MJ South Trip South USA Trip

Marguerite and Betsy South USA Trip, 2012 (Updated June 2014)

In June 2012, Marguerite went to the East Coast to participate in the annual meeting of the Board of Directors for the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) of which she has been a member for 5 years. The meeting was in Bethesda, Maryland. En route to the meeting, she visited with her sister, Betsy McCaghren, and took a trip down memory lane visiting various locations important to their Southern heritage.

Orlando Christening

The first event for the trip was the christening of Betsy's grandson, Cannon McMillan McCaghren, who was born in December 2011. Cannon is the second son of Liz and Grant McCaghren (Betsy's youngest son). The Christening was also attended by Marguerite's aunt Marga and cousin Peggy. The first photo is of Peggy, Betsy, Marguerite, and Marga. The other photos are of Cannon and his parents and godparents. Christening was followed by lunch and visiting at Grant and Liz's new home in Winter Park.


After a couple of days at Betsy and Brent's home in Winter Park, Betsy and Marguerite embarked on a road trip through Georgia and South Carolina. The sisters were born in Statesboro, Georgia, where the Neville family has had a presence for many years. The "old home place" on the left is at the original Neville family farm of over 1000 acres that was dedicated to cotton growing when "cotton was king". After the boll weevils destroyed the cotton crops, the land was used for tobacco and other things until it became a commercial dairy. Neville family members still live in the home, although it has been enlarged and remodeled many times since William Gesmon Neville (our grandfather) was born there in 1892. Grandaddy became a lawyer and had his own smaller farm (100+ acres) closer into town. We also visited the cemetery where many family members are buried.


Betsy had made us reservations at a wonderful boutique hotel in Savannah where we stayed for two nights. Visiting Savannah brought back many memories as we spent lots of time in Statesboro (50 miles from Savannah) when we were growing up and often went with Grandma and Grandaddy to Savannah when Grandaddy had "law business" there. We often ate at the Pirate's House restaurant which has now become so commercial that we passed it by. We visited the homes of Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of the Girl Scouts, had lunch at the restaurant of SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design), saw the commemorative plaque to Sherman's march through Georgia during the Civil War, and visited a number of other tourist sites. Betsy even found a plaque to a General Lachlan McIntosh and took a photo because one of her grandchildren is named Lachlan (no relation to General McIntosh, however).


We then continued on to Charleston where we stayed in a charming Bed and Breakfast in the historic area. We explored some wonderful restaurants and even saw a play at The Planter's Hotel. Charleston is a charming old city and we walked all over for a couple of days.


From Charleston we went on to Betsy and Brent's home in the mountains outside of Asheville. Their home is in the Wolf Laurel Resort near Mars Hill, North Carolina. Wolf Laurel has about 800 homes, a very large golf course, and a country club with a full-service restaurant open from Spring through early Fall. Betsy and Brent had just finished a major addition to their cabin and Marguerite was anxious to see the finished product! They bought the original cabin (on the right in the photo below) about 30 years ago when their sons were going to Camp Rockmont during the summers (a camp for boys in the mountains near Asheville) and later two of the boys attended colleges nearby. After Betsy and Brent retired they decided to enlarge the cabin so that all of the family could be there at the same time! The new addition includes a large "great room" of about 1000 square feet with a dining table that can accommodate up to 20 people. Two of their four sons are married and between them have 5 children, so far, and they wanted to have enough space for future family growth. The new addition has a master suite on the lower level and a loft above for Betsy's art. Details and a tour of the cabin can be viewed by clicking on the "Maypole Tour Movie" link below (big movie, may take 3+ minutes to load first time). It is common practice in the mountains to name homes, so the original cabin is named "Caroline" and the new addition is named "The Maypole". Betsy found an old pub sign with Maypole painted on it and that has become the focal point above the fireplace. There are also some old stained glass windows incorporated into a playhouse for the children.

After a few days at The Maypole, Marguerite flew out of Johnson City, Tennessee, to her meeting in Bethesda, then returned home to California.

Maypole Tour Movie

In June 2014 Betsy's home was featured in the local Asheville Citizen-Times newspaper. Below are a few photos that were included in the article.

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