The Grey Swan Inn Bed and Breakfast: Historic Southside Virginia
The Grey Swan Inn was built in 1902 by prominent Blackstonian Douglas Longstreet Tuggle of R. W. Tuggle & Son Tobacco Company of Blackstone, Virginia, for his bride, Sue Armstrong, and was in the Tuggle family home for eighty-five years. R. W. Tuggle, father of Douglas Longstreet, was a prominent and respected tobacconist and was instrumental in forming one of the first (if not the first) tobacco co-operatives in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
In ‘its day’ the Tuggle home was a frequent setting for festive gatherings and local social events – drawing prominent guests not only from Blackstone and throughout Virginia, and also including visitors from New York, Boston, Atlanta, and the capitals of Europe. We know that R.W. Tuggle and his wife would be pleased that guests continue to grace this home.
The Grey Swan Inn has been renovated for comfortable 20th century living and retains the original features that make the house distinctive – original Southern ‘yellow pine’ and hardwood floors, French doors with side lights, West Virginian slated roof and English wainscoting. It has served as an inn for almost 30 years.
The current owners, Jim and Christine, are in their 10th year of welcoming guests to The Grey Swan Inn. Guests continue to stay to relax and enjoy the inn’s wrap-around front porch in warm weather and the parlor with a fireplace in the cooler months for reading or visiting with other guests.
Jim roasted coffee hobby is going strong providing coffees from around the world to our guests. He tries to find green coffee that are Free or Fair Trade and Organic.
The aroma of freshly ground coffee invites guests to the dining room for breakfast. There are also a large variety of teas available. The fruit starter is followed by the cook’s choice of entree. Special dietary requirement are taken into consideration with advance notice.
If you are unfamiliar with the area, here are a few local places to visit and things to do:
* Schwartz Tavern and Carriage Museum, both located off of N Main, offer visitors a peek into the past. They are about one mile from The Grey Swan Inn.
* The Grey Swan Inn is part of Blackstone’s Historic District which is on the National Register of Historic Places. The homes and buildings can be seen either in a walking or driving self-tour.
* Fort Pickett – This Army National Guard Maneuver Training facility is 4 miles from Blackstone and is used for military and non-military training.
* Lee’s Retreat – The Grey Swan Inn is close to the driving tour of Lee’s retreat which ends in Appomattox, VA.
*Civil War Trail – Multiple sites are scattered in the area for civil War history enthusiasts to visit.
* Lake Phoenix is about twenty miles from Blackstone and has a scuba diving facility.
* Farmville is located thirty-five miles away and is home to Longwood University, Hampden-Sydney College, and Green Front Furniture.
* Antique shopping is available in Blackstone, Nottoway Court House, Victoria, and Crewe, VA.
About the Innkeepers: During the past 10 years as innkeepers, Jim and Christine have greeted both business and leisure guests to The Grey Swan Inn. They do their best to greet each guest by name at the front door and give them a gracious welcome to the Inn and Blackstone, Virginia. Having 5 guest rooms allows them to provide for the innkeeping tasks and leaves time for getting involved in the community. They can be found in many community activities, such as Rotary Club, Chamber of Commerce, fundraising the local women’s shelter, participating in the community theater, and supporting the local animal shelter. They fully embrace the motto “Service above self”.