Romancing the Swan

February 9, 2010 at 2:23 pm 1 comment

Maymont Mansion is celebrating Valentine’s Day this Sunday with a special “Love Tour” which will include the story of the romantic Swan Bedroom. In preparation, one of the Mansion staff recently asked me whether it’s true that swans mate for life.

In fact, swans are monogamous, meaning that they have a pair bond that sometimes lasts a lifetime. However, if a swan loses its mate, especially early in its breeding years, the remaining bird doesn’t typically die of a broken heart.  Most often, it will bond with another individual to continue producing offspring. The un-romantic reality is that some new genetic testing suggests that there are many more “divorces” of monogamous pairs than first thought, especially if the birds aren’t very successful at producing offspring.
In terms of Zoology, the Dooleys could have just as easily chosen the black vulture to inspire their décor since that species is considered by some to be stricter in its monogamous behavior.  Nevertheless, it makes sense that the Dooleys would choose the swan.  After all, they make a cute heart shape with their necks as they stare into each others’ eyes, and the swan’s elegant shape lends itself to much prettier, more romantic furniture. I doubt you’ll hear about any vulture-shaped beds hitting the market anytime soon!

To see the unique swan bed for yourself and stroll hand-in-hand with your sweetheart on the Mansion’s romantic tour, click here for details and registration.

Maymont Mansion Swan Bed Credit Richard Cheek

Maymont Mansion Swan Bed Credit Richard Cheek


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Gwendolyn  |  February 22, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    I lived in VA for 35 years and visited Maymont often, but never went *inside* the house. I have to make sure to visit the next time I visit.


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Buz Bireline, Director of Habitats & the Nature Center at Maymont

Buz Bireline

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