Barnwood Builders features River Road plantation
Pastures of green filled with the livelihood of farm animals are some of the first sites one sees when turning into the Springfield Plantation on River Road.
In months to come it will be the home of the Springfield Distillery.
County residents will have the chance to see its beginnings on the DIY show Barnwood Builders in December.
Owners Kelly and James Gordon are eager to share their large property with guests in their soon-to-be bed and breakfast and distillery of bourbons, whiskeys, gins and other palatable adult beverages good for sipping.
Moving from Northern Virginia, the couple has fallen in love with all the offerings of a small town and wants others to enjoy it as much as they have.
Their bed and breakfast and distillery have been in the makings for years now. Ideas began blooming into action about two years ago when Gordon began using weekends to travel from Northern Virginia to cut logs and build a log cabin with the help of his neighbors.
It now sits in the yard of the plantation complete with a downstairs master bedroom accented with a couch and an adjacent kitchen. Up the stairs are smaller quarters complete with two twin beds.
They hope to “create not only a destination but a facility that provides educational opportunities and an experience of South Central Virginia that (they) think will be a draw.”
When visiting their home, the couple hopes their guests also will visit other local attractions such as Greenwood Vineyards, The Berry Hill Resort, the soon-to-be distillery at the former Elmo’s Grocery and local rivers for kayaking and canoeing.
Currently, the couple has two cabins and a timber frame. Their goal is to have two more cabins for a total of four.
With ideas to expand their property, Gordon began noticing the six West Virginians on Barnwood Builders were using a different technique to chink their barns, and he was interested in how they did it. He reached out to one of the main characters, Mark Bowe. Bowe is also the founder of Antique Cabins and Barns in Louisberg, West Virginia.
Bowe became interested in the future of Springfield Plantation and wanted to know if they had a cabin that they’d like to move onto their property.
In fact, the Gordon’s did – a cabin offered from their neighbors, Ned and Donna Strange.
Bowe then offered to bring the DIY crew to Vernon Hill to move the barn for the show. That barn ended up being unrecoverable, but it turned out the Strange family had another barn to offer.
With plans in motion, five men from Barnwood Builders spent five days on the Springfield Plantation enjoying corn hole and other fun activities in between working and filming. Other crewmembers stayed in local hotels.
The crew enjoyed visiting various local places including the Berry Hill Resort and Virginia International Raceway.
“It was a great experience. They were just the nicest, most down to earth people,” the couple agreed.
The Springfield Distillery continues under construction as well as the cabin featured on Barnwood Builders that will serve as the tasting room.
It’s a long process for the Gordons, but they are hoping to have some capacity of their facility up and running by the spring.
When the distillery is complete, guests will have the chance to taste liquors created by James Gordon, who is the son of a moonshiner.
Growing up in South Africa, Gordon’s father became one of the first men who could legally make alcohol.
To get a taste of what is in store for the community and the Gordons, watch the 11th episode of the second series of Barnwood Builders on the DIY network in December.