoming event.

2012 Kentland Festival Faded version

Honkey Tonk Angels

Honky Tonk Angels’ musical will be performed Tuesday, April 17 at Pulaski Theatre

Posted April 9, 2012
"The Honky Tonk Angels" will be performed at Pulaski Theatre on April 17. Photo courtesy of Fine Arts Center of New River Valley“The Honky Tonk Angels” will be performed at Pulaski Theatre on April 17. Photo courtesy of Fine Arts Center for the New River Valley

The Fine Arts Center for the New River Valley and the Pulaski Theatre presents “The Honky Tonk Angels” on Tuesday, April 17, at 7 p.m.

It happens every day of every year. Somewhere in America, a girl quits her job, kisses her loved ones goodbye and climbs aboard a Nashville-bound Greyhound. And every day of every year, those girls arrive in Music City with little more than a dream to sustain them.

“Honky Tonk Angels” is a raucous and touching musical by the author of the hit Broadway show “Always, Patsy Cline,” and spotlights three women who gamble everything for a chance to become country music stars. The show is Ted Swindley’s funny and tender valentine to the female singers in the country music pantheon – many of whom rode that same bus from Anywhere, USA.

The show tells the story of three aspiring young singers who walk away from their work-a-day lives and head for Nashville. Hear the classic tunes of Tammy Wynette, Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn as they were meant to be sung. “The Honky Tonk Angels” features powerhouse singer-actresses performing 20 country classics including “Stand by Your Man,” “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” “Harper Valley PTA,” “Nine-to-Five,” “Ode to Billie Joe” and “Harper Valley PTA.”

“ ‘The Honky Tonk Angels’ is a unique musical theatre entertainment,” says producer and director Paul R. Pierce. “It explores the unbridled desire that drives a poor young farm girl, a weary housewife or a stressed-out secretary to drop everything and roll the dice in the world’s most competitive and brutal industry – all for the love of music. Of course, the song list for this show reads like a Nashville greatest hits record, so ‘The Honky Tonk Angels’ is also a thrilling nostalgic journey for the audience.”

The show is produced by Springer Theatricals, the national touring unit of the Springer Opera House, the State Theatre of Georgia. The Springer is a 140-year-old National Historic Landmark with a year-round schedule of plays, musicals and a top-ranked theatre academy. The theatre also has one of the nation’s busiest touring schedules, performing in sixty American cities each year.

Since Reconstruction days, the Springer has been a cherished Southern cultural institution with the world’s most celebrated artists making pilgrimages to perform in the elegance of this famous theatre. From Edwin Booth, Lilly Langtry, George M. Cohan, Ethel Barrymore and Irving Berlin in the old days to more modern appearances by Truman Capote, Hal Holbrook, Burt Reynolds, Chet Atkins and Garrison Keillor, the Springer Theatre has been a centerpiece for the performing arts in the South since 1871.

“The Honky Tonk Angels” will be performed Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. at the Pulaski Theatre, 14 West Main Street, Pulaski, VA 24301. Tickets for the show are $20 in advance and $22 at the door and are on sale now. Ticket outlets are Martin’s Pharmacy, Coffee Buy the Book and the Fine Arts Center in Pulaski and the Pulaski County Visitor Center in Dublin. Call 540-980-7363 for more information. Visit the Fine Arts Center on Facebook at

– Submitted by Donna Rorrer, Fine Arts Center

Engagement in the Snow at Rockwood Manor Bed and Breakfast

Tripp Bell and Rachel Sparrow

We were blessed by the visit of Tripp Bell and Rachel Sparrow last evening and their engagement was announced at the breakfast table this morning as the snow started coming down. What a wonderful announcement and such a lovely couple. An interesting fact is that Tripp is Francis Bell the sixth and as such the namesake of our GGGreat Grandfather and builder of this home Rockwood Manor.