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A Visit To The Duke Mansion; A Charlotte, NC Historic Inn & Meeting Place

Picking up the key to our suite!
Picking up the key to our suite!

AMERICAN PRESS TRAVEL NEWS  Charlotte, N.C.-Barb and I always like to experience the fine mom and pop B&B’s, resorts and middle of the road hotels and motels across America. However, sometimes we enjoy visiting the finest upscale, restored hundred year old homes and older. The architecture and landscaping of a different time, and mind-set, be they diminutive, or sprawling (The Duke Mansion is 32,000 Square feet, nearly a full acre of home) of the highly successful business magnates (now gone to bed in history) of the ilk of Guggenheim, Rockefeller, Loews, to name a few, that were able to afford the utmost in real estate and grandiose homes, now turned into guest accommodations. The Duke Mansion is such a place in time and space. With 14- original acres back in 1915 and today, gardens of roses and flora mirroring the past gardens, rooms with soaring ceilings, and huge windows with brass hardware of delightful industrial Revolution, art era design, juxtaposed near today’s comfortable beds and modern bath facilities-and at a price per day and evening, reasonable enough for any special occasion and exclusive visit.

 Bed and a terrific Breakfast! Its what the 2nd "B" stands for!

Bed and a terrific Breakfast! Its what the 2nd “B” stands for!

We pulled into the curved driveway with easy parking, stopped for a picture of Mr. Duke’s original shooting fountain (Duke of Duke Power fame, said his Rolls Royce, Daughter Doris and his fountain was what he was most proud of) and were ensconced, thanks to the delightful concierge into a charming room with chocolates on the bed and homemade cookies and beverages just outside our door. After relaxing and looking over the grounds (So much history, so little time!)  We headed for a highly recommended restaurant; Five Church for dinner! What a delightful meal awaited us after the Valet did the parking: Maine Lobster for Barbara, Scallops, and their 60-second New York Strip for us too (we share everything, and compare notes and tastes). Great service by Brian, our wait guy! We tried shrimp flat bread for appetizer and wonderful tomato bisque! Everything was “multi belle.” www.5church.com Entrance at 5th Street and Church St. 704-919-1322.

IMG_5200Duke Mansion is located at 400 Hermitage Road Charlotte, NC 28207 www.dukemansion.com 888-202-1009

Checking out the Duke Mansion
Checking out the Duke Mansion
Aroma of rose, and Barb was in heaven!
Aroma of rose, and Barb was in heaven!
Almost like a fairy tale!
Almost like a fairy tale!

Chautauqua Area, New York – Unique Places To Visit

 

Produce Auctioneer

www.americanpresstravelnews.com – June 25th – Today is a full day of exploring the area. Joanna Dahlbeck from Chautauqua Tourism introduced me to some of the little known places you can visit in the area. There are many small towns in the Chautauqua area. We started with an Amish Produce and Flower auction in North Clymer. This particular day at the auction had was called the wholesale day. It is open to the public, but the items are on a flat. If you bid, you need to buy the whole flat. Other days are retail and you can bid on one of an item. To find out more the website is: www.chautauquaproduceauction.com. The flowers were so beautiful that it was hard to resist. But we were too far from our TN. home to pack them away.

Beef cattle raised on healthy forage

Not far from the auction was the Green Heron Growers. One of their specialties is growing shiitake mushrooms. Julie Rockcastle met us and explained the process of growing these delicious mushrooms. They also raise chickens, grass fed beef, vegetables and herbs (and much more). All certified organic. Julie and her husband Steve offer farm tours along with workshops and culinary experiences. 

Shitaki Mushrooms are the best

Julie also explained their internship program, giving the opportunity to train farmers to the benefits of organic farming. To find out more, take a look at their website: www.greenherongrowers.com or call (716) 720-3695. For information on their Great Blue Heron Music Festival take a look the this website: www.greatblueheron/wp/

Stedman Corners Cafe

 It was such a beautiful day, so we decided to have lunch at Stedman Corners Cafe in Mayville. They have a lovely outdoor area and we enjoyed one of their over sized sandwiches in the cool breeze. Located at Stedman Corners in Mayville, N.Y.

Stedman Cafe Antique Sign

Stedman Corners Corners Cafe started as a general store in 1898. It was a favorite place to buy “fresh ground coffee”. Today the cafe serves breakfast and lunch and on some nights dinner. Check out their website: www.stedmancafe.com or their Facebook page www.facebook.com/Stedman-Corners-Cafe-291711394269098/ or call (716) 789-5047.

Great Ham Sandwich

Lake Erie and Lake Chautauqua – Grape Arbors As Far As You Can See

www.americanpresstravelnews.com News.com – June 27th – Riding around the Lake Erie region of Chautauqua there are vineyards almost everywhere. 

To find out more about the business of grapes in this attractive area we visited The Cornell University Lake Erie Research Extension Laboratory. We learned that there are approximately 30,000 acres in the Lake Erie region of New York and Pennsylvania. 98.5% of these grapes are used for juice, jam and other fresh or fermented products. The Lake Erie Regional Grape Program consists of Extension Educators and research faculty/staff from Cornell University and Penn State University devoted to projects aimed at increasing yields, product quality, diversity and improvement of cultivars, efficiency of production, profitability and adoption of environmentally sound cultural and pest management strategies. To find out more take a look at their website: www.lergp.cce.cornell.edu/.

Our next stop was at the Johnson Estate Winery. This is oldest estate winery in the New York State, established in 1961.

Johnson Estates Wines

The Johnson’s Estate is a Story of Three Generations, beginning in 1877 with an English orphan named Frederick Johnson. In 1908 Johnson purchased this home circa – 1822 with the adjoining farm along the banks of Freelings Creek, in Westfield, N.Y. There is a full history on the website.

Today it is owned by Frederick Johnson Jr. with his wife Jennifer, former president of the Chautauqua – Lake Erie Wine Trail. They completed a renovation of the tasting room in 2011 for the winery’s 50th anniversary celebration. This building has been beautifully renovated complementing the old with the new. They have a full side viewing window with the full size stainless steel tanks.

Wine tastings and pairings are popular at this winery, with a large selection of estate wines and gifts.  They have group tours by

Grape Vineyard

appointment. Also, they have many summer events that a space can be reserved online. Check out their website: www.JohnsonWinery.com or call (716) 326-2191.

Also call: 1-800-374-6569

 

 

 

Norris Dam State Park & a Visit to Lenoir Museum Complex

View of Norris Dam and Norris Lake impoundment. The lake holds all manner of fish including giant catfish and striped bass so popular with trailer boaters from around the state of TN. and beyond.

AmericanPressTravelNews–May 23rd,-Norris Dam and Lenoir Museum Complex-Bob & Barb “On the -the Road Again”-Dams, always impressive as they are massive and hold-back river torrents. Dam’s also create power for power. Dam’s by holding back constant flows also calm and deepen waters creating lakes. Norris Lake is today a drawer for thousands of boaters and anglers, swimmers and kayakers, and lakes create real estate values. Seems that a view of the woods, compared to a view and access to a body of clean, beautiful water has no comparison in the price of a building lot. Water views trump em all!

Standing at the overlook parking area, at Norris Dam State Park made us think how this dam as many others around America beside being very impressive had opened up beautiful recreational opportunities for so many as well as creating power for so many families as well. We thoroughly enjoyed and were impressed with our stopover here!  Go: www.tnstateparks.com/parks/about/norris-dam

Housing all manner of early American artifacts, tools, and agricultural and ground working implements from an age before our Industrial age (hand forged and crafted woods and metals, not manufactured and stamped out in factories) the Lenoir Museum is a repository of these items from early families of the Appalachian region now long gone on to heaven.
A mill house that was saved and is in the State Park system. Probably more photographed than any other stop-over with the exception of the Norris Dam.
Mark Morgan State Park Ranger showed us around the Lenoir Museum and the incredible music piece with marching soldiers and figurines from the 1840’s. www.tnstateparks.com/parks/about/norris-dam
Runoff from the stream that turned the mill at the mill house grain grinding site.