Check out the Winter Wonderland at Relics, located at the Smithfield Firehouse 1939 Shops on North Church Street. Take a step inside, out of the cold and you'll be inspired to celebrate the season. Relics is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. More photos on their Facebook page.
A true sign that Spring is just around the corner…Smithfield Farmers Market’s Vintage Market is just 4 weeks away (Sat., March 21), and the Market’s Season opens the following Saturday, March 28. Does that warm you up just a bit?
Only 10 more days to enter to win a two-night weekend stay at Smithfield Station's Lighthouse! Like our Facebook page to enter. Contest ends March 2.
Complete rules at: http://www.genuinesmithfieldva.com/facebook-contest-rules.html
Need a winter break? How about this view from one of Smithfield Station's rooms at the Lodge? Did we mention the fireplace and jacuzzi? Or the Station's award-winning restaurant? All an easy stroll up historic South Church Street to Main Street's historic attractions, shops and restaurants. Sounds like a recipe for a romantic weekend or just a quick winter getaway!
LIKE our Facebook page (Visit Smithfield VA) to win a two-night weekend stay at Smithfield Station’s Lighthouse. Modeled after the Hooper Strait Light in Maryland, the Light at Smithfield is an exact replica of a working Chesapeake Bay Style Lighthouse and boasts two spacious suites. Enjoy panoramic views of the Pagan River, and access to the scenic overlook. The winner will choose between staying at the Captain Sinclair Suite or the Captain Todd Suite. The name of the winner will be posted to Facebook on March 10.
Go to http://www.genuinesmithfieldva.com/facebook-contest-rules.html for complete contest rules.
Art for the Ages
Mansion House Art & Antiques in downtown Smithfield, VA
With its large, inviting picture windows beckoning, the exterior of Mansion House Art & Antiques has a slightly contemporary feel to it. But if you’re expecting a modern art gallery inside, you’ll be very surprised. Once you enter through the picturesque courtyard garden, and go inside you’ll feel as if you’ve stepped through a time machine. You’ll be able to see and touch items from a time very different than our own. Some even say that shopping here is like visiting a museum – except of course that you can take home the exhibits!
Mansion House Art & Antiques opened 12 years ago in November of 2002, but owner Betty Clark has been in the antiques business far longer. She started selling at antique shows in the spring of 1978, then moved into a shop located in Norfolk. But the Smithfield native was drawn back home and felt that the town was ready for an antique shop themed with her special passion.
Her passion is evident right away in this elegant shop. The majority of its art, jewelry and relics collections are from the lush Victorian era. Not surprising, given that Mansion House Art & Antiques is located right next door to Betty’s “Mansion on Main Bed & Breakfast”- an exquisite Victorian mansion built around 1889. “The original idea was to have all the items in the bed and breakfast for sale – a kind of antiques shop within a bed and breakfast,” Betty explains. But when her daughter Sala, the B&B’s manager, tragically passed away, Betty changed her plans. She felt that Smithfield, with its exceptional examples of architecture and history from that time period, was ready for an antiques shop with a focus on the Victorian era.
There are a few more surprises for those who step through the door. First of all, there are almost 300 paintings – most of them from Betty’s favorite Victorian period – making it the largest collection of antique paintings in the region. There are also a few contemporary pieces in this impressive collection.
You’ll do a double-take when you see the full-size antique cars sitting center stage in the shop’s gallery. Parked in the same spot for 12+ years, the 1907AA Maxwell and the 1926 Model T Ford have become a fixtures in the showroom and a hit with all – especially little ones. And don’t forget – they’re for sale too.
What else strikes your fancy? Are you interested in English, German, French, Oriental, or American glass? Porcelain, such as Royal Doulton, Wedgwood, Lladro or Nippon pieces? How about costume and estate jewelry? Mansion House offers all these and more. They even do silver matching! What’s silver matching? Betty explains, “If you have a silver pattern and have lost a piece, or never completed the full service, I will try to find the piece or pieces you are looking for. Hence - silver matching.”
Although Mansion House Art & Antiques is located in a small town, it has customers all over the world. Betty has a thriving online business and has shipped articles to Japan, China, Italy, Germany, France, Canada, as well as all over the United States.
What’s perhaps not so surprising is that this art collector is an artist herself. “I restore oil paintings when I am not working in the shop, including several that are for sale in the shop Sometimes a painting just needs cleaning: other times, it needs to be lined and have holes patched. Restoration is very interesting work. Many clients have been surprised at the color and depth a painting has after it is restored.”
Betty works very hard to make sure the items, paintings, and services offered at Mansion House Art & Antiques are affordable. Betty explains, “The hard work is worth it when customers come in and find exactly what they have sought for their homes or for gifts. With Valentine’s Day coming soon, I hope to see many regular patrons who are looking for perfect gifts to present on this special day.” In fact, as a gift to its customers, the shop is offering a Valentine’s promotion throughout the month of February by taking 10% off all items in the store marked with a colored dot.
But running a B&B and an antique shop is not all that Betty is up to these days. She was one of a group of volunteers who formed the group “The Spirit of Smithfield,” active from 1988-98, which held a successful antique show in town. Betty is excited to be part of a similar group today which is planning another antiques show on December 5th of this year at the Smithfield Center and throughout downtown Smithfield. Stay posted for the details, but it promises to be a wonderful holiday event, so mark your calendars now!
Betty’s commitment and vision for presenting Victorian artwork and treasures certainly fits with - as she describes it - “the flavor that Smithfield offers.” Stop in her shop today for a little time traveling. It’s only a half block down from Main Street on North Church - and then a hundred years in the past when you walk through the door.
Mansion House Art & Antiques
120 North Church Street, Smithfield, Virginia
Thursday, Friday and Saturday from10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m
Sunday from 100 p.m. - 5: 00 p.m.