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November 11, 2021 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham Churches: An Old Methodist Parsonage

Courtesy Library of Virginia. Photos by Rosa G. Williams.

While searching for information about Dunn’s Chapel at the Library of Virginia, I found a Virginia Historical Survey entitled, “Parsonage (Methodist Church)” written by Rosa G Williams on April 27, 1937. The parsonage is not identified by name in the title, however, it was the parsonage for Brown’s Chapel situated near the Buckingham Female Collegiate Institute.

Mrs. Williams located the dilapidated building .3 miles south of Gravel Hill, Virginia, on Route #668; thence west ¼ mile on private road to the house.

She concluded that the structure was built about 1785, first occupied by Mr. Brown, followed by Garland Price (1835), established as a parsonage (1865), J. A. Chandler (1898), and James Lee Meadow (1910).

Her description reads as follows:

The old parsonage stands on a very high hill, overlooking the deserted village of Gravel Hill. It also overlooks the site of where the Old Buckingham Collegiate Institute once stood. No one has lived in this house for 27 years, but it has the appearance of having been a very attractive well-built home. It is now used as a storage house. This home is constructed of heart pine timbers, put together with wooden pegs and shop made nails. The rooms are in a bad condition; the plastering has fallen down, the roof leaks and the chimneys are falling due to severe wind storms. The porch has been removed or it has fallen down, since there are signs of one having been there.

The yard during the spring is very pretty, has many of the old-fashioned flowers, namely, buttercups, flag lilies, lilac bushes and many others may still be seen. No one [has] taken care of the yard; the rain washes all the rubbish downhill, causing the yard to be clean and the grass beautiful.

Mrs. Williams also noted, “This old place housed the first ministers that served this county after the discontinuation of the worship services at the Chapel of the Old Institute.”

Brown’s Chapel, 2010. Photo by Joanne Yeck.

For much more about Buckingham Female Collegiate Institute, please search the archives at Slate River Ramblings and consult “A Noble Idea: Buckingham Female Collegiate Institute,” in my book, “At a Place Called Buckingham.”


Leave a Comment
  1. Joanne Yeck / Nov 20 2021 1:20 pm

    Thanks, Keith!


  2. Keith Brown / Nov 20 2021 12:45 pm

    I believe this home was originially built by my GGGGG grandfather Benejah Brown and descended or was purchased by one of his grandsons named Garland Price. It appears that the home was demolished and a new home built on or close to where the original home once stood.

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