May 20, 2008 11:32am CST
Chinqua Penn Plantation is located near Readsville, North Carolina. It is a 27 room mansion. The mansion has various antique aritcles from 30 countries. There is a chair of King Tut's tomb and two Chinese boxes for a young girls's dress to be stored in the entry foyer. The Russell Stover box is where Mrs. Penn kept candy for her nieces and nephews. The Plantation is featured on A&E's America's Castles. This Historic Place is surrounded by 22 acres. The seasonal gardens and lovely landscape are beautiful to see. The home was built in 1920. Thomas Jefferson Penn was a tobacco farmer and diary farmer. He was a great businessman. Mrs. Beatrice Penn was the daughter of Mr. Arthur Shoellkopf. Mr. Shoellkopf was the mayor of Niagara Falls and the chairman of the board for Niagara Falls Power Company. The Penn's loved to travel the world and collect antiques. All through the house there is furniture from Italy, Spain, China and other parts of the world. The Plantation was named after a dwarf chestnut tree. The dwarf trees name is Chinquapin. Front Porch-The house is built in the shape of a Y for better ventilation. The exterior is made of stone and logs. The tapestry in the house and paintings that hang are gorgeous. Some of the art work is made of pearl fillings. As you enter the house the first room to your left, has mirrors from the ceiling to the floor. It is called the Marie Antoinette room. It was painted by Professor Pompeo Coccio. The Penn's respected other nations religions. The cross light in the hallway near the mud room has red lights in it for Jesus' blood and the tapestry near the staiwell is of the Garden of Eden. Chinese photo's and statues are also located on the wall near the mud room. The Living room has a cathedral ceiling. The ceiling has a Scandinavian design. The entrance columns in the room are made out of Italian stone. The Breakfast room was used for breakfast and lunch. The Dining room was used at Dinner or Supper time. Mr. and Mrs. Penn has one room up stairs that the Chinese people decorated. They even used silver to put on the walls. A deep green color lines the walls of the Oriental room with dark orange to match. Mr. Penn did alot of business in Shanghai, China. Mrs. Penn funded the Reidsville hospital and started the Penn 4-H center. Thomas Jefferson Penn (1875-1945) and Mrs. Beatrice Penn (1881-1965) The Plantation is now owned by Calvin Phelps. He purchased it on August 25, 2006. He is the owner of Renegade Tobacco Company in Mocksville, N.C. Mr. Phelps and his wife also love to travel. Price for tours through the building are $10.00 for children under 16 years of age. $20.00 for anyone over 16 years of age. The address is 2138 Wentworth Street Reidsville, N.C. www.chinquapenn.com (336) 349-4576 As you enter the gate of the front entrance, a stone clock tower sits off to the right. I can just imagine someone climbing the stairs to check the clock levers to see if everything was in working order. The road from the gift shop to the Main Entrance of the house, is about as long as a football field. A stone bridge sits on the Entrance road to the right. Chinese statues and stone chair sit in the shade of the trees' for people to sit on. A Chinese Kubota sets to the right of the mansion. A swimming pool is in front of the Kubota. A giant fountain welcomes you before you enter the house. When you enter the house the Marie Antoinette room is to your left. The mirrors on the ceiling and walls make you feel like a Princess, as you enter the room. The French furniture is beautiful. The formal living room has antiques from all over the world. the brass candle holders on the table are from Italy. It is easy to imagine Mrs. Penn sitting at one end of the table speaking to her husband. They were very romantic toward each other. In this room a tapestry of Moses receiving the Ten Commandments can be seen. It was made in France. The Pipe Organ has pipes under the floor, so that the sound can be heard as the organ plays. The organ plays by itself and is located on the second floor. The mud room occupied Mr. Penn and his friends, when their clothes were muddy. This looks like a mans room, with all of the hunting supplies located on the wall. With a stone floor and chairs for the studly men to sit in, the hunt of fox filled the air. The African drum sits in the corner. It is beautifully hand crafted. The men would relax here and have a drink before supper. The four seasons are painted on the ceiling of the breakfast room. The room was always filled with fresh cut flowers from the gardens on the Estate. The Dining room is a formal dining room set for a king. The finest of China is set on the table. Come see the grape clusters on the ceiling and mahogany walls that line the Dining Room. The view of the landscape is filled with all types of trees. The view of the gardens have got to be beautiful, when they are in full bloom. Mr. and Mrs. penn slept together in the same room. With French and Italian furniture the room is beautifully lit. Two of the chairs in the room are from the 1700's. They are both Louis the 15th and Louis the 16th chairs. Japenese watercolors are on the walls of their room. Their bed was from Itlay and was hand carved. I hope that if you are ever in the area of Reidsville, you will take a day and spend it a Chinqua-Penn Plantation. View the Plantation and enjoy your day.