Archive for the ‘Greensboro Bed and Breakfast’ Category

When is a Toboggan Not a Toboggan?

January 6th, 2014 by Judy Horn

tobogganWhen is a toboggan not a toboggan? When it’s on your head. If that sounds confusing, let me explain.

To me, the word “toboggan” has always meant “sled.” If you search Google Images for “toboggan,” you’ll see what I mean. Pictures of long, narrow wooden sleds used for coasting downhill over the snow will appear. Toboggans typically curve upward and backward at the front.

So you can imagine my confusion as a transplant to North Carolina when I started hearing the word “toboggan” used to refer to a knit pull-on hat. I’m not alone. One of our recent guests at the Troy-Bumpas Inn Bed & Breakfast (who had also recently moved to the region) described her utter bewilderment when teachers at her child’s school said that all students going on an upcoming field trip should be sure to pack a toboggan. How, she wondered, were dozens of wooden toboggans going to fit onto the bus?

I’m told you’re most likely to hear “toboggan” used to describe a knit cap in North Carolina, Kentucky, and Tennessee. The origin of this usage is uncertain, but it seems likely that knit hats worn while tobogganing were “toboggan caps.” At some point the word cap was dropped… and the rest is history.

So, the next time you head out into the cold, think of us here in North Carolina and grab your toboggan – it will keep you warm.


Great Fun — The Greensboro Grasshoppers

July 21st, 2013 by Judy Horn

Greensboro Grasshoppers TM

Baseball has a long history in North Carolina. In 1862, captured Union soldiers played baseball while in a prisoner of war camp in Salisbury, NC. Trivia buffs may recall that Babe Ruth hit his first homerun at an exhibition game in Fayetteville, NC, in 1914. And present day North Carolina is home to eight minor league baseball teams.

Thanks to the movie Bull Durham, possibly the best known of North Carolina’s farm teams is the Durham Bulls, a Triple A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays. The names of the other NC minor league teams may not be as familiar, but they certainly are colorful: the Ashville Tourists, the Burlington Royals, the Carolina Mudcats, the Hickory Crawdads, the Kannapolis Intimidators, and the Winston-Salem Dash. Here in Greensboro, the home team is the Greensboro Grasshoppers, a class A affiliate of the Miami Marlins and part of the South Atlantic League.

The Grasshoppers play their games at NewBridge Bank Park, 408 Bellemeade St. Greensboro, a beautiful, modern stadium within walking distance of the Troy-Bumpas Inn Bed & Breakfast. The ballpark opened in 2005 and cost $21.5 million to build. The red brick stadium seats up to 7,499 including 5,300 chair-back seats. Parking is available immediately around the stadium.

Greensboro Grasshopper games are among the best attended in the minors. Minor league baseball games have all the excitement of major league games, but with added fun and at a much lower ticket cost than the majors. Tickets, available online and at the stadium, typically are $6 to $9 each. Pre-game autographs are encouraged. There’s a kid-safe play area for children, private grandstand box seating, plenty of concessions, lawn seating and picnic areas, and special promotions like Thirsty Thursdays (when beer is bargain priced), Family Fundays, Money Off Mondays, and Bingo nights. Every Friday and Saturday when the team is in town, a spectacular fireworks show signals the end of the game.  (A common question at the Troy-Bumpas Inn’s breakfast table on weekends during the baseball season is about what all the booms were about!)

If you’ve never been to a minor league baseball game, add this as another reason to visit Greensboro. We’ll be sure to provide great accommodations at the Troy-Bumpas Inn B&B. To learn more about the Greensboro Grasshoppers, visit their official website.

2013 Bryan Series Subscription Tickets on Sale

July 13th, 2013 by Judy Horn


BRYANSERIES2013Since 2002, Guilford College in Greensboro, NC, has presented the Bryan Series, an amazing speaker program featuring well known figures in the arts, humanities and public affairs. Past speakers have included Nobel Prize laureates, former U.S. Secretaries and State, winners of MacArthur Fellowships and Academy, Tony, Grammy and Emmy Awards.

Speakers in the 2013 Series will be Robert Gates on Oct. 29, 2013; Robert Ballard on Nov. 19, 2013; Itzhak Perlman on Feb. 13, 2014; Elizabeth Alexander on March 4, 2014; and Lara Logan and Steve Kroft on April 8, 2014. Events start at 7:30 p.m. and last approximately 80 minutes.


The Bryan Series events are presented in the 2,400-seat War Memorial Auditorium, 1921 West Lee Street, which is part of the Greensboro Coliseum Complex.


The War Memorial is a short 2.2 mile drive from the Troy-Bumpas Inn Bed and Breakfast, making the inn a great location for out-of-town guests to stay when attending the series. We have been honored to have several subscription holders stay at the inn during past seasons. Conversations at the breakfast table the morning after each event are always interesting as guests share and discuss what they heard!


The Bryan Series has frequently sold out quickly during the subscription ticket sale, which is currently underway. Subscriptions can be purchased online at or by calling 336-316-2852 to request a ticket order form. Cost of the 2013-14 subscription series is $195 each.

Tips for Shopping in the Furniture Capital

October 23rd, 2012 by Judy Horn

Here is Greensboro, we are fortunate to live about 20 minutes from the “Home Furnishings Capital of the World.” The enormous multitude of furniture retailers in and around High Point, NC, makes it easy to find places to buy home furnishings.  (For a great list of High Point area stores, visit the High Point  Convention and Visitors Bureau at

The largest of these stores is Furnitureland South in Jamestown, NC. Famous for the gigantic chest of drawers in front, Furnitureland South has 1.3 million square feet of showrooms spread throughout three buildings. Merchandise from about 1,500 manufacturers is displayed in room settings and also grouped by manufacturer. Because Furnitureland South ships furniture anywhere, people come to this area from all over the country to shop for home furnishings.

To successfully shop for home furnishings when you are miles from home takes a little preparation. The following tips will help you choose furnishing that are right for your home.

  • Bring room layouts noting all room measurements including the size and location of doors and windows. Note how high off the floor windows are placed.
  • Take pictures of the current room so you can discuss things you like about the room and things you would like to improve (such as furniture placement).
  • Take photos and bring measurements of any items you plan to keep in the room. Be sure to include sentimental items that are certain to stay in the room that you might want to spotlight.
  • If available, bring samples of existing carpets and fabrics, such as window treatments and upholstery. Take photos as well. Bring color chips of wall colors, or take photos if chips are not available.
  • Bring the dimensions of hallways, doorways and stairways so you can be sure the furniture you select will actually be able to get into the house.
  • Look online and in magazines for inspiration photos of rooms, styles, artwork and patterns that you like and that make you feel good.

To prevent yourself from quickly becoming overwhelmed in a big showplace, work with one of the store’s design consultants. They will discuss your project and identify your goals and budget. Then they will help you find items that match your style and wallet without a lot of dizzying walking around!

Wear comfortable clothes and shoes! If you get hungry and need a break, Furnitureland South has its own café! And, it makes sense to stay somewhere like the Troy-Bumpas Inn Bed and Breakfast where you start the day with a great breakfast and end your long day of shopping with a relaxing whirlpool bath!

When the Civil War Came to the Troy-Bumpas Inn

March 4th, 2012 by Judy Horn

One of the marvelous things about living and visiting the Troy-Bumpas Inn bed and breakfast is that you can stand in rooms that were briefly inhabited by Union officers who were in Greensboro in spring 1865 at the conclusion of the Civil War. Talk about bringing history to life!

We know that Union officers stayed at the Bumpass home and used a second floor room as an office in May and June 1865. And, although the Troy-Bumpas Inn has been renovated several times since being built in 1847, we have layouts of what the original house was like, so we can be fairly precise in determining where a small chapter of Civil War history took place.

The following excerpt from the book Women of Guilford County, North Carolina; A Study of Women’s Contributions 1740-1979 describes an interesting interaction between an officer under the command of General Jacob D. Cox and Frances Webb Bumpass and her children Eugenia, Duella, and Robah. The parlor described is the present-day living room; the officers were staying in the present-day Allah guest room.

Frances Bumpass at midlife“A Sgt. Sweitzer settled his troops in a meadow [also described as the apple orchard] near Frances Webb Bumpass’s home and lodged his officers in a second-story bedroom overlooking the camp. The following morning the Bumpasses had begun their regular morning prayer service when the Yankee officers were heard coming down the stairs to the parlor door. When the officers explained that they too had come from Christian homes, Mrs. Bumpass invited them in, and the family continued their morning services with the army of the occupation standing all around them.”



A Troy-Bumpas Inn Recipe: Chocolate Ecstacy Cookies

February 25th, 2012 by Judy Horn

Rich Chocolate Ecstacy CookiesGuests at the Troy-Bumpas Inn bed and breakfast can always help themselves to complimentary home-baked cookies, which are available in our second floor guest lounge. Two recent guests loved the Chocolate Ecstasy Cookies that we served in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day so much that they had to have the recipe. The main ingredient in these cookies is chocolate and the recipe calls for a mere 1/4 cup of flour. Be sure to let the cookies sit for a minute on the cookie sheet before transfering to a wire rack to cool completely.

Chocolate Ecstasy Cookies

12 ounces (2 cups) semi sweet chocolate morsels, divided

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate 

2 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

Dash of salt

2 eggs 

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1 cup medium chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350. Position the rack in the center of the oven. Lightly grease a cookie sheet.

In a heavy saucepan, heat 1 cup of the chocolate chips, the unsweetened chocolate squares and butter until melted, stirring constantly (Or, you may melt this mixture in a microwave-safe bowl in a microwave oven). Transfer to large mixer bowl to cool slightly. In a small separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt. Add eggs, sugar and vanilla to cooled chocolate mixture and beat well. Add flour mixture and beat again. Stir in rest of chocolate chips and nuts. Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes. Edges should be firm, and the surface should be dull and cracked. Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute, then remove to a wire rack and allow cookies to cool completely.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies

Troy-Bumpas Inn featured in Greensboro’s News & Record

February 22nd, 2012 by Judy Horn

The Troy-Bumpas Inn bed and breakfast was featured in the Life section of the Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012 issue of the Greensboro News & Record.  Several of our wonderful guests agreed to be interviewed and photographed. (Thank you!!) Below are thumbnail snapshots of the article; the text of the article follows.


Back in Business

The historic Troy-Bumpas Inn reopens as a bed and breakfast

By Robert C. Lopez, Staff Writer

The house at 114 S. Mendenhall St. has hosted Civil War soldiers, housed college students and, these days, gives travelers a taste of the area’s history, along with place to bed down for the night with a hearty breakfast in the morning.

Judy and Larry Horn reopened the Troy-Bumpas Inn in November, taking it over from Andrea and John Wimmer who had operated it for seven years (but closed it in 2010).

“A lot of people have a dream that they’d like to have their own business or run their own company, and in a sense, that’s what we’re doing here,” said Larry Horn, a former sales director for an environmental lab. “That was definitely an attraction, being able to work for yourself.”

“We like living in older homes and all the little quirks you don’t get in modern buildings,” said Judy Horn, who used to work for a community college. “And this gives you an opportunity to live in a wonderful home and share it with other people. And of course, running it as a bed and breakfast helps defray a lot of the costs that come with living in an older home.”

The Horns, who moved to Greensboro from the Chicago suburbs last fall, live on the third floor of the Greek Revival house. The second floor serves as guest quarters and had three bedrooms, and the first floor includes a dining room, living room and office.

The Rev. Sidney Bumpass (the family later dropped the second ‘s’ in their name) built the house in 1847, shortly after arriving in Greensboro to become a presiding elder of the Methodist district.

He published a religious newsletter call The Weekly Message out of the home and was one of the original trustees of Greensboro College (then Methodist Female College) which sat adjacent to his property.

In 1851, he and his son contracted typhoid and died within a few days of each other. His wife, Frances, continued publishing the newsletter and ran an elementary school out of the house.

After the Civil War, Union troops set up their western Greensboro headquarters here, but at the insistence of Frances Bumpass, slept in an apple orchard behind the home.

Frances Bumpass’ daughters Eugenia and Duella inherited the home after she died in 1898. The house underwent at least two big renovations through the years, including one major expansion in 1911 with the intent of turning the place into a boarding house.

Duella’s daughters Ethel and Nina Troy were the last family members to live in the home. When Ethel died in 1975, she left the dwelling to Greensboro College, which turned it into student housing. The school sold the building in the early 1990s, and it was converted into a bed and breakfast-style inn.

The Horn’s used to travel quite a bit for work, and about 20 years ago, they started staying in bed and breakfasts.

“You get more personalized service at a B&B,” Larry Horn said. “You know the people who are running it. It’s more open, inviting.”

 “And I liked that they weren’t your standard cookie-cutter rooms,” Judy Horn said. “You definitely feel like you’re more in a home than you are in a hotel.”

The two long toyed with the notion or running a bed and breakfast themselves but decided to wait until they had put their kids through college and retired. They began searching in earnest for a place about a year ago and visited properties in Missouri and Kentucky before hearing about the Troy-Bumpas.

“We liked the fact that it looked like we could managed it ourselves, and we wouldn’t have to hire any additional staff,” Judy Horn said. “It was the right size for us. And we liked that we would be able to have our living quarters there on the third floor.”

“This is a beautiful area,” Larry Horn said. “And because we’re from a big city, we wanted to be in a city. Greensboro kind of fits the bill. And it was nice for use to be able to get downtown in a few minutes. We came in and just felt it was perfect and fell in love with it.”

They moved in during October. The couple said they hope to offer some murder-mystery weekends in the future and plan to plant some gardens in the spring. They’re repainted the living to make it lighter and upgraded the bathrooms, but other than that, they haven’t made any major changes.

The Horns are usually up by about 7:30 a.m. to make breakfast. On this day, French toast, sausages, and a fruit parfait are on the menu.

Pam and Allan Dorfman of Toronto are the guests. They are headed toward Savannah, Ga., and stopped in Greensboro to check out the area’s furniture stores.

“We used to do the hotel circuit but then decided to try a B&B,” Allan Dorfman said. “They tend to have a lot more personality and are able to give you a bit of history on where you’re staying. And it’s nice to have somebody welcome you.”

Guests are encouraged to explore the house and mingle with the other occupants.

“A lot of people who come here are B&B regulars,” Judy Horn said. “One thing that they thoroughly enjoy is the opportunity to interact with the innkeepers. And if other guests are also in the house at the same time, you get to interact, certainly a breakfast and perhaps at other times of the day. Most people who stay at bed and breakfasts see that as an attraction.”

(Contact Robert C. Lopez at 336-691-5091 or

Photos by Nelson Kepley, News & Record. Captions on the photos:
1) The Troy-Bumpas Inn on South Mendenhall Street in Greensboro started as a family home, then became student housing, then a bed and breakfast. It was building in 1847.

2) Judy and Larry Horn reopened the inn in November. It had been closed since 2010.

3) The Nina Suite is one of three guest rooms in the Troy-Bumpas Inn.

4) Judy Horn (left) talks with Janice and Chris Toshach of Memphis, Tenn., during their stay at the Troy-Bumpas Inn.

5) Guests are encouraged to mingle with each other and explore the inn, which includes a living room with plenty of seating and a fireplace.

6) The Allah Room features floral motifs in its furnishings and paintings.


Boxwood House: Amalgam of Architectural Styles, Near Troy-Bumpas Inn

January 19th, 2012 by Judy Horn

One of the things I enjoy about being innkeeper at the Troy-Bumpas Inn is our neighborhood. The inn is located in Greensboro’s historic College Hill district. Part of the Greensboro College campus is directly behind the inn, and the campus of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) is two blocks west.

Boxwood House

Boxwood House on Mendenhall Street, Greensboro

The Troy-Bumpas Inn is the second oldest home in the neighborhood; another home just two doors to the north on Mendenhall Street comes in as No. 3. This stately home was built in 1859, two years after the Bumpas House was built and just before the Civil War. The home was originally the residence of Rev. Nathan Hunt Daniel Wilson, Presiding Elder of the Raleigh District of the North Carolina Methodist Conference and a leader of the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Rev. Wilson was a trustee of Greensboro College and was also involved in the early formation of Trinity College (which became Duke University), 

Rev. Wilson might not recognize his home if he walked by it today. Originally the home had simple lines appropriate for a member of the clergy. However, in the 1950s, then owner Julian Johnston, who operated a nursing home in the house that he called Boxwood, added a great deal of ornate trim and architectural detail salvaged from Greensboro residences that were being destroyed. Bay windows, eve brackets, finials, and interior features were pulled from the Bellemeade Mansion a short distance away. Gable ornaments were salvaged from the home of W. C. Boren, who had co-owned and operated Pomona Terra Cotta, one of the largest manufacturers of clay pipes and sewer lines in the nation. Windows and doors were recycled from other Greensboro sites. All of these additions remain, and so does the Boxwood name.

