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January 16, 2020 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham County Houses: John Woodson House

John T. L. Woodson House, 2005. Photo by Joanne Yeck.

Early in my ramblings in Buckingham County, I learned that frequently the directions to a historic site recorded in the Virginia Historical Inventory are incorrect. Such was the case with my ancestor’s house near Slate River. Surveyed by Elizabeth McCraw, on June 15, 1937, she located it north of Ranson instead of south.

She believed the house was built by Charles Saunders, Woodson’s father-in-law, as early as 1840. John T. L. Woodson and Mary Elizabeth Saunders were married on October 23, 1867 in Buckingham County. The house may have been a wedding present. Mrs. McCraw noted that it had always been known as the John Woodson house and that B. F. Dawson was the current owner.

Mrs. McCraw goes on to describe the modest dwelling.

Just in the distance of the front yard from the public road is this 1 ½ story house, plain but attractive, containing eight rooms and Hall. In the hall is a cased-in one flight stairway. The floors have uniform white planks. The wainscoting in each room is chair rail high. There is a fireplace and only one window in each room. The windows are small, each containing 12 panes of glass 10×12 inches in size. The upstairs rooms are “old-fashioned”, built up in the eaves of the roof, having small gable end windows. The house has two chimneys, each one part rock and part brick. The one time outside kitchen has been pulled up and added to the house as a storeroom. In addition three rooms have been added to the original house. All are well kept in good repair.

The survey makes it clear that the house has no historic significance, however, I was personally grateful that Elizabeth McCraw chose to survey it, leaving clues for me to find in the 21st century.

The house was demolished in late 2019.  Slate from the roof and bricks from the chimney were salvaged.  Here’s hoping they help restore another Buckingham County home.


Leave a Comment
  1. Harry Stuart Holman / Jan 16 2020 9:31 am

    Dear Reader:

    For those of us old enough to remember The Ed Sullivan Show, we remember this as the home of Mr. and Mrs. Earl Patteson. I fondly remember visiting them in the early 70’s, and I was informed by my uncle that he was one of our closest relatives. At that time, Earl worked at Leggett’s in Farmville. He was the son of Dr. T. E. and Annette Holman Patteson of Farmville. His wife was formerly a Miss Maxey and descended from Mary George Holman Self of Buckingham. Annette Patteson was the daughter of Sam and Virginia Wythe Eldridge Holman of the Hanes Chapel neighborhood. Their home is now the home of Alton Hanes. Through the Eldridges, she descended from Pocahontas, and through the Holmans, she descended from the Cloptons of New Kent County (of royal descent). Sam Holman was born at “Whitehall,” a couple of miles south of the Earl Patteson home. This plantation was owned by the Holmans from 1789 until 1905 and consisted of almost 2,000 acres. The Pattesons were also conspicuous early residents of Buckingham County. Mr. and Mrs. Earl Patteson were the parents of two or three children, including Dr. Thomas Earl Patteson, III of Front Royal, Virginia.

    • Joanne Yeck / Jan 17 2020 6:41 am


      Thanks, as always, for enriching this post with your deep knowledge of Buckingham County families.


  2. Paula. Sprouse. Meadows / Jan 16 2020 7:11 am

    Still love reading your history. Of our co.

    • Joanne Yeck / Jan 16 2020 7:12 am

      Thank you, Paula!

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