Tea and Tour at Historical Bellmard Inn

On Saturday, September 14, from 2:00 to 4:00 the Friends of Princeton and the Bellmard Inn held the second annual tea at the Bellmard Inn on Main Street in Princeton. This special event was to celebrate the first woman to start a business in Princeton. In 1870 at the age of 21, Flora Belmore started Mrs. Belmore’s Fancy Millinery. According to her son Bruce Belmore’s writings “for many years she did a prosperous business, trimming and sending hats and kindred merchandise far and wide, employing one clerk all the time and one or more trimmers during the rush season at Christmas and Fourth of July.”

Members made special tea sandwiches and a wide variety of fancy cookies and pastries. Sharon Norman, Sue Martell, Brenda Trout and Jo-Anne Cannell served tea to the guests. Bellmard’s owners, Sandra Smith and Ian Clements, gave the tours.

The Bellmard had beautiful tea cups and dishes set up in the dining room and living room. Sharon Norman made flower arrangements. In two upstairs bedrooms were displays of vintage clothing and hats. A third bedroom had a quilted bedspread as well as four vintage quilts and five vintage knitted afghans. The Orchid Bedroom, Flora Belmore’s original shop, was set up with the wedding dress of Alwilda W. DeLong who married Ira S. Tupper on September 14, 1900 as well as hats, dresses and a hat pin holder.

Included in the tour was the Bellmard Cottage Museum, which the owners established last year. On display are many photographs of Princeton as well as a variety of vintage tins, enamel ware, dishes, furniture, antique cameras and projectors, and ice cutting equipment. The museum is open May-October by appointment. Just give the Bellmard a call at 796-2261 to make sure they are available for a showing.

All guests received the booklet: An Historical Sketch of The Bellmard Inn and The Belmore Family, written by owner, Sandra Smith. Anyone who arrived in a hat signed up for a special drawing. The winners were: J. Brown; a Shell Gas Card-donated by Friends of Princeton. Winners of the Bellmard Inn Cookbook and a tea cup and saucer donated by the Bellmard were Karen Walker, Debby Mann, and Rosaly Williams

A special thank you to John Churchill of the St. Croix Historical Society, who provided us with a copy of vintage Princeton photographs, which was set up as a slide display.

There was no charge for this event but donations were gratefully accepted for the the Princeton Public Library Building Fund. Over $100 was raised for the library.

To see some great photos of the event check out the Friends of Princeton Facebook page.