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King & Queen County featured on Middle Peninsula tour

Bagby House
As part of Historic Garden Week in Virginia, April 18–25, the Garden Club of the Middle Peninsula will sponsor a tour of King and Queen County titled “Along a Virginia Byway,” on Friday, April 24, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The stops on the tour include “Dixon,” “Pebble Beach,” “Edgewood,” “The Bagby House,” “Fary’s Tavern,” Immanuel Church and several buildings on the King and Queen Historic Courthouse Green.

The full ticket ($30) includes all the houses and gardens and all buildings on the Courthouse Green. Single-site admission is $12.

Advance full tickets are available for $25 until April 17 by mail. Please include a self-addressed, stamped, legal-size envelope with check payable to The Garden Club of the Middle Peninsula. Mail to Chairman Bette Albert, 4056 Canterbury Road, Walkerton, VA 23177.

Early tickets may also be purchased for an additional charge by accessing until the day before the tour. Tickets may be purchased at any of the locations open for the tour on the day of the event. Tickets with maps will be available at all locations.

Flat walking shoes are advised. Interior photography and smoking in buildings are prohibited.

Box lunches are available for $12 on a pre-paid basis. Lunch will be served, or may be carried out, at the King and Queen Woman’s Clubhouse at King and Queen Courthouse from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Clubhouse is part of the Courthouse Green. Reservations are required by April 13. Make check payable to The Woman’s Club of King and Queen County and mail to Anne Ryland, P.O. Box 39, St. Stephens Church, VA 23148. For additional information, call Ryland at (804) 769-3355.

There are no restaurants in the area. Some visitors may wish to bring picnic lunches and refreshments.

Toilet facilities are available at all houses and at the Courthouse Green.

Complimentary refreshments will be served at Dixon from 2 to 4 p.m.

For more information on the tour, call tour chairman Bette Albert at (804) 769-3596.


For more than two centuries, “Dixon” has overlooked the waters of the Mattaponi River. Set on 600 acres and constructed in 1793, the house was built on the back half of the foundations of a property known as Thorpe, noted on Fry & Jefferson’s 18th-century map of Virginia. During the past 10 years, the handsome brick-ended and frame, gambrel-roofed house has undergone a meticulous restoration by Peter Post Restorations. Flanking dependencies were added, containing the kitchen and master bedroom, to create a comfortable family residence.

Designated as a Virginia and National Register Landmark, this historic gem of the Middle Peninsula is open for Historic Garden Week for the first time. Mary Seawell Smith and Robert McL. Smith III are the owners.

Pebble Beach

Built in 2006, “Pebble Beach” is set to take full advantage of a beautiful view of the Mattaponi River. The residence was designed by the owners and has a master bedroom on the first floor as well as three bedrooms upstairs with a balcony and a large game room over the garage.

The charming kitchen contains cabinets that were designed by the owners and created from black cherry grown on the property. Chinese Elm floors and trim are used throughout the interior, a perfect setting for the owners’ primitive and folk art collections. Evidence of the owners’ interest in hunting is observed in expert taxidermy, including an elk head and turkey. The tour will also include a well-restored vintage car.

Pebble Beach is open for the first time for Historic Garden Week. Beverly and Sherry Heath are the owners.


“Edgewood” is located amid more than 334 acres of rolling pasture, timberland and ponds. The house was built in 1867 by H.R. Pollard Sr. from 100 acres sold to him by his father, at the time of his marriage to Jessie Gresham.

Pollard’s memoirs state that he “constructed a residence with all of the modern improvements I could afford under the circumstances. Nothing was left undone to add every convenience and comfort, within my power, to the new home, though the impoverished and depleted condition in the county suggested I should settle in richer fields.”

The Pollards owned Edgewood until 1903 when they moved to Richmond. The land was sold to Dr. Thomas Latane who left it to his son. The property subsequently was sold to the McKenny family. Alvin and Ann Powers purchased it in 1958, and it has been in the Powers family since that time.

