Friends of the Library Hosts Author, Hoge

friends of library
Over 40 members of the Friends of the Library enjoyed an evening of food as they listened to Madeline Hoge describing her family’s journey of restoring historic Belle Hampton from her new book. Photo by Danielle Reid/Patriot Publishing


Patriot Publishing

On April 7th, during National Library Week, the Pulaski Friends of the Library held their first full membership meeting of 2024 at the Dublin Public Library with more than 40-members in attendance.  The dinner meeting was catered by Lindy Mann.

According to Carol Smith, President of the Friends of the Pulaski County Library, their mission is to promote literacy through their many programs.  “We have provided books for use in schools, jails, and we’ve sent books to people who are teaching children to read – and recently, some to teachers in Alaska.  We also help pay for books used in the Summer Reading Program for local school age children.”

The Friends of the Library is known in the NRV for its fundraising book sales which are held at the Booksale Room in the apartment building across from the library in Pulaski.  Smith reported that the recent book sale generated $300.00 in revenue.

During the dinner, Catherine Stout introduced guest speaker Madeline Hoge.  The room was filled with fans of Hoge, who has written about her family’s quest to save the Belle-Hampton Farm on Highland Road in Pulaski County.  Although the family business is consulting, Madeline is also a historiographer who married into the Hoge family, and writes captivating stories about the family and their discovery and renovation of the family farm.

Guest speaker Madeline Hoge. (Danielle Reid/Patriot Publishing)

Hoge shared several of their family’s core values which she believes are important for all generations:

“We believe that succeeding as a family are as important as succeeding independently as we love intentionally.  We live by the Golden Rule, never compromising the truth.  We communicate openly and our actions are consistent with our words.  We have the inner strength to remain constant to a purpose, idea or task in the face of obstacles – Nothing worth doing is easy.  We learn from experiences, explore new possibilities and inspire others.”

Hoge explained, “The family legacy began in 1767 when James Mayo Hoge was searching for his lost brother who fought in the French-Indian War.  Instead, he found his true love, Elizabeth Howe, and together they built a home on land he called Hayfield (now Belle Hampton Farm). They had 11 children, one of them being General James Hoge. ”

General Hoge was an entrepreneur who expanded the farm into a 5,000 acre profitable agricultural and cattle business.  In 1826, he built a beautiful brick main house, smokehouse and separate cooking house.  It was the only brick structure in a 100-mile radius and contained six rooms, a cellar under the entire house and an attic.  Because of it’s proximity to the Battle of Cloyd’s Farm, injured soldiers may have been treated there.

During the next generation, James Hoge Tyler (grandsom of General James Hoge) returned from the Civil War to find the property in disarray.  With inner strength and diligence, in 1879, he enhanced the property adding to the front of the house, a staircase, parlor and upstairs bedroom.  When all was accomplished, he renamed the home Belle Hampton. Tyler was elected Governor and vacated the home, using it only during the summer home; which continued in use by his son, S. Heth Tyler.  Heth added another section to the main house – a kitchen; and also additions to the cooking cottage.  Still later, a pool and tennis courts were constructed.

Succeeding generations were unable to maintain the property and after 2006, the prestigious Belle Hampton was in desperate need of repair.  It was to be sold (outside the family) because of the massive repairs that it needed.

“Serendipitously, my husband Tom, who is a Great Great Great Grandson of General Hoge, and our family happened to visit the property while celebrating our son’s 21st birthday. The property was boarded up and locked but we managed to gain entry through a window.”  The family found Civil War letters and photos on a desk, original furniture, and historic artifacts and ledgers.  They realized the historic and family history of the property might be lost to future generations.  She said the first 25-pages of the diary of Governor Tyler was “like a data dump of geneology, including a picture of the family coat of arms.”

Lindy Mann and Carol Smith
The dinner meeting was catered by Lindy Mann (left), shown here with Carol Smith, President of the Friends of the Pulaski County Library. (Danielle Reid/Patriot Publishing)

After returning home to Ohio, they decided to purchase Belle Hampton and entered a five-year labor-of-love restoring the property to its original beauty.

Hoge described several interesting family scenarios that she discovered during her intensive reseasrch, including one about Daniel Howe during the American Revolution.  He was in charge of arresting Torries and was sent to arrest Howard Haven Hill.  Instead, he ended up marrying Hill’s daughter!

Hoge has chronicled the Hoge/Howe Family History and documented life stories of local Virginians in several works.  “Sleeping in the Valley” was her first publication, followed by “Robert H. Hoge’s Autobiography” and later “The Diary of Governor James Hoge Tyler.”  She is currently working on another publication, “Pages of the Past,” which delves deeper into the stories of people associated with Belle Hampton.

The Pulaski County Friends of the Library will be hosting guest speakers and local authors throughout the year.  They will be celebrating their 45th year of service in the NRV with a Tea on September 8th.

To become a member of the Pulaski County Friends of the Library, complete a form at either of the Pulaski County Libraries and pay the annual dues:  $10.00 for senior citizens, $12.50 for an individual adult, $15.00 for an entire family, and $25.00 for a business.

For additional information about membership, contact Carol Smith at:  540-616-5217

To read about Belle Hampton by Madeline Hoge  please visit: