We are pleased to be featured prominently in a “Stories from the Road” feature article in October’s Cooperative Living magazine. Writer Deborah Huso toured South Boston on her travels for the monthly publication about things of interest to rural electric customers.
She says: Mary Pickett Craddock, who operates Oak Grove Plantation Bed & Breakfast with her husband Mike Doan, also has roots here. The lodgings she now operates are in a house that has been in her family since it was built in 1820.
The rambling house reeks of history. The piano in the parlor was Craddock’s step-grandmother’s, and the room where I spent the night was added to the home in 1900 as her grandfather’s office. The home also features a lot of the handiwork of freedman Thomas Day. From the 1820s into the 1860s, he crafted everything from dressers to stairway banisters for houses all over south-central Virginia and north-central North Carolina. He crafted the mantel in one of the houses upstairs as well as the widow trim.
Craddock spent most of her childhood in the house, moving here at the age of 2 and not leaving until it was time to attend college. Her grandfather farmed the surrounding acreage, raising livestock and tobacco while also working as a shoe salesman.
But not everything here is historic. Behind the house is a 16-panel solar array that provides 25 percent of the bed and breakfast’s electricity. Craddock says the solar panels helped her earn Virginia Green certification for the lodging, which she has operated since 1988. She and Mike, a former journalist, still maintain a home in the metro D.C. area but spend summers here with poodles Niko and Bonnie. “Bonnie is the boss,” Craddock assures me.