Edgewood was built on a tract of land that was called “Clarks,” owned by the father of explorer George Rogers Clark. The Clark family lived here before moving to Albemarle County, but it is uncertain as to whether George Rogers was born here.

The house is furnished with English and American antiques. There are also pieces made by the Driver Brothers in Gloucester from walnut lumbered by Alvin Powers. The Driver pieces include the corner cupboard, beds, a gun case and bathroom vanities.

Open for the first time for Historic Garden Week. Alvin Powers Jr. and Brenda Powers Parker are the owners.

The Bagby House
Bagby House

A circa 1783 frame farmhouse built at the end of the Revolutionary War, “The Bagby House” was, most likely, an overseer’s house for Capt. Robert Courtney’s Chelsea Plantation. An addition was constructed in 1854 shortly after John R. Bagby purchased the home from his grandfather, Capt. Courtney.

Three original dependencies remain: a summer kitchen, meat and dairy house, and a one-room building with loft once used, among other things, as a schoolhouse. The home retains many original features, including six fireplaces, an English basement, and original woodwork and moldings throughout.

The Bagby House, as it came to be known, remained in family hands until acquired by Mr. and Mrs. Bastian, formerly of Berks County, Pa.

Among the country furnishings is a collection of Pennsylvania-German style redware pottery by Breininger and Shooner. Fraktur and folk paintings adorn the walls. Of special note is a vast collection of the craftsman-owner’s own primitive woodcarvings.

Open for the first time for Historic Garden Week. Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan Bastian are the owners.

K&Q Historic District

The King and Queen Courthouse Green Historic District was established in 1998 as a Virginia Landmark and is also on the National Register of Historic Places. The following buildings are in the historic district:

Fary’s Tavern

Fary’s Tavern

The Fary’s Tavern building dates to at least 1800, and a third floor was added between 1850 and 1900. It was used as a hotel and tavern from the mid-19th century until purchased by the county in 1941. The county used it for office space until 1999.

It was typical to find such buildings at a courthouse because lawyers, litigants and witnesses needed a place to stay during their time in court. The structure has been completely renovated by the King and Queen Historical Society, and two of the rooms have been furnished to show how patrons would have been accommodated. The first floor has been restored to its original look, with a brick floor, open fireplace and furnishings reflecting a tavern of the 19th century.

The building now houses the King and Queen Courthouse Tavern Museum, which features an acclaimed exhibit on the history of King and Queen County, using artifacts donated or loaned by local citizens.

Log Schoolhouse

A recent addition is the last original log schoolhouse in the area, donated to the Historical Society, moved and restored on the museum property. The building was used in 1880 when Lucy T. Brownley conducted a school at Eastern View. The enrollment at that time averaged 30 pupils.

Old Courthouse

A courthouse has existed at this site since the county’s formation in 1691. On display here is a collection of 54 portraits of King and Queen County notables of the past. A portion of the colonial courthouse structure remains part of the current building, although the courthouse was burned in 1828 and again in 1864, when Union soldiers torched it, along with the Clerk’s Office, jail and community homes in retaliation for the killing of Col. Dahlgren by the King and Queen Home Guard. This is only one of 11 Virginia colonial courthouses to survive in whole or part, and only one of four still housing judicial functions.

Old Clerk’s Office

The old Clerk’s Office is now used to house the archives of the King and Queen Historical Society. Like the courthouse, the original clerk’s office has been burned and rebuilt twice, most recently in 1866.

Old School Building

This was the first two-room school in the area, built in 1909. There was a movable partition dividing one room into two.  By 1932, classes were being held elsewhere.

Immanuel Church

Located adjacent to the Courthouse Green and built in 1884, Immanuel Church replaced Quintinoco Episcopal Church, which was located about two miles away and burned in 1871. A sundial used at another colonial church is located beside the church.

posted 03.27.2009

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