Banks Bed and Breakfast

Fireplace covered in rock with wooden mantle and clock.

The History of Love at Banks Bed and Breakfast

Black and white portrait of man named Tom Banks. He is wearing a suit and tie. How does one write about the love between two people they never knew?  Oh, I’ve seen pictures of them so I know what they look like.  But, images do not tell me about what Thomas (Tom) Banks and Margaret Kelly Banks felt for each other.  Images only help you speculate what they may have initially seen in each other. So, I look to others to share what they know and then write creatively to tell a story, well, a love story. Because it is really the stories that others tell you that can help you understand how a romance can turn into a life together. It’s their lives together that becomes part of family history.  In history you lose some of the true facts of what took place but are then allowed to release the creative pieces that make it a good story.  This is a short love story of how Thomas Banks and Margaret Kelly built something together and went on to give the Banks House its third generation of the family.

Black and white portrait of woman named Margaret Kelly Banks wear a suit. Born in 1900, Tom Banks was the fourth of five children for Dr. Braxton and Nannie Banks. Growing up with four other siblings no doubt made for a busy household.  Unfortunately, Thomas at the age of three was to lose his father.  Even after his mother remarried, she was widowed again within a few years, and the family looked for ways to stay solvent.  The house was large and the rooms plentiful. The one over the library was the perfect size to rent. The room and need led to the decision to rent to two young ladies who were working in shops downtown. This worked out for Tom’s older brother Herbert who met his future wife Ossie this way. Although Tom’s brother found his future wife through this plan, Tom remained focused on law.

Tom toiled away in the practice of being a lawyer and as Private Secretary to Governor Broughton. Tom soon needed some secretarial support to keep things running smoothly in the office. Following the recommendation of a friend he found the help he needed in a young lady by the name of Margaret Kelly. Margaret grew interested in Tom but he was too focused on his law practice and plans to enlist in the military. Thus, his lovely secretary soon left him and headed to work in New York. Some time passed and eventually Margaret returned back to North Carolina. Things become lost in memory but somewhere along the way Tom made the decision to pursue both service to his country as a lawyer and Margaret as a wife.

Rock fireplace with clock on the mantle. Leather chair in foreground and bookcase in background.During their romance it was said that Tom and Margaret started collecting rocks together.  They collected stones like quartz and granite but not small pieces.  They were not interested in tiny samples that fit in a jar or got glued on cardboard for identification purposes. Tom and Margaret were interested in rocks the size of loaves of bread as they had big plans, not little plans. They traveled in Tom’s 39 Ford Coupe around Wake County and brought back a plethora of stones. The rock pile – and their love – grew.  The stones, brought to the Banks house, would become the new facade of the old brick fireplace. While Mr. Smith, a local mason, worked on laying the stones, Tom and Margaret laid out their future plans as a couple. No doubt excitedly discussing their dreams as they planned a future together. That fireplace facade still stands covered in the rocks that were each carefully collected by the young couple. Therefore, generations of family, friends, and visitors continue to enjoy time around Tom and Margaret’s dream of building something together.

(My apologies for any errors, omissions, additions, or exaggerated love)   Mary

2 thoughts on “The History of Love at Banks Bed and Breakfast

  1. What a great story. Nannie Banks was my great grandmother. I will be visiting your B&B soon. Would love to see it and the history in it. My second son’s middle name is Banks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Call for Assistance
Call Business Icon


Rooms button Icon


Direstions Map Icon