“The Great Hall of Raspberry Plain, with its high, white, plastered walls and walnut trim, was alive tonight with the laughter of guests enjoying whiskey and wine.” Masque of Honor
In Masque of Honor, Raspberry Plain served as the family seat of the Mason family. In the opening scenes of the book, the manor house was the venue of a lavish engagement party hosted by Armistead Mason’s mother, Polly. In real life, the estate was established by Armistead’s grandfather Thomson Mason, the younger brother of George Mason IV. The current Raspberry Plain manor house was rebuilt in 1910 after a devastating fire.
Through my research I found this old picture of the original house along with these portraits of Armistead’s parents, Senator Stevens Thomson Mason and Mary “Polly” Armistead Mason. The Raspberry Plain manor house stands not a half mile as-the-crow-flies to the southeast of Selma. As I wrote Masque of Honor, I featured as many of these historic properties as I could, visiting each to get a sense of how the house looks and feels. For me, it is important to capture a sense of place to truly bring the story to life!