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November 18, 2013 / Joanne Yeck

Rose Cottage


Rose Cottage, Courtesy Historic Buckingham

William P. Sheppard was the one-time owner of Rose Cottage, located just south of Highway 60, on Route 690 near Buckingham Courthouse. Originally a stagecoach inn, Garnett Williams, in her Virginia Historical Survey, waxed eloquently over Rose Cottage: “This is one of the most historical places in the county, for it was on this farm that General Robert E. Lee camped with his men on his return to Richmond.” That night, so the story goes, Lee declined a bed in Mr. Sheppard’s cottage. “This will be my last night in camp with my men,” Lee said, “and I prefer to spend it with them, but I have several sick men I would like for you to care for.” And this, wrote Mrs. Williams, “Mr. Sheppard did gladly.”

From more about General Lee’s retreat through Buckingham County, see:

Buckingham Tales: Gen. Robert E. Lee

Buckingham Tales: Old Aunt Dorcas


Leave a Comment
  1. Darlene Farmer / Nov 21 2013 12:14 pm

    Hi Joanne/Kim….Kim, I read through your information above. I’m going to have to disagree with you ref the spelling of the SHEPHERD name. I have seen it spelled numerous ways, i.e tax records, land records, etc…etc…and all the spellings were in ref to the same SHEPHERD family/clan. Even with William P., I’ve seen his surname spelled differently. As for your comment ref Essex Co., I’ve seen this along with Cumberland Co. It is believed that the Shepherds may have ended in Buckingham due to the rezone/development of counties…. Joanne, there is so much more that needs researching ref this family, i.e slavery/property/etc and how my own particular line came to be….through a mulatto by the name of George Shepherd, Sr (b circa 1830 +/-).

    • Joanne Yeck / Nov 21 2013 12:21 pm

      Darlene, At this stage of the research, the more voices the better. Looking forward to all you learn about George Shepard, Sr.

    • J. Shepherd / May 10 2021 8:46 pm

      As a descendant and a Shepherd – I can assure you that “Shepherd” is the correct spelling connected to Rose Cottage (though there may be other families with varying spellings in the Buckingham area). My distant relatives Nora and Ida are buried at Lee Wayside, along with my Grandfather, Benjamin Franklin Shepherd.

      • Joanne Yeck / May 11 2021 6:46 am

        Many thanks for adding this to the information about Rose Cottage.


      • Kimberly Bucher Maher / May 12 2021 10:03 am

        Hi there! I would love to be in touch with you. We have put a memorial plaque at the Shepherd cemetery. I am descended from BG Shepherd’s line. Shoot me an email:

  2. / Nov 19 2013 12:20 pm

    Great stuff, Joanne!

    Ms. Darlene V. Farmer Genealogist/Historian Ancestral House 14027 Lestric Lane Dale City, Virginia 22193 Specializing in genealogical research Know Your Roots!

    • Joanne Yeck / Nov 19 2013 12:33 pm

      Thank you, Darlene!

  3. Joanne Yeck / Nov 18 2013 10:31 am

    Kimberly, Thanks for all this wonderful information. The spelling of the Shepard/Sheppard/Shepherd name is vexing for many of us. Joanne

  4. Kimberly / Nov 18 2013 9:46 am

    This is my fourth great grandfather (family always spelled it Shepherd). He built the house sometime after 1826 when he bought the land from Robert Shaw. Prior to that he had been living in Maysville proper and sold his lot to John Fulton in 1827. He married his wife, Martha Gaines Booker, who was 20 years his junior, in 1830. They had eight children, first four boys and then four girls. All of the boys fought in the War. One, Peter, was killed at the battle of Malvern Hill.

    William P lived in the house with his family until he died in 1868. His will did not survive the 1869 courthouse fire, but there were several lawsuits dealing with his debts that still existed in the early 1870s. Presumably those debts were the result of losses after the Civil War. His widow sold some of the property over the years to satisfy those debts, including selling the house (and some amount of the property) to her youngest daughter, Mollie Booker “Pollie” Shepherd Peile and her husband William Peile (pronounced “peal”). “Aunt Pollie” lived in there until an elderly woman when she moved in with her niece for her last years. Aunt Pollie gave the house (and property?) to the UDC when she died.

    One of William P’s granddaughters, Nora Shepherd, left a family history which indicates that all of the children (and presumably the parents) with the exception of Peter who was buried on the battlefield, were buried in the family cemetery which is still preserved at the site of the Historic Village. Many of the graves in that cemetery are unmarked, including, presumably, those of William P and Martha, as well as their son Bernard Gaines Shepherd (my third great grandfather). I also don’t remember seeing the grave of Willie P (daughter, married a Taylor), who died in 1892.

    It is a bit of a mystery where William P Shepherd came from. He does not appear to be connected to the other Shepard/Sheppard families in Buckingham and Albemarle counties, though some of the records indicate that he was born in Buckingham. I have recently received some information with potential leads in Essex Co, too. More research needed!

    Maybe one of your readers has info?



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