Tag Archives: National Register of Historic Places

The Jackson Blacksmith Shop

22 Feb

Jackson 1

The Jackson Blacksmith Shop was built in 1932 by George Wilson Jackson, Jr. with the help of his father and family to provide shelter for his blacksmithing trade. This is the last blacksmith shop still in working condition in Goochland. The shop is a 16’ X 24’ rectangular pole structure with an earthen foundation and boards attached vertically to make all four walls. The anvil is well over 130 years old and belonged to George Jackson’s maternal grandfather. The 172 pound anvil was once in Richmond and was in use when Richmond burned in 1865.

The first of the Jackson family’s blacksmith shops was built by Henry Jackson before the Civil War. Henry Jackson was born into slavery around 1830. He came to Goochland when he was sold to a county resident and opened a shop on what is now known as Whitehall Road. In 1880, he purchased land at the corner of Route 607 and U.S. 522 where he built another shop, about 400 yards east of the present shop. Henry Jackson’s shop lent its name to present day Jackson Shop Road.

Jackson 2

Henry trained his oldest son Wilson (born 1876) into the business. Wilson built a shop at what was then called Old Office, near the intersection of present day Fairground Road and Maidens Road. Wilson worked from both his father’s shop and his own shop until 1915 when he moved to a location near the current shop. Wilson Jackson’s son George was born in 1902 and trained under his grandfather and father to learn the blacksmith trade. In 1932, he built the still standing Jackson Blacksmith Shop.

Henry passed away in 1919 at around 89 years of age. Wilson worked at the trade until shortly before his death in 1956 at age 80. George worked in his shop until the 1970’s when the blacksmith trade fell out of use. He lived until 1998, long enough to see his shop listed on the National Register of Historic Place and the Virginia Landmarks Register.

Jackson 3

George Jackson setting a shoe at his shop

To read more about The Jackson Blacksmith Shop: read volume 30 of the Goochland County Historical Society’s magazine. Visit the official online site of the Jackson Blacksmith Shop.

Advertisements

Mount Bernard

1 Dec

IMG_3534

Mount Bernard is a brick residence that was built circa 1850. The house is believed to have been built on the foundation of an 18th century dwelling. The home has been altered and enlarged several times. Most notably, in the 1920’s the façade of the home was changed to Classical Revival which was then in vogue. More additions were done in the 1940’s to the sides and rear of the home which turned the original T-shaped plan into a rectangle. Behind the home the terraced lawn descends towards the river.

IMG_3532

The first known owner of the tract was Phillip Lightfoot. He acquired the land before Goochland became a county and in the beginning the property was known as Lightfoot’s Beaverdam Plantation. In 1782, Lightfoot’s heirs sold the 700 acre property to Dr. William Pasteur. In 1805, the property was sold again, this time to Granville Smith under its new name, Kameschatka. The property then changed hands again, this time to Edward Garland. While Garland was owner, the original house burned, it is this foundation that is believed to be under the present day structure. In 1848, the home was once again sold, this time to Mathew M. Payne. In 1858, the home changed hands again, this time under the name of Mount Bernard, to Richard G Morriss.

Mount Bernard drawing

Drawing of Mount Bernard by a daughter of Major William N. Barret. Courtesy of Virginia State Library.

More owners would call Mount Bernard their home until 1925 when it became the property of Piedmont Securities and was by that time 1,559 acres. R.W. Woodruff, the owner of Coca-Cola, was on the board of Piedmont Securities and it is in this way that he took control of Mount Bernard. During his time there, he enlarged the house, changed the façade to Classical Revival, added barns and landscaped the house to fit his style of living.

IMG_3535

In 1948, Mount Bernard changed hands again, this time to another businessman, T. Brady Saunders. Saunders at the time was running Miller Manufacturing and Liphart Steel Company. He owned Mount Bernard for 20 years during which he began to break up the acreage. In 1963, Saunders gave 200 acres to the Boy Scouts for what became known as Camp T. Brady Saunders. In 1978, the house and a portion of the acreage was sold to Carmody Associates and finally in 1985, Dr. Donald P and Maria Becker purchased the home.

IMG_3538

The antebellum home is surrounded by contributing buildings such as a secondary residence, ice house and cool chamber, main barn/stable, slave quarters/kitchen, corn crib, two stables, equipment shelter and a well house. This grouping of house and buildings was enough to earn the property inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005.

Fall Meeting – Hatfields, McCoys and Elk Hill

23 Oct

On September 28, the Goochland County Historical Society held its Fall Meeting at historic Elk Hill. The main house at Elk Hill was built between 1835 and 1839 by Randolph Harrison, Jr. and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Today the property is part of Elk Hill Farm, a facility that supports troubled young people and their parents through a residential program that teaches academic, vocational, life and behavioral skills.

Elk Hill

Elk Hill

Our venue for the day was the beautiful Chapel that is surrounded by 100 year old trees. With sun shining through the stained glass windows, Michael Farley, Elk Hill CFO, gave a brief overview of Elk Hill and its mission. Then GCHS Vice-President Bruce Venter welcomed our guest speaker, Dean King, who spoke the adventures he had while researching his book, The Feud: The Hatfields and McCoys, The True Story (2013). Mr. King showed a slideshow of photographs of some of the people he interviewed and some of the locations where the feud occurred. Even though shot at and warned to stay away, he eventually gained the confidence of the citizens of the places he visited. His dedication led to the publication of the book as well as a reality series based on the book for the History Channel. We were even fortunate enough to have a direct descendant of one of the Hatfields in the audience for the presentation.

The Singleton Chapel, Elk Hill

The Singleton Chapel, Elk Hill

Afterwards, Elk Hill provided wonderful refreshments for the attendees and Mr. King graciously signed books. We would like to thank Dean King for a wonderful presentation. We would also like to thank Elk Hill representatives David Wyman (CEO), Michael Farley (CFO) and Ann Criswell (Director of Development) for taking care of us.

Dean King signing copies of The Feud

Dean King signing copies of The Feud

For additional information on Elk Hill, visit www.ElkHill.org.

To learn more about Dean King, visit www.deanhking.com.

Byrd Presbyterian Church

23 Apr

Byrd Presbyterian Church is located four miles west of Goochland County’s Courthouse. The rectangular brick structure is considered to be an outstanding example of the simple brick churches built in Virginia during the 19th century.

Byrd Presbyterian Church

Byrd Presbyterian Church

Begun in 1837 and finished in 1838, the church was constructed using Flemish bond on the front and common bond on the 3 surrounding sides. Originally there were two front doors. One door served the main floor while the other provided access to the balcony. There is also evidence that originally a front portico was planned, but never built. The building has managed to retain many of its original features including a slate roof, interior fittings, and twelve original windows with their rare 19th century venetian blinds. During renovations in the 1880’s, the two doors were changed to one central door and modernizations such as a metal pressed ceiling, tongue-and-groove wainscoting and moveable pews were added. Behind the church is a large, for its congregation, cemetery with headstones dating back to the 1850’s. Many Goochland notables are buried there including the Purchasing agent for the Confederacy in London and several descendants of Patrick Henry.

Samuel Davies

Samuel Davies

Byrd’s congregation is a direct descendant of a group organized in 1748 by the Reverend Samuel Davies, a leader in the fight for religious freedom in Colonial Virginia. The group began meeting in Tucker Woodson’s barn on land near the Goochland Courthouse. In 1759, land was acquired near Byrd Creek for the purpose of erecting a new place of worship. This building remained in use until deterioration forced the congregation to share nearby Lickinghole Church. In 1837, Samuel and Mary Finch conveyed 1 acre of land in the Belham community to the Presbyterian elders. On this land, the current church was built and dedicated as Union Church. It would remain “Union” or “Brick Union Church” until 1883. At that time, the congregation decided to change the name back to the earlier “Byrd Church”.

The outline of the original door can be seen to the right of the current door.

The outline of the original door can be seen to the right of the current door.

In the fall of 2000, Byrd Presbyterian Church was added to the National Register of Historic Places. It is notable for its architectural significance, location, cemetery and its connection to Samuel Davies. The beautiful landscape surrounding Byrd Church as well as its history makes it a wonderful stop on any tour of historic Goochland places.

Contributed by James Richmond of the Goochland County Historical Society

To learn more about Byrd Church: read Volume 20 of the Goochland County Historical Society’s magazine.

Ben Dover

27 Jan

Between the villages of Manakin and Sabot stands Ben Dover. The approach to Ben Dover with its surrounding magnolias and shade trees is a journey to another place and time. It is hard to believe but underneath its current façade, stands the last of the grand Italianate mansions that once graced this part of the county.

Ben Dover

Ben Dover

In 1853, William B. Stanard had Ben Dover built in the Italian Villa style that flourished in the middle of the 19th century. The house is thought to have been inspired by an illustration published in Andrew Jackson Downing’s The Architecture of Country Houses (1851). Along with neighboring Eastwood and Sabot Hill, Ben Dover differed greatly from the typical regional style employed at other plantations in the area such as Boscobel and Joe Brooke. The home originally featured an irregular roofline, decorative fenestrations, and a three-story tower. It was constructed of locally fired bricks and then stuccoed to resemble ashlar. Some of the opulent interior flourishes were silver plated doorknobs, hand-painted ceilings and marble mantles with cast iron fireguards.

Ben Dover before renovations

Ben Dover before renovations

The end of the Civil War saw an economic decline that brought about the sale of the plantation in 1872 to James Murray, a British engineer. After Murray’s death, his family sold Ben Dover to former Union General W. Horace Rose. During Rose’s tenancy, Ben Dover began a series of alterations in a battle to hold off the heavy deterioration of the house brought about by the flat roof and the use of porous handmade bricks. Rose had the house painted white and added an extensive five-bay porch. Another change Rose brought to Ben Dover was the addition of the pool, pool house and bowling alley. The circa 1905 single-lane Brunswick bowling alley is considered one of the best preserved in Virginia. This little alley helped secure the inclusion of Ben Dover to the National Register of Historic Places.

Brunswick Bowling Alley

Brunswick Bowling Alley

In 1925, Ben Dover was acquired by William T. Reed, Sr., the president of Larus & Brother Tobacco Company and a major figure in Richmond society during the 20th century. Reed counted among his friends Virginia Governor Harry Flood Byrd and aviator Charles Lindbergh who made a landing at Ben Dover in the 1927. Due to heavy damage caused by water seepage, the tower and second story of the porch had to be removed. It was at this time that Reed changed the Italian style façade of the house to Colonial Revival. The interior of the house, though updated, remained largely intact.

bowl2

The interior of Ben Dover is very spacious and still has remnants of the opulence that once graced it. The hand-painted ceilings are long gone but the marble mantle and cast iron fireguard still exist in the dining room. In the basement you can see the room that Rose converted into a dance hall. A long staircase leads you to the second floor with high ceilings and large bedchambers. A smaller stairway then leads you to the third floor with two more rooms.

photo

Ben Dover is a historical asset to the county and the region. It is notable for its changing façade that shows how plantations adapted to changing tastes. It is also notable as one of the two remaining plantations, out of five, visited by Ulric Dahlgren during the Goochland part of his ill-fated raid on Richmond in 1864. Beautifully landscaped grounds feature several supporting outbuildings including the wonderful bowling alley. For all of its historical assets, Ben Dover was added to the National Register of Historic Places in April of 2000.

Dining room with marble fireplace

Dining room with marble fireplace

Contributed by James Richmond of the Goochland County Historical Society

Ben Dover is currently listed for sale through realtor Pam Diemer (Pam@PamDiemer.com). As with the Lockkeepers House, the Historical Society is hoping for a buyer that will respect the history of these two properties. To learn more about Ben Dover: read Volume 4, number 2 of the Goochland County Historical Society’s magazine.

The Lock-Keepers House at Cedar Point

16 Nov

The Lock-Keeper’s House, circa 1836, is the last remaining lock-keeper’s house from the James River and Kanawha Canal system.  Located on Cedar Point Road in Goochland, the little building is a reminder of a time when the river was the fastest way to reach Richmond and the world.

lock

Personally surveyed and planned by George Washington, The James River and Kanawha Canal began in 1785 to ease shipments of passengers and goods from the interior of Virginia to the coast.  After a series of financial difficulties, the Commonwealth of Virginia took over and in March of 1832, the James River and Kanawha Canal Company was formed to extend the canal to the Ohio River.  By 1836 a lock was needed to move the traffic around the rocks at Cedar Point so Lock Number 7 was constructed.  The Lock-Keeper’s house was built alongside the lock for toll collection, invoice and cargo checking and as a tavern for the passengers of canal boats.  The house was in use for these purposes until the late 1800’s when the Richmond and Allegheny Railroad laid tracks on the old towpath of the canal.  Railroads led to an end of the canal era but the house stayed in use as a home for the railroad section masters.  The house was finally sold into the private sector in the 1960’s.

house

The Cedar Point Lock-Keeper’s house is a two-story frame structure on a stone foundation.  The foundation is whitewashed 18” granite and the upper stories are covered in weatherboard.  The interior is still arranged, as it would have been in the canal era, three stacked rooms to the right and three to the left.  There are two stairways, one at either end of the house.  One was for the lock-keeper and the other was for guests of the tavern.  The top floor is divided into two rooms for overnight accommodations and do not connect.  The easternmost room was for ladies.  The two top rooms were reached by different staircases which allowed the ladies to come and go without having to go through the tavern.

house2

The building has been damaged by floods and hurricanes on several occasions.  Two lines to the left of the basement entrance commemorate two early floods, one marked “30 Sept. 1870” and the other is for 1877.  Hurricane Camille arrived in 1969 with more flooding but the highest level so far would be caused by Hurricane Agnes.  That event in June of 1972 caused the river to rise 15 feet above flood stage causing water to rise 3 feet above the second level floor.  A bronze plaque commemorates Hurricane Agnes’ flood level on the outside of the house.  In November of 1974, the Lock-Keeper’s House was named to the National Register of Historic Places.

plaque

The Lock-Keeper’s House is currently listed for sale with Goochland Realty, Inc. realtor Vernell Burton.  The house has been converted to a home and offers a cozy atmosphere and incredible views of the James River.  The Historical Society is hoping that a buyer will keep the home intact for future generations.  If you are interested in purchasing the house, call 804-784-5288.

James River

James River

Contributed by James Richmond of the Goochland County Historical Society

To read more about The Lock-Keeper’s House: read volume 7, No. 1 of the Goochland County Historical Society’s magazine.

Woodlawn

10 Apr

Shielded by a row of trees from an uncomfortably close highway is one of Goochland’s most familiar historic landmarks, Woodlawn. Located at an intersection of Broad Street Road and old Three Chopt Road, the house is just 5 miles west of the Henrico County line. This closeness to a main road helps to make this one of Goochland’s most visible entries on the National Register of Historic Places.

Woodlawn

Woodlawn

Elisha Leake, a Captain in the Revolutionary War, built Woodlawn sometime during the last quarter of the 1700’s. Leake was the owner of two grist mills on Tuckahoe Creek, documented by the mill stones carved into the pine mantel of one of the fireplaces in the home. Elisha Leake died in 1806 and is buried on the property in the Leake family cemetery. His much younger wife, Frances, renounced the provisions of his will and claimed her dower rights, giving her the “Great House” and over two hundred acres of land in the area. She allowed John Trevillian to operate “Trevillian’s Tavern” in the house, which is how it is designated on the Goochland County map of 1820.

Plat of Woodlawn, labeled Greathouse, 1806

Plat of Woodlawn, labeled Greathouse, 1806

In 1834, Colonel Thomas Taylor of Goochland purchased the property known as “Woodlawn Plantation”. Taylor would go on to glory for his part in the Battle of Chapultepec Castle in 1847. Thomas Taylor is said to have placed the United States flag on the Castle, bringing and end to the Mexican-American War. Colonel Taylor’s son, Americus Vespucius Taylor, a veteran of Guy’s Battery of the Confederate Army inherited the house in 1883. Americus left his initials carved into the fireplace bricks and woodwork, testament to his place in the history of the house.

1820 Wood map

1820 Wood map

The house remained in the Taylor family until 1937 when it was sold to Flora Newby Billet who began a total restoration. The 2-½ story Federal house is noted for its hand made bricks, hand sawn beams and four chimneys that conceal pent closets. One of these pent closest conceals a staircase to the second floor. Woodlawn was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971 and the house stands today as a private home with a very public history.

Woodlawn

Woodlawn

Contributed by James Richmond of the Goochland County Historical Society

For more information on Woodlawn, read Volume 1, No. 2 of The Goochland County Historical Society’s Magazine. A reproduction of the 1820 map of Goochland by John Wood is available for purchase from the Society. For information on the National Register of Historic Places, visit http://www.nps.gov/nr/