Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Maury Place Awarded Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence!

Maury Place at Monument has been awarded Trip Advisor's "Certificate of Excellence" for the Year 2011. We received this award based upon our achieving a Trip Advisor Rating of Five Stars for the year. 

We are so grateful to the many guests who have posted reviews for us on Trip Advisor, and we proudly display our Trip Advisor Award Certificate in our front parlor.

Read our guest reviews on Trip Advisor and other websites on our Maury Place at Monument Reviews Page.

Mac Pence and Jeff Wells
your Richmond Virginia Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers at Maury Place at Monument

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Rocketts Red Glare This Labor Day

Summer's going out with a bang at Rocketts Landing this Labor Day, so bring a blanket, a picnic basket, and the whole family for an evening of music and fireworks on Labor Day, this Monday, September 5.

The Richmond Symphony will be in concert at 7:30 p.m., and then, once it gets dark, you can ooh  and ahh as the fireworks burst over the James River in time with the 1812 Overture.  (Rain date is Tuesday, September 6).

Maury Place at Monument is just a short drive away from Rocketts Landing, and The Boathouse at Rocketts Landing is one of our favorite restaurants.  Follow the signs from Main Street and Dock Street for parking.  For further information, see

Mac Pence and Jeff Wells
your Richmond Virginia Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers at Maury Place at Monument

Monday, August 29, 2011

Virginia Historical Society's Banner Lecture Series

The Virginia Historical Society's Banner Lecture Series kicks off its 23rd Year this fall.  The first lecture will be "The Constitution of Virginia:  From Jefferson's Day to Our Own Time."  This lecture will be given by constitutional law expert, A.E. Dick Howard, a former professor of Jeff's from UVA Law School at noon on September 8.  Other upcoming lectures include "The First Thanksgiving" by Graham Woodlief and Barbara Ramos at noon on October 13, 2011, and "Civil War Medicine," by Dr. Adrian Wheat on October 26 at 7:00 p.m. and October 27 at noon.  Reservations are not required, and admission is $6/adults, $5 seniors, and $4 children.

For more information and to purchase tickets for the lecture series, visit the Virginia Historical Society Website.

There are also a series of Gallery Walks coming up in September and October about the Civil War and its impact on Virginia.  The Museum at the Virginia Historical Society is currently showing a year-long exhibit, American Turning Point: the Civil War in Virginia, commemorating the war's 150th anniversary.  All exhibits at the museum are free to the public.

Maury Place at Monument just is within a short walk of the Virginia Historical Society, making it the perfect lodging for visitors to the museum.

Mac Pence and Jeff Wells
your Richmond Virginia Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers at Maury Place at Monument

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Everyone's Talkin' 'Bout the Weather!

As many of you are aware, we have had some unusually extreme weather over the last week here in Richmond.  Last Tuesday afternoon, we experienced a 5.8 magnitude earthquake--the strongest earthquake this area has had since 1897!  Fortunately, Maury Place came through unscathed, and we are all fine. Now, as I write this, we are experiencing the forces of Hurricane Irene. So far, we have extremely gusty winds and heavy rains, but no severe damage.  We are keeping our fingers crossed that we will weather this storm without any catastrophe.  We pray that those others on the East Coast who are in harm's way will emerge safely on the other side of this storm.

Mac Pence and Jeff Wells
your Richmond Virginia Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers at Maury Place at Monument

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Franklin Street: "Richmond's Fifth Avenue"

