The Importance of “Downtown”

Spending Your Dollars On Main Street-The County Seat of Bowling Green

In 2012, Jeff’s wife, Susan, a freelance writer, wrote an Economic Development story for Rural Living Magazine which focused on the shops in the county seat of Bowling Green. Jeff encourages folks to shop at home and leads by example. The Sili household buys 80 to 90 percent of what they consume locally.

Here are some highlights from that story:


The town’s original name was “New Hope” but took the name, Bowling Green in the early 1800s from a famous landmark still standing on South Main. This property, granted by the British Crown to the Hoomes family in 1669 was called “Bolling Green” after the owners estate in England. The beautiful pre-Georgian home which graces the property was built around 1741 on the site of an earlier structure. The Hoomes family imported the first thoroughbred racehorses to the new world and were avid breeders. The area became famous as the cradle of American Horse Racing. In the 18th Century, both the Virginia and the American Jockey Club races were held here. About 1805, the town took the name of the estate when the Hoomes’s donated the land for the Courthouse. The house itself became known as Old Mansion and is one of the oldest homes in the Commonwealth.


The historic Jeffersonian Courthouse built in 1845 is considered the heart of Main Street. The town, famous statewide for its beautiful old trees, is a National Historic District and is on both the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places. Major portions of the town were destroyed by two Easter Sunday fires 55 years apart one in 1900 and one in 1955. The town’s business and residential district is a story of survival and a mix of early architecture from the colonial period forward.



The crew from John’s Place posed for Susan’s Down Home in Historic Bowling Green Virginia, a freelance story she wrote for Rural Living Magazine.



A&M hardware is the smorgasbord of Bowling Green shops. If you don’t see it, just ask, they can order it!



Flower Fashions in downtown Bowling Green handles all the florals for the Sili’s special events.



The Sili’s support county based caterers like D&J Meats seen here at an event for Karl Rove at historic Moss Neck Manor which was part of the story on local business in Rural Living Magazine.


Full service cleaner, Allen Brown also posed for the Rural Living story. Bowling Green has a little bit of everything.



Billy Cecil of Country Angel on Main Street was the go-to guy for the Sili’s set up of the Heritage Area of the Caroline County Agricultural Fair every year. With lots of country and Americana, the shop was filled with thousands of interesting items spanning a 400 year old period. Billy has now retired but the space is now occupied by a great eclectic shop called Cindy’s Corner, A Craft and Gift Shop


Supporting Small Business, Local Character and Prosperity

1.In the increasingly uniform world of shopping malls, communities that preserve their one-of-a-kind businesses and distinctive character have an economic advantage.

2. Community Well-Being Locally owned businesses build strong communities by sustaining vibrant town centers, linking neighbors in a web of economic and social relationships, and contributing to local causes.

3. Local Decision-Making Local ownership ensures that important decisions are made locally by people who live in the community and who will feel the impacts of those decisions.

4. Keeping Dollars in the Local Economy Compared to chain stores, locally owned businesses recycle a much larger share of their revenue back into the local economy, enriching the whole community.

5. Job and Wages Locally owned businesses create more jobs locally and, in some sectors, provide better wages and benefits than chains do.

6. Entrepreneurship Entrepreneurship fuels America’s economic innovation and prosperity, and serves as a key means for families to move out of low-wage jobs and into the middle class.

7. Public Benefits and Costs Local stores in town centers require comparatively little infrastructure and make more efficient use of public services relative to big box stores and strip shopping malls.

8. Environmental Sustainability Local stores help to sustain vibrant, compact, walkable town centers-which in turn are essential to reducing sprawl, automobile use, habitat loss, and air and water pollution.

9. Competition A marketplace of small businesses is the best way to ensure innovation and low prices over the long-term.

10. Product Diversity A multitude of small businesses, each selecting products based, not on a national sales plan, but on their own interests and the needs of their local customers, guarantees a much broader range of product choices.

Supporting Business Old and New

KJos to Go 



A new business venture in honor of KJos to Go, and her Sweetly Southern Bakery and Deli’s one year anniversary is a hit according to Saturday customers, who did not mind the standing room only atmosphere. They waited patiently for either breakfast or KJo’s newest offering, four flavors of ice cream. If you like ice cream toppings, there are several dozen varieties to choose from. If thats not enough, there are three flavors of Gellato which you can snack on in a cafe setting right outside the shop. Congratulations to this great little “small business” on the corner of Main Street in downtown Bowling Green. (August 2015)

Tinder’s Jewelry and Gifts (1951-2015)


This little shop located on our Main Street still offers clients old fashioned personal service. They still wrap gifts right on the premises and in many cases will deliver those as well. How many people know you can buy wedding gifts right here in Bowling Green like Waterford Crystal, Wedgewood, Cobalt and Porcelain? For our friend Jessica Cannon’s wedding, we chose a Marquis Crystal vase, had it wrapped and delivered. Todd Tinder, son of original owner, Tommy Tinder still offers custom made jewelry and repairs, a huge selection of watches and some of the most unique pieces of Jewelry you will not find in the mall. Spend you dollars locally folks!

Magnolia Morning Suites

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Mark and Tammie Gaines of Magnolia Morning Suites take a break on the swing of their historic home at 115 East Broaddus Avenue with Magnolia’s number one VIP, “Pancho” the Beagle! Little did he know when he left Bowling Green as a teenager, Mark Gaines would one day return to his roots and operate the town’s newest and most eclectic B&B. A little over a year ago, Mark saw one of Bowling Green’s famous historic properties for sale on Broaddus Avenue situated under the town’s equally famous fine old trees. He knew it was the perfect spot. Wife and business partner, Tammie was convinced as well. Now, not only is it the town’s newest Bed and Breakfast but it serves as the location venue for their original business “The Little Wedding House” which specializes in “Fairytale Weddings and Event Planning” at affordable prices. The couple still travel to larger regional venues to perform their services but having a historic home and the grounds that go with it enables them to offer brides and other clients a great venue in a picturesque old Virginia town. Since February 2015, brides have been making their entrance on the beautiful front staircase or in the arbor-like setting on the back lawn. But weddings isn’t all they can do. -They can host everything from dinners, to wedding and baby showers, to cocktail parties, anniversary events and more. 115 E. Broaddus Avenue 540-907 0369  Magnolia Morning Suites

The Importance Of “Downtown” Or Ten Reasons To Spend Your Dollars Locally

  1. Downtown is the heart of the community for local culture, government and churches.
  2. A healthy downtown symbolizes pride in community history, identity and good quality of life.
  3. A healthy downtown promotes economic prosperity sending a strong message to visitors, prospective residents and entrepreneurs of a support system and active relationship between business and the public and private sector, considered essential to those looking to relocate a successful business.
  4. A vibrant downtown positively impacts surrounding residential neighborhoods.
  5. Downtown can serve as an incubator for small business when the overhead for malls is too costly and offer an alternative to national chains.
  6. Small businesses offer more personal customer service on repair and guarantees of merchandise.
  7. Locally owned businesses who employ local residents in downtown support a local family who pay taxes, support local schools and churches.
  8. Downtown is a safe, old fashioned, important community gathering place, preserving a vital part of vanishing American culture.
  9. A strong downtown naturally discourages sprawl.
  10. Downtown provides a return on investment to local taxpayers through taxes. Local businesses support local community enhancement projects.