Mansion on Main B & B
36 Main St.
Smithfield, VA  23430
Church St. corner 
Routes 10 & 258

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Dixie Belles
updated Jul-12  

Visit the showplace home of  "A Virginian of Virginians" which changed the face of the town from modest colonial and cottage houses.

  Standing proudly on a corner edge of
  the original colonial roads, and built
  before turn-of-the- century larger
 Victorian houses, the Thomas home
 was referred to as "Mansion on Main" 
 because of its size and location at the top of
Wharf Hill,  a thriving port on the Pagan River.

(Pictured: Isle of Wight Historical Society member in period attire as
 one of the Patriots' Day re-enactors.)

The couple who built the home, Richard (R. S.) and Frances
Boykin Jordan Thomas, were connected to other local
properties of historical significance:

bulletSt. Luke's Church - stained glass windows were donated by
the Thomas brothers in dedication to two ancestors who were
"vestrymen" (lay leaders) in the 1750s
bullet1750 Courthouse (1st building erected in the new Town of Smithfield)
- purchased by the the elder brother of R. S. Thomas in 1873, and a
residence for his family for the next 42 years
bullet"The Grove" (colonial plantation)  - converted into a boarding house by Thomas' older brother
bulletFour Square Plantation, started in 1693 and inherited by the
the elder brother of R. S. Thomas
bulletSmithfield's own "Windsor Castle," built by Smithfield's
founding father, is also an ancestral home for the lady of the house

 Doris Gwaltney, celebrated author, at her book signing on Patriots' Day - published body of work includes a biography of ancestor George Purdie, the lot's first occupant.

Further information...

-- In 1995 Sala Clark found out that the 1889 Victorian landmark she was lovingly restoring, the largest house built downtown before the turn of the century, had been nicknamed “the mansion on Main (Street).” Thus, the Mansion on Main Bed & Breakfast was christened. Attorney and town historian R. S. Thomas, who had the showpiece home built to house his office, made his own discovery about its significance on the corner edge of colonial roads. As St. Luke Church's (c.1632 national shrine) "recorder" Thomas learned that a vestrymen in the 1750s, Jordan Thomas, was not only his ancestor but also the county surveyor who mapped out Smithfield's first streets.

Although Sala Clark did not live to see the restoration completed, her vision and efforts resurrected a place that offers the romantic beauty of a bygone era. The Mansion was the first house in the Historic District to return to authentic "Painted Lady" splendor. The museum-like interior retains original marble finish fireplaces and heart pine floors and is resplendent with furnishings dating from the Victorian and Edwardian periods. Extensive intricate handcarved woodwork crafted by European artisans is exhibited in plaster crown moldings and medallions, a grand staircase, pocket doors, and wainscoting. --