I@O Experience

February 7, 2017

We can’t think of a better time or better content to start the I@O Experience blog. February celebrates Black History here in the United States. The Eastern Shore is rich in history for all, yet has an especially powerful history for our African American brothers and sisters. Here is just one example of the thoughtful events taking place on the Shore to acknowledge Black History Month.

Shore Black History Lives, A Conversation: How We Prayed Played and Made a Way Out of No Way

Charlie Landis (author of The Virginia Eastern Shore, An Introduction to the History of the Virginia Eastern Shore. A Collection of Essays on Important Events and Persons 1614-2014) stopped at the Inn to introduce himself and talk for a while on the history of the Shore. One compelling story he shared can be found in an essay in his book that teaches about the controversial history of Anthony Johnson. After filing a suit in 1655, Mr. Johnson holds the unfortunate claim of being the first black man to own another black man. Although not known for certain, records indicate that Johnson came to the Eastern Shore in 1635 as headright on a plantation on Hungars Creek. It is in that same year that his owner, Nathaniel Littleton, gave Johnson his freedom. By 1655, Anthony Johnson and his family owned 900 acres of land and had five servants, both black and white.

Johnson’s potentially polarizing story echoes throughout our country’s history: he started out here in an unchosen and difficult place, he labored to overcome his circumstances, and ultimately, he surmounted obstacles we can’t imagine to make a better life for his family.

Our history is our history, despite the many instances of which we are not proud, but there are lessons to be learned from every event and every person who has made this country what it is today.

3 thoughts on “I@O Experience”

  1. My wife and I recently spent a wonderful three day weekend at the Inn celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary. Matt and Kim were wonderful hosts. The house is beautiful and the service and accommodations could not have been better. Time spent meeting the other guests and the fantastic breakfasts were also a memorable part of our stay. The Inn and the town of Onancock is a great place to stay and unwind.

  2. Avid B&B goers, my wife and I don’t usually trust reviews from booking sites or owned websites but stick to yelp or non-related party review sites. We found the Inn at Onancock because an old favorite had closed its doors. We searched reviews and all were positive so we went with little concern.

    BOY WERE WE SURPRISED — none of the previous reviews prepared us for what has been now defined as the BEST STAY WE HAVE EVER HAD. Waring, staying here may ruin every future B&B stay you have at other locations after setting this bar so high.

    First the typical stuff you wold expect: Clean Rooms, Great Atmosphere, friendly staff (owner/residents), and decor that makes you feel both at home an away in the Tuscany vineyards or the shores of Maine, or some other room specific location. Five Stars no doubt about it. For an OLD VICTORIAN the condition is 100% NEW with Old Time Charm.

    Now lets talk about the things that make this place STAND OUT. First there is KIM and MATT, the owners. Kim is what can be best described a Gourmet Chef, with a down home charm. Matt, active in the town council, is committed to making sure your stay is both ‘eventful’ while also ‘uneventful’ if you know what I mean. All the good and none of the bad.

    You are greeted by a hand chalked welcome sign with your names, and if it is raining, don’t be surprised if someone comes out to the car and puts an umbrella over your head.

    Each of the rooms has a decor related to a region or place, and outside the rooms in the hall is a hot and cold beverage center free of charge 24/7. But why would you need that — Kim will place a made to order hot beverage tray at your door each morning and then still be ready for you to come down for a four course Breakfast that will WOW your senses and taste buds.

    Fresh juices in carafes, hot teas, coco, and coffee as well all freshly baked IN HOUSE spiced bread (different flavor daily) await your first sight. To the side is buffet of hand whipped Greek Yogurt, freshly cut fruit (no can or bag stuff here) and oats/granola, coconut, and nuts with raisins and honey to start you off.

    But wait there is more… Next comes your HOT MEAL, each day something exotic and designed to challenge any five star restaurant. After your Entree, there will be a need to save room for a delightful baked treat – which I will not give anymore information on in fear I will ruin the delicious light and airy surprise.

    Bottom line – you will not need to eat lunch while you are out.

    Then we definitely wanted to make it back each night by 530 for Kim’s WINE DOWN service, where from a choice of fine wines Kim will keep your glass filled all night. Along with the wine comes some inviting and different snacks that Kim has prepared — all never to be seen on any traditional menu. This is no wine and cheese event this is wine and appetizers and WOW to the Senses.

    The food and atmosphere was so good, we barely could eat our dinners when we ventured out to town. My wife and I started sharing plates because Kim kept us so full.

    There is a large sitting room, a library and tv lounge as well as two porches and a garden patio.

    This is a ten star place – no ifs about it.

  3. On my way to Norfolk from New York, I happened upon Onancock Inn: What a way to break up a usually-difficult trip from the NE to SE: after a long day of driving, I had a wonderful soak in the tub made just for that (complete with electronic and bottle bubbles), a nap, a very nice converstion with other guests and an incredible gourmet dinner down the street followed by a quiet restful night. Let in AM very refreshed and ready for the day after a gourmet breakfast made to my specifications (no carbs). I cannot say enough good things about the place, the service, the experience and can recommend it highly. I want to go back and poke around the town, especially to check out the great art.

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