     Though it may be somewhat overshadowed by historic Monument Avenue, Richmond's Franklin Street has an equally long and impressive history.   Maury Place at Monument is located at the intersection of West Franklin Street and Monument Avenue, 3101 West Franklin Street.
     The development of Franklin Street followed the growth of Richmond from the city's beginnings to the decades after the Civil War, when it played a key role in shaping Richmond's image as a modern capital of the New South.  Originally referred to as "F Street,"  the section of Franklin that runs through Shockoe Bottom dates to 1737, when it appeared as part of Richmond's original street grid.  By the 1790's, it had expanded several blocks west to the new State Capitol.  The first substantial house built on F Street west of the Capitol was built in the 1790's and was a two-story brick Georgian house near the present downtown YMCA building.  After the Civil War, property owners began subdividing their lots, and with the rise of smaller lots on Franklin Street (as it was named in 1844), the character of the street changed from suburban to urban and was dominated by construction of narrow townhouses.  The architectural styles of these buildings ran the gamut from Italianate to Romanesque styles.
     By the mid-1800's, Franklin Street had attracted some of the wealthiest and most powerful families of Richmond.  With the development of Monroe Park at the corner of Franklin and North Belvidere streets in 1869, Franklin became Richmond's most fashionable thoroughfare and was the forerunner of Monument Avenue as Richmond's grand avenue.  Promotional materials referred to Franklin Street as "Richmond's Fifth Avenue," and the street was so central to the city's identity that in 1890, planners routed the path of the new Robert E. Lee statue (now on Monument Avenue) so it could be hauled up Franklin Street as part of a celebratory parade.
    The character of the street went through further changes in the 20th century as Virginia Commonwealth University began to convert many of the houses west of Belvidere into academic buildings and department offices.  A few single family homes survive in a few blocks west of VCU that rival the elegant homes of Monument Avenue.  Certainly Maury Place, which was built further west of today's core downtown and VCU area in 1916, falls into that category.  Franklin Street has changed over the years as the city's needs have evolved, but signs of its role in the city's history survive in its architecture, of which Maury Place is a spectacular example.  Franklin Street, along with Monument Avenue, is one of the few streets in Richmond that largely retains its historic residential character.

Mac Pence and Jeff Wells
your Richmond Virginia Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers at Maury Place at Monument

Saturday, August 13, 2011

"Flights of Fancy" Exhibit at Virginia Center For Architecture

One of the museums that is within walking distance of Maury Place at Monument is the Virginia Center for Architecture just down the street at 2501 Monument Avenue.  Currently showing there is "Flights of Fancy," an exhibit of works by Richmond artist Kirsten Kindler.  Through methodical and precise paper cutting and assemblage, Kirsten offers a fresh perspective of staircases.  "Flights of Fancy" is an artistic and dynamic exploration of the staircase--a beloved architectural element.  The exhibit is on view at the Virginia Center for Architecture through October 9, 2011.  Saturday, August 20, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. is "Family Day," during which you can create your own work of art with artist Kirsten Kindler and experiment with ideas from the exhibition to create your own work of art!  For further information, see

Mac Pence and Jeff Wells
your Richmond Virginia Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers at Maury Place at Monument

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Richmond Jazz Festival: August 11 to 14

Jazz greats are coming to Richmond for the 2nd Annual Richmond Jazz Festival from August 11 through August 14.  The Festival kicks off at the historic Hippodrome Theater in Jackson Ward on Thursday, August 11.  "Homegrown from the Hipp" will feature local jazz artists such as Joye B. Moore, Sharon Rae North, and the Forte Jazz Band. 

On Friday, August 12, the Festival will take place at Richmond's CenterStage with Bio Ritmo and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. On Saturday, August 13, there will be two stages at Maymont! At the Verizon Stage, take in Down to the Bone, Simone, Earl Klugh, and Aaron Neville.  At the Dominion Stage at Maymont on Saturday, you can also see Spyro Gyra, Christian McBride and Inside Straight, The Rippingtons, and Chrisette Michele.  On Sunday, the Maymont stages will feature Sharon Rae North, the U.S. Army Jazz Ambassadors, Los Lobos, Fourplay, Robin Thicke, Bop Nation, Pieces of a Dream, Jazz Attack, and Brian Culbertson. 

On Thursday at the Hippodrome, doors open at 5:30 p.m.  On Friday at CenterStage, doors open at 6:30 p.m.  On Saturday and Sunday at Maymont, the gates open at 11:00 a.m.  Parking and shuttle service to and from Maymont will be provided at select locations.  For further information,  Proceeds benefit the Richmond Public Schools Education Foundation and the Maymont Foundation and Educational Learning Opportunities Foundation.

