Welcome to Bienvenue
Bienvenue was built in 1820 by the same unknown contractor that built Morewood on Rocky Ford, Homestead just north of the village and probably the front portion of the Courthouse Tavern. The small white building located in the back yard was originally attached to the main house; evidence of the roof line can still be seen on the side wall of the house. The house also originally had a wrap around porch on the front and east side. It is not known when the frame building was detached from the main house and moved to its present location, but it is known that John Flannagan used the building as an office. An earlier picture of Bienvenue shows an elevated water tower on the south side of the house.
The originally owner of Bievenue was Gutheridge P. Scruggs. Very little is known about Scruggs. Bricks in the house were handmade by slaves at or near Tan Yard Spring, a "boxed in" spring located several hundred yards west of the house. The spring was the focal point of a leather tanning business from about 1825-1840. Scruggs' flat marble tombstone, although cracked and broken, can be seen in the back yard of Bienvenue. Other graves that were in the nearby cemetery have been lost to the ravages of time.
After the death of Scruggs in 1840, Thomas Scott married the widow of Gutheride Scruggs and became the new owner of Bienvenue. They had a son, William C. Scott, who was confederate officer and is buried in the cemetery behind Four Seasons Restaurant. Scott lived at Bienvenue from 1840-1859.
Richard Freeman Graves was the next owner, 1859-1873. Graves was the Clerk of the Powhatan Court from 1858 until just after the Civil War when Yankee Carpetbaggers filtered into Powhatan and took over the Clerk's office.
Thomas Miller bought the home in 1873 and he and his family lived there until his death in 1902. Miller was a judge in Powhatan Court from 1893 to 1902. Upon his death, Miller's widow lived there until 1910 when she sold it to William (Willie) M. Nicholls. Nicholls owned a small country store that stood a short distance south of Bienvenue, where Michael Potter's office now stands. An old picture of Nicholls' Store now hangs in the County Seat Restaurant.
Nicholls owned Bienvenue until 1943 when he sold it to John Flannagan, an attorney and son of William Flannagan, Powhatan's Commonwealth Attorney who was shot and killed on the courthouse steps in 1899.
Flannagan sold Bienvenue to George Kenneth Wright and his wife Grace in 1967. After both of their deaths, it was passed down to their son, Stevie Wright, who lived there until he sold it to Michael Potter just a few years ago.