Skip to content
March 20, 2014 / Joanne Yeck

Legends of Mount Ida


Mount Ida, Courtesy Historic Buckingham

In 1937, when Garnett Williams surveyed Mount Ida for the Virginia Historical Inventory, she preserved two legends.

It is said seven men came over from Ireland, who had become involved in some kind of trouble and wished to escape punishment.  They came to this home for protection, and it was they who did the lovely carving on the inside of the rooms.

One of the first owners is said to have had a very daring son who indulged in drinking.  On one occasion he rode his horse in the house and up the winding stairway.  What is said to be the print of a part of the house shoe on the steps may still be seen.

Mrs. Williams’ informants included Mr. Ben Boatwright, Miss Edna Boatwright, and Mrs. Percie (Piercy), all of New Canton.

Can a Slate River Ramblings “informant” comment about the legends of Mount Ida?

Perhaps add a third?

There must be a ghost, or two….

Coming next: Saving Mount Ida


Leave a Comment
  1. Ronda Leitch / Dec 6 2016 10:18 pm

    My husband is William Dabney Leitch, son of William Arthur Leitchave, son of Dabney Leitch, son of William Leitch.

    • Joanne Yeck / Dec 7 2016 8:03 am

      Rhonda, Thanks for your comment. Feel free to add more here about the Leitch family in Buckingham County and Mount Ida. Joanne

  2. Laura Barnhart / Sep 24 2015 10:26 am

    My great-grand parents are Walter and Nancy Piercy. My father would tell me stories about Mt Ida. I have photos of he and my grandmother on the front porch.

    • Joanne Yeck / Sep 24 2015 10:52 am

      Laura, Thanks for your comment. It’s always good to know that memories of old Buckingham are preserved. Joanne

  3. Nancy Davies Mickles / Mar 22 2014 1:49 pm

    I have enjoyed the postings of Mt. Ida so much. I remember going there as a child. It would have been in the 1940’s and or 1950’s when the Walter Piercy family were the owners. My aunt, Ethel Martin, married their son, Kenneth Piercy, and they lived at Mt. Ida with the family for a while. I remember the legend of someone riding the horse up the steps. I also remember attending a “fish fry” there. My uncle, Alex Martin, and Kenneth Piercy caught a lot of fish in the James River running along side the property and they were cooked outside by the river and a lot of family and friends attended. Also, I remember that on one of my visits to Mt. Ida I saw my first live peacock. It was in the front yard roaming freely. We gave each other a lot of space. I think we were equally afraid of each other. It was a beautiful place and I am so pleased that it has been saved for others to enjoy.

    • Joanne Yeck / Mar 22 2014 1:57 pm


      Many thanks for sharing your memories of Mt. Ida. I can smell the fish frying!


    • Michael Grose / Feb 27 2016 9:38 pm

      Your Aunt Ethel married my great Uncle Kenneth. I remember eating many meals with them and can still hear her voice. Uncle Kenneth often took us hunting and fishing at Mt. Ida. He would hook the boat & trailer up to the tractor then tow us down to the James.

  4. Harry Stuart Holman / Mar 20 2014 5:06 pm

    Dear Reader,

    I learned about Mt. Ida when I was about fifteen years old from my Cousin Martha Gary. She married twice: to Mr. Pickett and Mr. Ball–I’m not sure about the order. I was told she was Cousin Martha Gary (born 1899). She related to me that her mother was from Mt. Ida. She was Mildred Fontaine Leitch (b. ca. 1863)–wife of John Ayres Gary. Both had Spencer blood–descending from Moses and Judith Ayres Spencer of Buckingham County, which was the reason for my calling her “Cousin Martha.” Mildren Leitch was the grandchild of Nathan Spencer; John Ayres Gary was a grandchild of Moses Ayres Spencer; and Grandma was the grandchild of Judith Hales Spencer Holman–making them all second cousins.

    Mildred’s Leitch connection came through her father Thomas Maurice Leitch, son of William Leitch–all of Mt. Ida. The connection to Mt. Ida is substantiated by the obituary of Minnie Leitch Gary’s brother, Rev. Langhorne Leitch, M.A., B.D., of North Carolina–for some years Methodist missionary to China and Acting President of the Anglo-Chinese School in Shanghai. His obituary amongst the minutes of the Methodist Conference for North Carolina in the year 1897, shows he was born the son of Thomas Maurice and Martha Spencer Leitch and was born in 1866 at “Mt. Ida.”

    Harry Stuart Holman

    • Joanne Yeck / Mar 20 2014 5:34 pm

      Thank you, Harry, for posting your wonderful memories of Martha Gary and Mount Ida.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: