Sketch by Margaret Pennington. Courtesy Historic Buckingham.
John R. Gilliam, who was recommended to serve Buckingham County as a Magistrate during the Reconstruction Era, lived at Osceola in Buckingham County. Spellings for the farm have varied over the years, including “Osie Ola,” which is how it appeared on the survey for the Virginia Historical Inventory.
In 1937, Rosa G Williams wrote this for the Inventory:
This is one of the oldest homes in Buckingham County. It seems the house has been added to several times. The original rooms numbered only three and later it is thought a shed room was added to the southern end of the house and one room added to the east. Many years later two rooms were added to the north. The gable ends face north and south which gives the house a very ancient appearance.
You enter the house through a small square front porch. From there you go through six panel hand made doors. The doors to the original rooms were put together with wooden pegs while the doors of the other rooms were put together with shop made nails and wooden pegs. The downstairs rooms are very large and are plastered with a thirty-six inch wainscoting and about a six-inch chair rail. There is a fire place in each room with the exception of two.
There are no original outbuildings standing at the present time, but you may see piles of rock and fallen chimneys darted about the place where slave cabins once stood. The Gilliam family had many slaves.
Many thanks to Slate River Ramblings reader L. D. Phaup for leading me to more information about the Gilliam family.
Read more at the website: Gilliams of Buckingham County.
For more about John R. Gilliam at Slate River Ramblings, see: