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January 7, 2021 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham Houses: Locust Dale, Part VI

Howard Martin removing the slate roof at Locust Dale. Courtesy Mercedes Ludlow.

Need to catch up?  Click here: Buckingham Houses: Locust Dale, Part I

The photo above was taken in about 2009. According to Mercedes Ludlow, “This is the west side of the home. My dad is working removing the slate roof. There was a chimney on this side and on the east side.”

A land plat dated 1974 shows a section of the divided Brooks farm.  Mercedes’ family owned tract 7. The old house sat right in the middle of their property. The graveyard was located behind it, on an adjacent tract.

Mercedes recalls that the house stood until 2011. She explained, “The slate on one side had fallen from the roof and the water damaged the home on that end. My father was concerned about the weight of the slate roof and removed it.”

Eventually, carpenter Albert Miller disassembled the house, using pieces in the construction in his own home. At the time, Miller noted that he had never seen a house built like Locust Dale. The timbers were labeled with Roman numerals, or carpenter’s assembly marks, often used in timbered homes. There must have been something unusual about them for Mr. Miller to comment.

Mercedes’ father, Howard Martin, also observed that under some of the numerals, dates were carved in the beams. He recalled one beam was dated 1716.

Did Locust Grove contain salvage from former dwellings in Buckingham County? Was the entire house moved and reassembled sometime before the Brooks family purchased the farm?

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The Miller Home. Courtesy Anna Miller.

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On August 10, 1864, Vincent R. Brooks, Sr. married Maria Susanna Agee in Buckingham Co, Virginia, making all of his descendants my distant Agee cousins. Years ago, while searching for clues to my Agee line, I met with Ruby Mae (Agee) Agee in her home in greater Richmond. She kindly shared her memories and photos with me.

Many thanks also go to Mercedes Ludlow for contacting me and adding significantly to the history of Locust Dale. She warmly recalls her home as “the most peaceful and restorative place.”

And, as always, thanks to Jeremy Winfrey for his work on land deeds and the Brooks family cemetery.

Mrs. Susie Putney and Miss Mattie Brooks at Locust Dale, 1930.  Courtesy Ruby Agee.

2 Comments

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  1. Carole Jensen / Jan 7 2021 3:06 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing the photos and information on Maria Susanna Agee and Locust Dale. Maria is a sister of my ggg-grandmother, Elizabeth Agee (Baber). They are daughters of Pvt. Jacob Agee and Elizabeth Garrett. Kudos to Joanne, Jeremy, Ruby, Albert, Howard and Mercedes for this delightful story..

    • Joanne Yeck / Jan 8 2021 7:05 am

      Thanks, Carole. I’m glad to know that you enjoy the story of Locust Dale.

      Joanne

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