“The Connolly House”
404 North Bridge Street
Decorated by The Garden Club of Bedford 

This stately white frame home was built in the very early 1900’s by one of Bedford’s most distinguished physicians, Dr. Joseph Anthony Rucker, Sr. (“Dr. Joe” to his patients) who, with his wife, Eliza Vincent Cauthorn Rucker, raised a large family here.  Among them, two of Bedford’s most outstanding citizens: William Vincent Rucker, M.D. known to his patients as “Dr. Billy,” and Ambrose Alexander Rucker, a former Commonwealth’s Attorney and later a Judge, known by family and close friends as “Boo.”  Dr. Rucker’s daughter, Virginia Browning Rucker, married Elmer Wharton Ramsey in this house in 1944.  Her most junior attendant still recalls walking down the staircase in the wedding processional. 

This is the first year, 2019, that the home has been opened to a Bedford Council of Garden Clubs Christmas Home Tour, so seeing it in the very capable, caring hands of its current owners, the Connollys, is a real treat not to be missed! 

The spacious, airy, two-story frame house features a stone wall around the front yard, an expansive front porch supported by columns, an impressive front hall and stairs, a parlor, dining room, family room, home office, kitchen, laundry room and bath.  

The Connolly’s Christmas Tree features eighteen years’ worth of treasured family ornaments.  Also featured throughout the home are family heirlooms and favorite antiques.


THE BEDFORD COUNCIL OF GARDEN CLUBS will present "A Holly Jolly Christmas Home Tour" on Sunday, December 8, 2019, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.  
Five historical homes will be showcased by five garden clubs in the Bedford area.  Belmont Garden Club will be decorating "The First Lady of Bedford Avenue" built in 1866.  An early 1900's home built by one of Bedford's distinguished physicians, Dr. Joseph Rucker, will be decorated by The Garden Club of Bedford.  Blue Ridge Garden Club will be decorating a Spanish-style home built in 1930.  Garden Thyme Garden Club will be decorating a Williamsburg manor built in 1939; and a newly renovated home built in 1982 will be decorated by the Moneta Garden Club.  

Refreshments will be served to ticket holders at the Bedford Welcome Center, 816 Burks Hill Road, Bedford, during the home tour.  The Welcome Center will also be hosting the "Festival of Trees" on the same day.

Tickets are $20.00 per person and can be purchased at the following locations:  Arthur's Jewelry, 111 North Bridge Street, Bedford; Bedford Welcome Center, 816 Burks Hill Road, Bedford; Aylor's Farm Store, 16075 Forest Road, Forest; Given's Books, 2236 Lakeside Drive, Lynchburg; Moneta Farm and Home Center, 11739 Moneta Road, Moneta; Lake Nails, Ste 106, 84 Westlake Road, Hardy; SML Coffee House, 16430 Booker T. Washington Highway, Moneta.
Mark your calendars for this special "highlight of the season" event, purchase a ticket and come to Bedford on Sunday, December 8th for "A Holly Jolly Christmas Home Tour"!



“Moldenhauer Manor”
617 Westview Avenue
Decorated by Garden Thyme Garden Club 

The current homeowners, Michael and Teresa Moldenhauer, purchased the home from John and Marilyn Boardman in 2001.  The Boardmans bought the house from Jesse and Maxwell Davidson in 1991.  The Davidson’s built the house in 1939 and lived in it for fifty-two years.  They used well-known architect, Everette Flaubert, to design the home and coordinate the construction using the finest custom materials.  The house sits on the original 8.3 acres which runs the length of Sunset Street and extends westward over to Peaks Street.  Maxwell Davidson named the house “Thorn Hill” and she had over 100 boxwoods planted next to the creek and many more placed around the house.  In 2002, the Moldenhauers did major additions that included a large breeze porch, a two-car garage with attic, slate sidewalks and porches.  In 2004, they took out a sewing room, installed a jacuzzi and completely renovated the master bathroom.  

The living room features an ebony grand piano and an oriental wall system containing lighted glass display units and a beverage bar.  The wall unit is made with persimmon veneers.  Persimmon wood is noted for its ebony stains and is the hardest wood in America.  It is often used to make the heads of drivers in golf clubs.  The den is completely comprised of solid walnut walls, bookcases and storage cabinets.  The den has a rare, collectible “Campeche Chair” made from Honduran mahogany and one piece leather.  The chair was designed by and made for Thomas Jefferson.  His original order of twelve chairs in the early 1800’s sank with the ship on a voyage from Central America.  His second order arrived in 1812 and only three exist today at Monticello in Charlottesville.  Sam Moore made hundreds of replicas for the Monticello Foundation.  The replica “Campeche Chair” can be purchased today for $1,195.00! 

The dining room shows pieces from Hickory Chair’s “Williamsburg Collection.”  The ball and claw chairs are solid mahogany and the double pedestal table features inlays of satinwood and African ebony.  The China cabinet has crotch mahogany inlaid doors.  The dining room rug, hall rugs and stairs are Karastan’s Kirman Persian Collection introduced at the Chicago World Fair in 1933.



