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

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local author Doris Gwaltney
Dixie Belles
updated May-11  

The Observer, Virginian Pilot news supplement February 1, 2006

In the Spotlight  A Romantic weekend awaits you at Mansion on Main

Lovers of nostalgia and romance will discover what they’re looking for at Mansion on Main Bed & Breakfast in historic Smithfield.

Situated at the crest of Wharf Hill, on the corner of Main and Church Streets, the 1889 Queen Anne-style residence, with its gabled roof and decorative scrollwork, once belonged to Richard S. Thomas, a prominent lawyer and town historian in his day.

Now, the stately Victorian, lovingly restored by the late Sala Clark, is open for tours and overnight guests. And, in case you’re wondering, there are no ghosts here. “I’m happy to report that the house is not haunted, only sweet spirits are allowed here,” says manager Dawn Riddle, who lives in Richard Thomas’ original law office, underneath the front parlor.

The 6,000 square-foot mansion boasts four lavishly-decorated rooms, each one with its own bathroom. A hot traditional southern breakfast is served, which includes French toast, quiches, egg casseroles, cheese grits, fresh fruit, and Smithfield’s famous ham biscuits. “I think I’ve converted a few Yankees to change their mind about grits,” jokes Dawn. The mansion is available for wedding receptions and birthday parties. “We can accommodate up to 60 guests,” adds Dawn. “We have a lovely garden and many nuptials have been performed under the arch.”

Located directly behind the home is Mansion House Art and Antiques Gallery. That’s where you’ll find Betty Clark, owner of Mansion on Main. Clark has transformed a 1950’s-era building that formerly housed a grocery store and Western Auto part store into a 5,000 square-foot gallery. “Antiques make wonderful unique gifts,” says Clark, an antique dealer since 1978. Clark offers American, European and Asian items and jewelry priced from $25 to upwards to $65,000. Clark has her father’s antique cars on display -- a 1929 black Ford Model T and a rare 1907 Maxwell. For more information about Mansion on Main or to make a reservation, call (757) 357-0006 or visit