The Roanoker September/October 2017 - 31
THE ROANOKER HOMES 2017
retirement. Now, however, their focus is on creating wonderful experiences for their visitors.
"We love Fincastle," Bobbie says. "This has been a true
labor of love trying to restore it. It's constant, but we love it."
The family home became a bed and breakfast in May
2016. Restoration happened a little bit at a time, as the
couple raised their family in the home as well. They knew
they would eventually need a downstairs bedroom with a
handicapped-accessible bathroom. And they figured while
they were building a downstairs bathroom, they might as
well build one upstairs, too.
The porch needed to be reconstructed. That's when Gene
Simmons of Timberline Construction came in, spending
three years restoring the porch to its full potential. He started in the corner, working his way around the entire house
(at extreme heights, no less!) removing rotting wood and
hammering in new pieces.
A MASSIVE FIRE TOOK OUT EVERYTHING on
Main Street in 1870. While the home was not there
at the time, it was bought in 1873, meaning the home
was built shortly after the fire. Many women in that
time wanted to get away from New Orleans and Yellow
Fever, opting to come to Fincastle because of the good
water. At the time the first couple moved into the new
home, it was a one-story structure. The lady of the
house added a floating staircase (a unique feature not
often seen in that time period), added bay windows,
wrought iron and 16-foot ceilings upstairs. When her
husband died from tuberculosis only a few years later,
she and her children had to move. A century later, the
Bowmans met her relatives, who brought an original
set of everyday china that had once been in the home.
"We're not just a B&B," Mitch says. "We're a piece of
The couple feels so strongly about this that during their
renovations, their choices kept with the historical aspect.
While many of the rooms boast the same wallpaper chosen by
Bobbie's grandmother (or was there when her father moved
in, dating it back even further), the dining room needed a
new layer. Bobbie selected a wallpaper that fit with the theme,
a potpourri style based on the appropriate time period and
old china that was once housed inside. The fireplace in the
dining room, meant to burn coal, has gas coals now, keeping
with the authenticity.
Their furniture is a hodge-podge of items gifted to the
couple from family members like a great-aunt and grandparents. Most are antiques and you'd be hard-pressed to figure
5. Gas coals in the fireplace offer authenticity.
6. A guest bedroom perfectly mixes and matches antique fabrics.
7. The antique clock,
built on the grounds,
still works today.
8. This cheery spot is
ideal for B&B visitors
who love old books.
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017 | 31