Alex and Laura met during high school in the Chicago suburbs and moved to Williamsburg the summer of 2012. Moving to Williamsburg was a dream come true for Alex who fell in love with history while walking the colonial streets as a 16 year old. The acquisition of The Cedars in 2016 fulfills a lifelong dream for Laura who has wanted to run a bed and breakfast for many years.
Alex holds an undergraduate and Master’s degrees in History and Education and brings his enthusiasm about the local area and his knowledge about the Colonial Era with him to breakfast each morning.
Laura’s background is business and event planning. She has worked in the non-profit sector and has planned over 100 events including receptions, conferences, and fundraisers. She has also coordinated numerous weddings.
The couple resides in Williamsburg near The Cedars with their three young children.
The Cedars of Williamsburg has been a Williamsburg lodging landmark since 1932. Originally build by Dr. Henderson for his seven children in 1933, he later sold the Cedars to two sisters in 1935 who converted it to a bed and breakfast.
Dr. Henderson observed the demolition of a 100 year old building on the William & Mary College campus. He hired the school children to collect up the bricks at $.02 a piece. He build both the main house and cottage out of their collection.
The Cedars Bed & Breakfast history begins in 1933 at the height of the Depression. This might seem like an unusual time to begin to build a stately, elegant house in the small town of Williamsburg, but for T. Brantley Henderson, M.D., it was the perfect time. Dr. Henderson’s career had been impeccable. Marrying in 1904 and graduating from the Medical College of Virginia in 1906, he attended Johns Hopkins University to specialize in eye, ear, nose and throat medicine. These credentials led him into World War I as a Captain in the Medical Corps.
After the war, Dr. Henderson set up his practice in Goldsboro, North Carolina. In 1931, he decided to move his family to the small Virginia town of Williamsburg so that his youngest children could attend The College of William & Mary. During this time, Mr. John D. Rockefeller was investing in the restoration of Williamsburg as the Colonial Capital it had been in the 1700's.
Dr. Henderson began construction on his "dream home" on Jamestown Road in Williamsburg in 1933. His children Ruth, Mildred, T. Brantley, Jr., Rosalind, Horace, Charlotte, and Hope watched as their new home "materialized." And what a grand home it would be! Mr. George Anner, an architect with Williamsburg Restoration, Inc., designed the home to reflect the 18th Century Georgian style of the reemerging colonial town a half mile down the road. The size, however, was definitely 20th Century - with eight bedrooms, five bathrooms, a game room in the basement (one of the first of its kind in the country), a three car garage with a servant's apartment over it, and a stable in the ravine for two horses. Nothing but the best went into the construction - slate roof, copper gutters, and brick over terra cotta tile walls. Mr. Anner, as part of the Colonial Williamsburg restoration team, was able to acquire the 100-year-old bricks from the Wren Building at the College of William & Mary which had to be partially demolished to restore its 18th Century facade.
Dr. Henderson paid children two cents per brick to knock the old mortar off so the bricks could be reused. Under the direction of Mr. Painter, a local contractor, master bricklayer Jake Shinholzer, of Toano, created the masterpiece - The Cedars. Construction workers who were happy to make ten cents an hour finished Dr. Henderson's home quickly and the family moved in.
As the children grew up and moved out to begin their life adventures, the Hendersons decided to sell the large house. The Cedars was sold to the Marsh sisters in the 1938. Dr. Henderson moved his dwindling brood down Jamestown Road to a house at 520. The Marsh sisters saw their new home as an income opportunity. The restoration of the 18th Century capital of Virginia was gaining attention as a tourist site. The 20th Century town of Williamsburg was not prepared to cater to this "invasion" as it was called, so city officials asked local residents to open their homes to the eager visitors.
The Cedars became a guest house in 1938 and has remained in the hospitality business ever since. The Henderson family stayed active in the Williamsburg community. Horace Henderson, known as "Hunky" to all, organized the Williamsburg Jaycees in 1947 to promote community cooperation and participation in helping residents become more comfortable with the new fame of their tiny town. Soon after, Hunky Henderson organized the first world famous Williamsburg Christmas Celebration. Its success has been repeated each year in the form of Colonial Williamsburg's Grand Illumination.
Williamsburg was growing, visitors were coming and business was booming. The Marsh sisters sold The Cedars to the Harris family in the 1950's. The Harris family continued to operate the guest house until 1985 when it was sold to a local businessman. Carol, Jim & Brona Malecha bought the bed & breakfast in 1993. It was operated by Bob & Grace Tubbs originally from Rochester, New York from 2002-2016 and is now owned by Alex & Laura Vlk who hail from the Chicago suburbs but now proudly call Williamsburg home.
They and their staff are dedicated to making your stay in Williamsburg an exceptional visit.
The Cedars and its past residents have played a part in the development of Williamsburg as it is today. We hope you enjoy your stay and leave feeling that you too are a part of this legacy.
If you've never stayed at a bed and breakfast before, you will be pleasantly surprised by the wonderful accommodations and home-like atmosphere of the Cedars of Williamsburg Bed & Breakfast. The Cedars of Williamsburg is a large B&B and we are blessed to have a number of staff at the property.
Our staff of innkeepers know the area and will be your personal concierge. Ask them about the best restaurants, places to shop, or their favorite attractions and let them help you make your vacation perfect.
Our housekeepers will keep your room clean and tidy and are happy to "spoil" you as best as they can
Our cooking team takes great care in making sure you have a delicious breakfast to start your day. At the Cedars of Williamsburg Bed and Breakfast, our menus are seasonally inspired and our food is locally sourced. We have gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian options to accomadate guests with deitary preferences or restrictions.
Finally, unlike some hotels, at The Cedars you will find that parking, internet, and snacks and beverages in our game room are all complementary.