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February 23, 2017 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham Houses: Buffalo


Courtesy Historic Buckingham, Sketch by Margaret Allen Pennington

According to the survey of “Buffalo,” written by Rosa G. Williams, for the Virginia Historical Inventory, the farm was located 6.25 miles east of Sprouses Corner on Hwy 60, thence 2.2 miles north on Route No. 628.  Mrs. Williams noted that a date on the chimney indicated that Buffalo could have been built as early as 1770.  At one time it was the home of Dr. and Mrs. Bryce McClellan Pratt, who owned about 950 acres, though the original tract may have contained as many as 1,700 acres.

Click here for more about Dr. Pratt, Buckingham County Clerk.

Slate River Ramblings’ reader Mary Carolyn Mitton recalled, “In about 1890, there was a great deal of interest in the mineral deposits in this section, and hundreds of acres of land were bought by speculators and others.  This property was bought by Chas. F. Reifsnider, a promoter of the mining industry, who owned it for some years.”

Mary Carolyn Minton also shared this description of Buffalo, written in 1940:

This once fine old house is close to the highway.  The original entrance to the yard in front of the house has been changed with the public road to the side yard.  One notices two very large holly trees in the yard as well as the other old shade trees.  The one story front porch is the original porch, only the steps are new.  The two columns on the porch are small with lattice work between them, thus making one column.  The large front door has side lights. These are of small diamond shaped glass.  One or two have been broken, otherwise they are the original.  The square hall with wide easy steps gives one the impression of space.  There is a large room on each side of the hall, each one (is) twenty feet square.  Each has a large fire place and a high narrow mantel.  On the six panel doors are fine old iron locks with small brass knobs.  The locks bear the stamp of England, showing the Royal Coat of Arms.  The lock on the back hall door is 14 inches long and 7 inches wide.  There are ten rooms, a basement, many closets and three porches to the house, which is only one and a half stories high.  Several rooms have wainscoting and others have chair rail.

Just when the house was built could not be definitely determined.  Mrs. Pratt, of Buckingham Court House, Virginia says she visited the home when she was a mere child, and that the house was old then.  She is now 85. (1940)  The present owner says his father, who is 87 years old, has known the place all of his life and that he does not know when it was built, nor did his father before him.  There are several dates and initials out on one of the old rock chimneys.  What they signify is not known.  Only a few could be read as:

J.D.T. May 12, 1840

T.R.T. 1842

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