​The Garden Club of Bedford

Steven Wandrei, Attorney.




Lake Nails
Momma Ann's
Smith Mountain Lake Building Supply
Artfully Framed at the Lake
El Rio restaurant
Fabulous Finds-
Honey Do Man-
CS Threads-
Napoli Cowboy
Phil's Home Improvement-
Westlake Automotive
Tammy D. Harris, LMT

Creative Finishing
Chamber of Commerce
Canterbury Books
Moneta Farm and Home Center
Windy Gap Outdoor Power Equipment

​​​Rhonda Gardner, Owner

“Villa Los Robles”
918 Ashland Avenue     
Decorated by Blue Ridge Garden Club

The Spanish-style house was built in 1930 by Mr. Frank Scott who had contracted H.M. Miller, Architects, from Roanoke, Virginia.   The idea of building a Spanish-style house with a tile roof came from Mrs. Scott who had visited a college roommate in Florida.  This particular architecture was popular in Florida and Mrs. Scott decided she wanted a home like this in Bedford.  The house you see today is the “original” with the slate porch, carport and patio.  The large oaks in the front yard have welcomed families and visitors for nearly ninety years.  Ms. Gardner, the current homeowner, named the house “Villa Los Robles,” which means The Oaks Villa in Spanish. 

Many treasured family antiques are seen throughout the home.  Ms. Gardner’s great-great-great-great grandmother’s kitchen linen chest sits in the hallway and currently holds scarves, mittens and hats for the winter.  The iron fencework on the stairs is handmade and twisted, as are the iron baskets seen outside the top floor windows.  The baseboards, doors and door frames in all of the rooms are made out of cypress wood which has been stained.  The cozy den features family pictures and a collection of books.  The first floor bathroom still has the original medicine cabinet that was purchased for the house.  The kitchen has been renovated, but the floors are still original.  The kitchen nook has inlaid china cabinets and a great window view of the backyard.  The butler’s pantry is used to store additional items that the homeowner uses when entertaining.  Also in the butler’s pantry is a laundry shoot, which was common in large houses during the time the house was built.  The formal living and dining rooms are decorated in the traditional style.  The dining room furniture was a wedding gift from Ms. Gardner’s grandfather to her grandmother in the 1920’s.   Ms. Gardner is a collector of beautiful crystal glasses and various patterns of china. 

The Christmas Tree in the living room was decorated by the homeowner and displays many ornaments made by her children, family heirloom ornaments and ornaments collected from travels around the world.  Ms. Gardner loves plaid décor and this theme is seen throughout the house.


RECEIVED from Blue Ridge Garden Club:

Arthur’s Jewelry 
Azul & Social Club Restaurants 
Bella Italia Restaurant 
Bower Center for the Arts 
Cardinal Senior Living
Cutler’s Lawn Care – Create Design 
El Cazador Mexican Restaurant 
Taylor Rodriguez 
Taylor Rodriguez Elvis Tribute Artist “Congratulations” 
Goose Creek Studio 
House Dressing 
Virginia McCabe & Jim Towner Realtors 
Joe Beans Coffee 
J & W’s The Shop 
Little Old Lady Quilting 
Mustard Seed Realty 
Peaksview Landscaping 
Peoples Furniture 
Princess House –
Rapid Printing 
Rowlett’s Auto Care 
Scott & Bond 
Sherry Chair & More 
Sister to Sister Café 
State Farm Insurance 
Terrace Blooms 
The Blue Lady 
Town Kitchen & Provisions (TKP) 
Trendsetters Salon 
Wendy Witt Group 
Have a Holly Jolly Christmas Song 
The Nested Magpie 



ROANOKE - The Bedford Council of Garden Clubs 2017 Christmas Home Tour is coming up 

find out where to get tickets and see the homes on display.

"A Holly Jolly Christmas Home Tour" on Sunday, December 8, 2019, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.  


Bedford Council Of Garden Clubs
RECEIVED Garden Thyme Garden Club

Bamga (Master Gardeners) 
Bartlett Tree 
Friends Of Forest Library 
Ivy Hill Golf (Runk & Pratt) 
Jfpr All Service 
Jf Theatre 
Living Murals 
Michelle Stebbings Realtor 
Mi Patron 
Morins (Forest Direct Primary Care) 
Quaker Memorial Church 
Scotts Mulch 
Sutton Landscaping 
Trimmers Ii Salon 
Jfpr All Service 
Trimmers Ii Salon 


“The First Lady of Bedford Avenue”
402 Bedford Avenue
Decorated by Belmont Garden Club 

Mr. L.D. Haymond purchased the land from a Mr. Overstreet and he built the house on or about 1866.  Mr. Haymond was a Civil War Colonel, a prominent lawyer in Bedford and a delegate from 1866 until his death in 1886.  By 1870,

L.D. Haymond and his wife, Lucy, their two sons, a niece and many servants resided in the home.  Mark Twain was a personal friend of the family and he visited the home on several occasions.  The house was sold after L.D. Haymond’s death to Mr. James M. Smith and his wife, Lizzie.  Mrs. Haymond had a life inheritance so she continued to reside in the home until her death in 1903. 

Mrs. Smith sold the house in 1911 to Richard E. White and his wife, Magnolia.  They lived in the house with their three daughters and servants.  Mr. White was a banker and became the President of First Citizens Bank in 1922.  The house by then was in disrepair; and, in September of 1922, Stanhope Johnson a well-known architect from Lynchburg was contracted to do a full remodel of the home.  He removed the original wrap-around porch and added the stately columns, portico and side porches.  The original plans show that he left the drawing room, dining room and the two bedrooms above.  He added a servant staircase, lavatories, music room, additional bedroom and two sleeping porches.  The front door is original as are the shutters and windows.  

After Mr. White’s death in the early 1960’s, the home was occupied by relatives until it was sold to Gordon and Vera Noakes.  The Noakes added the lovely mantels, fountain and pergola.  They rented the house for ten years until Mr. Noakes’ retirement.  After that, they used the home as a summer place.  The house was vacant for over four years.  In September of 2015, the house was purchased by Steve and Jayne Compton, who are the present owners or “caretakers” as they prefer to be called.  The Comptons have made some improvements—the kitchen is now boasting its first dishwasher, new cabinets and countertop and the restoration of the original hardwood floors.


Bedford Council of Garden Clubs
Home Tour Ads 


Brownstone Properties – 
Catron’s Tire Service 
Tharp Funeral Home 


“Little Otter Place”
103 North Branch Road
Decorated by Moneta Garden Club

This home was built by Jack and Virginia Robertson in 1982.  The once red-brick house is now painted a “gracious greige” with black shutters.  Major renovations were made to the house by the second owners, Fred and Nanci Heptinstall, beginning in 2017.  The original kitchen porches, front and back, were retained with new doors to replace older ones.  The inside of the kitchen was totally re-done.  The whole wing had insulation and crawl space work done for energy efficiency.  Off of the back kitchen porch, a 16 x 26 foot Belgard Dublin Cobble patio with knee wall and wider sidewalk were added in the new courtyard area.  A brick courtyard gate wall was constructed to hold an antique teak double door with brass latches from India.  Metal fencing completes the courtyard.  The front kitchen porch has a new sidewalk (replacing the bricks) leading to the driveway and a wider walk to the garage (same Belgard stone).  The 4-car garage with office space was custom-built by Chris Morgan.  The walk to the front door was also replaced with cobblestone.  

Carpet was removed throughout the inside of the house and engineered wood flooring replaced it.  The family room paneling was painted a light gray, the fireplace converted to gas, fireplace brick painted cotton white, and one window replaced by a 12 foot French Door wall leading to a new 15 x 18 foot sunroom.  Off of this sunroom is a 15 x 8 foot porch with tempered glass rail system to maximize the views of sunrise over Liberty High School, sunsets at the Peaks of Otter and all trees and nature along the Little Otter River at the back.  

The living room features a hand-carved astral hawk done by a former neighbor in Lynchburg and a Starbucks Cup collection from the Heptinstall’s travels while Mr. Heptinstall was working in the produce packaging business.  The wall photography is by Mrs. Heptinstall (including their honeymoon in Italy).  Original oil paintings by a son-in-law are on display; as well as Monet’s Water Garden personally signed giclee by actress Jane Seymour.  The white ceramic Nativity set was done by Mrs. Heptinstall’s father.  There is also a picture of the old Heptinstall Store in Huddleston hanging in the family room.

Tourist information center in Bedford, Virginia
Address: 816 Burks Hill Rd, Bedford, VA 24523

The Bedford Area Welcome Center is comprised of exhibit, display, and meeting space in addition to the administrative offices of the Tourism Department.

The Welcome Center is open daily 9:00am to 5:00pm (closed some holidays).  The building includes spectacular views of the Peaks of Otter and National D-Day Memorial.  Exhibits within the Welcome Center showcase the area’s many attractions and amenities.  There is also a gift store, free Wi-Fi, firefighter exhibit, and small theater. 

Exterior features include covered porches, rocking chairs, a picnic area, and a LOVE sign, which is a great photo opportunity for anyone visiting or living in Bedford! 

The building is fully accessible and parking spaces are provided for motor coaches and campers.  RV hook-ups are available and there is an electric car charging station.

Each year, the Welcome Center hosts the Festival of Trees, usually starting in late November and running through early January.  Trees are decorated by local businesses according to a chosen theme and visitors vote on their favorite tree(s) for $1/vote and all proceeds go to local charitable organizations.  The event also features a scavenger hunt for children, and on designated evenings, the Welcome Center remains open late and offers craft activities, hot chocolate and cookies, and photos with Santa.  For many in the community this has become an annual holiday tradition.  There is no charge to attend the Festival of Trees.

For dining, shopping, and lodging information in Bedford, go to