Archive for the ‘GSO Attractions’ Category

Things to Do in Greensboro: Replacements, Ltd.

October 3rd, 2012 by Judy Horn

One of the most popular tourist sites in the Greensboro area is Replacements, Ltd. You don’t have to be a dinnerware junky to appreciate this wonderful mega store, which is located about 15 minutes from the Troy-Bumpas Inn. Like many successful businesses, Replacements, Ltd. was the brainstorm of one man with a passion for collecting beautiful things.

About 40 years ago, Bob Page, an auditor for the state of North Carolina, began collecting china and crystal as a hobby. Before long, his friends started asking him to be on the lookout for pieces of their dinnerware to replace pieces that were broken.  His bedroom soon became a makeshift office from which he fulfilled china and crystal orders. His hobby soon became his business.

In 1981, Page left his auditing job and opened Replacements, Ltd. in Greensboro, NC. Initially he had just one part-time assistant. Small ads placed in the backs of magazines met with tremendous response. Customer dinnerware requests were recorded on 3-by-5 inch index cards. Sales that first year were $150,000. By 1984, when the company began converting their database to computers, sales were close to $4 million. In 2008, sales exceeded $85 million. Products now include china, stoneware, crystal, glassware, silver, stainless and collectibles.

Today, Replacements ships more than 50,000 items a week to customers all over the world. The company, which has the world’s largest selection of old and new dinnerware, has 500,000 square feet of modern facilities and an inventory of more than 13 million pieces. People anywhere in the world can do business with them via their website. Customers can register patterns they are interested in and receive email notifications when items become available. About 85% of Replacements’ business is done online, but for those of us lucky enough to live in  or visit the piedmont Triad area of North Carolina, Replacements is just a short drive away.

The showroom is open seven days a week (except holidays) with free tours offered daily between 9:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Unless you take the tour, you see only a small percentage of the merchandise on display in the 12,000 square foot showroom. The showroom also includes a museum that displays rare tableware pieces in beautiful, massive antique display cabinets and counters. The top 500 china patterns are displayed in a long hallway display aptly named “The Great Wall of China.” The tour walks guests through the huge Replacements warehouse where merchandise is neatly stored. The backroom area also houses the crystal and silver restoration and repair and the shipping departments.

Wall of most popular china patternsReplacements obtains its merchandise from manufacturers and from buyers throughout the country who seek out desired patterns at estate and yard sales. Many individuals also sell dinnerware that they no longer need to Replacements.

Replacements is an easy 15 minute drive from the Troy-Bumpas Inn. Anyone who loves china and other dinnerware is certain to enjoy the visit and likely to find something beautiful to take home.  Even if you’re not into dinnerware, it’s fascinating to see how such a well organized company operates. Replacements, Ltd.is located at 1089 Knox Road in McLeansville, NC 27301. To learn more call 1-800-REPLACE or visit www.replacements.com.

Dentzel Carousel Near Troy-Bumpas Inn

July 13th, 2012 by Judy Horn

Burlington’s Beautiful Carousel

A short drive east of the Troy-Bumpas Inn is the Dentzel Carousel in City Park in Burlington, NC. The large carousel features a menagerie of beautifully hand-carved animals including 26 horses, 4 each of cats, pigs, rabbits, ostriches, and one each of a deer, giraffe, lion, and tiger. No two animals are alike.

The carousel is an historic treasure. It was built around 1906-1910 by the Dentzel Carousel Company in Philadelphia, PA. After installations at two Ohio amusement parks, the City of Burlington purchased the carousel in 1948.  The carousel and surrounding building were lovely restored from 1981-1985.

For just 75 cents, you can enjoy a ride accompanied by calliope music featuring several happy tunes from Disney movies. Visitors to the carousel include many parents with young children, but you’ll also see plenty of grown-ups enjoying a trip down memory lane! To learn more about the carousel, visit the Dentzel Carousel web site.

Greensboro’s Bog Garden at Benjamin Park

April 23rd, 2012 by Judy Horn

One of the hidden gems of Greensboro is the Bog Garden at Benjamin Park. This seven-acre park is tucked into an urban setting close to Greensboro’s large Friendly Center shopping complex. But what I love about the Bog Garden is the fact that while you are there, you feel as if you are in a peaceful nature preserve far removed from city life.

The garden has an elevated boardwalk and stone pathways that meander through natural wetlands. The bog is home to many wildlife species and native plants. Benches along the path make it easy to linger if time permits. But even if you only have 30 minutes or so, you can follow the main loop of the trail and escape from city life while surrounded by nature, artistic bridges, sculpture, a lake and assorted wildlife.

The Bog Garden, a short 3-mile drive from the Troy-Bumpas Inn, is located at Hobbs Road and Starmount Farms Drive at Benjamin Park. You can easily park streetside at the entrance on Starmount Farms Drive, just southeast of the intersection of Hobbs Road and Starmount Farms Drive. Oh, did I mention that this lovely park is FREE! For nature lovers, this park is a must-see while you are in Greensboro. Click on the photos below to get a peak of the Bog Garden. These shots were taken during a visit in April 2012.

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.

Greensboro Museum Tells How Sit-Ins Were Catalyst for Civil Rights Movement

November 27th, 2011 by Judy Horn

If you ever doubted that a small group of people can spark significant and meaningful change in the world, be sure to visit the International Civil Rights Center and Museum in Greensboro, NC. The museum, located at 134 S. Elm St. in the historic 1929 F.W. Woolworth building in downtown Greensboro, tells the story of how four college students at NC State A&T began the nonviolent protests of the 1960 Greensboro sit-ins. Their actions served as a catalyst in the U.S. civil rights movement.

Museum docents lead visitors through the chronologically arranged exhibits, explaining the conditions under which blacks lived in this country from its founding to the 1960s. The exhibits help build an understanding of the Injustices experienced by African Americans in times when segregation and “Jim Crow” laws permeated society. Through a variety of videos, interactive exhibits, and displays of artifacts, visitors are transported back to a dorm room at the nearby NC State A&T campus so see what went through the minds of four black college students — Ezell Blair, Franklin McCain, Joseph McNeil and David Richmond – as they planned to sit at the “whites only” lunch counter of their local Woolworths. They intended to ask to be served food seated at the counter rather than having to pick it up as carryout at the end of the counter. This original lunch counter and stools where the four students began their protest on Feb. 1, 1960, are preserved at the museum. In the six months following the initial Greensboro sit-in, the non-violent sit-in movement expanded to other college campuses elsewhere in North Carolina and in Virginia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Florida, Maryland, Alabama, Arkansas, Texas, GeWoolworth Building (1929), 132 South Elm Street (corner of Elm Street & February One Place), Greensboro, North Carolinaorgia and Mississippi. As a result of the movement, Woolworth stores as well as others took down their “whites only” signs and and permitted all customers to eat at the counter.

At our recent visit to the museum, docent Anita Johnson did a fantastic job of leading our group through the exhibits. Her compassion for teaching about civil rights was evident, and she truly brought history to life.

Greensboro is filled with history from the Revolutionary War to modern times. I highly recommend a visit to the International Civil Rights Center and Museum. (It’s less than a mile from the Troy-Bumpas Inn.) The high-tech displays are especially well done and the docents are enthralling. I found the hour-long visit very moving, educational and extremely worthwhile. The museum is appropriate for all ages although more sensitive visitors should be aware that there are a few graphic images that help tell the story of some of the violence inflicted upon African Americans. For hours and admission fees, visit http://www.sitinmovement.org/index.asp.  

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If you’ve already been to the International Civil Rights Center and Museum, share with me your thoughts about the museum! This museum is just one reason why Life in Greensboro is good!