Nowadays, Boxwood is a true “painted lady,” a term used for Victorian and Edwardian houses and buildings painted in three or more colors that embellish or enhance their architectural details. Boxwood was designated a Guilford County Landmark in 1990, two years earlier than when the Troy-Bumpas Inn became a Guildford County Landmark.

In the coming months, we’ll post more information about the wonderful homes in the College Hill Historic District, a place the Troy-Bumpas Inn is proud to call home.

Pumpkin Pancakes with Honeyed-Cranberry Sauce

January 11th, 2012 by Judy Horn

Pancake on the griddleToday a guest who had stayed at the Troy-Bumpas Inn this past fall sent me an email requesting the recipe for pumpkin pancakes that I served while she was staying with us. These pancakes are especially delicious in the fall and winter, when both pumpkin and cranberries are popular and plentiful. The cranberry syrup is a great accompaniment and very attractive. You’ll find the recipe for the pancakes and cranberry syrup below.

This recipe calls for egg whites beaten to stiff peaks. Did you know that whole eggs separate most easily when cold, but the whites beat most easily when the egg whites are at room temperature? If you’ve never folded beaten egg whites into batter, check out this video for an excellent demonstration.

All pancakes taste best when served immediately and I only serve freshly made pancakes to guests. That said, I have found that these pancakes are remarkably good when stored and reheated. Cool any leftover pancakes completely on a wire cooling rack. When cool, stack the pancakes, using a piece of wax paper to separate each pancake. Place in an airtight, zipper sealed plastic bag. Refrigerate. To reheat, heat the oven to 250 degrees F. Remove the wax paper separators. Place pancakes in a single layer on ungreased cookie sheet and heat for approximately 10 minutes or until desired temperature.

Pumpkin Pancakes
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
4 eggs, separated
¼ cup canola or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups skim milk

In large bowl, combine flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine pumpkin, egg yolks, oil, vanilla extract and milk. Stir until smooth; set aside.

In a medium bowl with straight sides, beat egg whites until stiff.

Add the pumpkin mixture to the flour mixture.  Mix just until moistened and ingredients are combined. Gently fold in beaten egg whites, mixing just until all ingredients are blended.

Spoon batter onto hot, oiled griddle using a ladle. Cook until golden brown on first side. (Batter is thick so bubbles may not rise to the surface.) Flip and cook pancake on second side. Serve immediately on a warm plate with Honeyed Cranberry Syrup. 

Honeyed Cranberry Syrup
1-1/2 cups honey
½ cup cranberry, orange, or grape juice (I like to use orange juice.)
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, divided (do not bother to thaw if using frozen cranberries)

In medium saucepan, combine honey and juice. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir in 1-1/2 cups of the cranberries and cook until cranberries pop, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in remaining ½ cup cranberries and let sit 5 minutes before serving. This sauce reheats nicely. Makes 2 cups.

Troy-Bumpas Inn Living Room Gets a Facelift

January 6th, 2012 by Judy Horn

Innkeepers are always busy, but Larry and I have been especially busy these first few days of 2012. We took advantage of a short lull in bookings to give our living room a facelift.

We liked much about the “old” living room, but it was always dark, even on a sunny day. We wanted to keep the walls red, but the red color that was there reminded us of cream of tomato soup. We wanted a livelier red! We also thought long and hard about painting the pine wainscoting. I scoured the Internet for “inspiration” photos of painted wainscoting before we decided to move ahead.

The renovation took us three days to complete. Because we were covering red walls with more red, the walls only required one coat of paint. The dark wainscoting took most of our time. It needed a coat of oil-based primer followed by three (yes, three) coats of semi-gloss latex paint.

A picture does say a thousand words, so I’ve included several shots that will quickly walk you through the project. We couldn’t be more pleased with the results. The room is now bright and welcoming. As an added benefit, it looks much larger. Let us know what you think! Better yet, come visit us at the Troy-Bumpas Inn in Greensboro, NC, and see for yourself.