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Hite Family Reunion

Belle Grove Welcomes Hite Family Members

to Its triennial reunion

Friday, July 27-Sunday, July 29, 2018

Belle Grove Plantation looks forward to welcoming you for the 2018 Hite Family Reunion! Events will begin on Friday, July 27 and continue through Sunday, July 29. We have allowed time for travel in on Friday with the first official event beginning with an early supper on Friday and for travel out on Sunday with the last event early Sunday afternoon. In addition, you are welcome to come early and stay later; there will be time to tour  Belle Grove all day Friday and Sunday.

We’ve designed the schedule to be enjoyed “a la carte” so feel free to attend as many of the talks or tours as you wish—we also welcome you to relax and visit with family and friends on the grounds and tour the Manor House at your leisure. We look forward to updating you on our ongoing preservation and interpretation projects at Belle Grove. We are particularly excited that archaeology will be taking place the weekend you visit. As we did in 2015, we will also have programs from our Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park Rangers.

Richard Hite will be the keynote speaker at the reunion banquet on Saturday evening. Richard Hite served as President of the Hite Family Association from 2003 until 2012.   Prior to that, he served as association historian and has resumed that role since the end of his last term as President.  He has coordinated the genealogy workshop at every Hite Family Reunion since 1985.  Professionally, he works as State Records Coordinator at the Rhode Island State Archives. He  is also the author of three books, including Sustainable Genealogy: Separating Fact from Fiction in Family Legends, from which he has taken the title of his talk.

On Sunday before brunch will be the family portrait and after brunch at noon will be the Hite Family Association Business Meeting. 

If you are considering spending additional time traveling in the Shenandoah Valley, please visit and for more information.

You may wish to do genealogical research while you are here. The Stewart Bell Archives at Handley Regional Library in Winchester is open Thursday-Saturday 10am-5pm. The Archivist is Rebecca Ebert and more  information is at

The Shenandoah Room and Truban Archives at the Shenandoah County Library in  Edinburg is open Thursday & Friday 10am-5:30pm and Saturday 10-Noon. The Archivist is Zach Hottel and  more information is at


Special Hotel Rates

The historic Wayside Inn Bed and Breakfast  is happy to welcome back Hite family descendants! Located at 7783 Main Street in Middletown it was founded in 1797, the same year Belle Grove’s Manor House was completed. It is just two miles north of Belle Grove. It is under new management as of fall 2013. They have a variety of room styles and prices and will offer a 20% discount on a two night stay (Friday and Saturday or Saturday and Sunday) or 15% on a one-night stay. Accommodations include breakfast. The Wayside Inn is pet friendly. Mention you are with the “Hite Family Reunion” for the special rate. More information at or contact the Wayside Inn at 540-869– 1797 or

Country Inn and Suites, 141 Kernstown Commons Blvd in Winchester is 12 miles north of Belle Grove. It is in the Carlson hotel group and is brand new. It is convenient to Route 11 and I-81 and located in the Kernstown Commons shopping area that includes Alamo Drafthouse Cinema and many dining options. The hotel features a complementary hot breakfast, free high speed internet, and a pool. It is a non-smoking hotel that allows pets only on the first floor for $20 per pet per night. They are offering a rate of $89.00 for up to 2 people in the room, and $10 for each additional adult, plus taxes. Make reservations by calling 800- 830-5222, emailing or at Mention you are with the “Hite Family Reunion” for the special rate.

Most chain hotels have facilities in Strasburg, Stephens City, Front Royal and Winchester and all are within a 10-30 minute drive of Belle Grove. If you need further recommendations, please contact us at or 540-869-2028.


Some details are to be finalized but the general schedule has been set so that registrants may make travel plans.

10 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Manor House Open for Guided Tours

11:30 a.m. National Park Service Program   Belle Grove Front Lawn

4:00-6:00 p.m. Manor House Open for Self-Guided Tours

2-6 p.m. Registration   Tent on West Side of Manor House

2-6 p.m. Genealogy Workshop with Richard Hite  Lower Level of Manor House

5:30-6:45 p.m. Welcome & BBQ Supper (reservation and tickets required)  Reunion Tent

7-8:30 p.m. History at Sunset program (free)- History and Walking Tour of the Bowman-Hite Farm (begin at Belle Grove and carpool to Bowman-Hite Farm)—Kyle Rothemich, Cultural Resource Manager, Cedar Creek & Belle Grove National Historical Park


8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Registration   Tent on West Side of Manor House.

10 a.m.-4 p.m. Manor House Open for Guided Tours

10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Genealogy Workshop with Richard Hite   Lower Level of Manor House

9:00-9:15 a.m. Welcome, Charles Harbaugh IV, Mayor of Middletown and Kristen Laise, Belle Grove Executive Director   Reunion Tent

9:15-10:00 a.m. Talk on Shenandoah Valley Barns—John Adamson, Belle Grove Docent

10:00-10:30 a.m. Talk on Jacob Hite (son of Jost)—Wayne Sulfridge, Belle Grove Docent

10:45-11:15 a.m. Talk on Isaac Hite Jr.’s Sons—Richard Schoener, Belle Grove Docent

11:15 a.m.- noon Talk on Archaeology of Slave Quarter Sites at Belle Grove—Matthew Greer, Archeologist

11:30 a.m. National Park Service Program Belle Grove Front Lawn

Noon- Lunch on Your Own   List of restaurants to be provided

1-4 p.m. Hite Family Ancestral Homes open for touring  List to be provided

3:30 p.m.  Kneading in Silence: A Glimpse into the Life of the Hite’s Enslaved Cook Judah— Ranger Shannon Moeck, Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park

6:30-9:00 p.m. Reunion Banquet, Corron Center, Lord Fairfax Community College, Middletown (reservation and tickets required)

Dinner Speaker Richard Hite, Hite Family Association Historian “Separating Fact from Fiction in Hite Family Legends” Lord Fairfax Community College Corron Center, Middletown

SUNDAY, July 29
9:30-10:30 a.m. Church Service   St. Thomas Chapel, Middletown

11 a.m. Family Portrait   Back Lawn

11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Brunch (reservation and tickets required)   Reunion Tent

Noon Hite Family Association Business Meeting  Reunion Tent

1-5 p.m. Manor House Open for Guided Tours

2:30 p.m. National Park Service Program   Belle Grove Front Lawn