Mac Pence and Jeff Wells
your Richmond Virginia Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers at Maury Place at Monument

Monday, August 8, 2011

Anthem Moonlight Ride on August 13

Celebrate the joy of cycling at the Anthem Moonlight Ride on Saturday, August 13!  The ride starts and finishes at Sports Backers Stadium and features a short "Half Moon" (8 miles) or a longer "Full Moon" (17 miles) route through Northside and the Near West End of Richmond.  The ride will wind its way down Monument Avenue and through Richmond's Bryan Park.  After the ride, enjoy a free concert and complimentary pizza, ice cream, soft drinks, and beer.  In addition, let your "wild side" show by decorating your bike and winning the "Best Bike Costume" award.   Registration opens at 6:00 p.m. and the event concludes at 11:00 p.m.  For further info, visit

Mac Pence and Jeff Wells
your Richmond Virginia Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers at Maury Place at Monument

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Carytown Celebrates Its 28th Annual Watermelon Festival

The 28th annual Carytown Watermelon Festival will be celebrated this Sunday August 7, 2011 from 10 am - 6 pm.  The Watermelon Festival annually attracts 115,000 people (and over 3000 watermelons!) for a day of musicians, exhibitors, and family fun.  The Watermelon Festival is the largest one day festival in the state of Virginia. Admission is free--more details can be found here.  Enjoy the festivities and people watching as you stroll down Cary Street in Carytown--Richmond's own "Mile of Style"!

Richmond VA Bed and Breakfast Maury Place at Monument is just one mile from Carytown, making it the perfect lodging for visitors attending this annual summer time event!

Mac Pence and Jeff Wells
your Richmond Virginia Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers at Maury Place at Monument

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

New Breakfast China for Maury Place at Monument

On a recent trip to visit family in Charlotte, I went shopping in a local antique mall and saw some nice plates featuring a picture of a sailing ship.  To my suprise, I found that the plates were a Wedgwood "Flying Cloud" series, and the picture was of the famous 1800's sailing vessel of that name. The story of the Flying Cloud is not only one of the most interesting in sailing history, it is directly tied to Matthew Fontaine Maury, after whom our bed and breakfast is named! Naturally, I purchased the dishes immediately, and we are serving breakfast with them this morning.

The Flying Cloud is famous for setting the world speed record in 1854 between New York and San Francisco, an important route during the time of the California Gold Rush. A speed record is always a dramatic event, but this was much more.  The Flying Cloud cut the previous time by more than one half, setting a record that stood for over 100 years, and -- extraodinarily for that time-- was navigated by a woman.  And yes, as I mentioned, Matthew Fontaine Maury figures into this story also.

Before Maury's invention of oceonagraphy, sea travel was slow, unpredictable, and dangerous.  Maury developed the navigational techniques by which sea captains could chart their course with more certainty, cutting travel time and increasing safety.  Eleanor Creesy, navigator of  The Flying Cloud and wife of the captain, was one of the first to use Maury's new science.

In the early days of the California Gold Rush, it took more than 200 days for a ship to travel from New York to San Francisco, a voyage of more than 16,000 miles. In 1854, Eleanor guided her ship from New York, around South America, and to San Francisco in 89 days and 8 hours, a record that stood until 1989, 135 years later. Her accomplishment was a dramatic demonstration of the significance of Matthew Maury's new science and techniques.

At our bed and breakfast, we pride ourselves on serving breakfast each morning on our finest china, and we are delighted to add the Wedgwood Flying Cloud china to our collection.   We also display a model of The Flying Cloud sailing ship, shown in the picture to the above, and we sell the book Flying Cloud: The True Story of America's Most Famous Clipper Ship and the Woman Who Guided Her by David Shaw in our gift shop.

Mac Pence and Jeff Wells
your Richmond Virginia Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers at Maury Place at Monument