|Poster #15 Dan River Plantations Map with drawings
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Poster #15. Dan River Plantations. . This poster has a representative drawing of the many
early plantation homes along Dan River just north of the North Carolina line in Pittsylvania
Berry Hill was built c1760 and is still standing. The name is said to have originated from "Bury
Hill" during the Revolutionary War. After the Battle of Guilford Court House, not so far away,
soldiers were brought to the home which was used as a hospital. Those who died were
buried there. Col. Peter Perkins was paid 50 pounds for damages sustained by the General
Hospital being at his home. Col. Perkins sold his property here and moved to Tennessee
where he died in 1813. His father Nicholas Perkins (1718-1762) lived nearby across the river.
He operated Perkins Ferry near the line with Rockingham county, North Carolina. Thomas
Harden Perkins (1757-1838) lived east of his father. His father died when he was only five
years old and left his half the home tract on the south side of the river. In 1776, he was an
ensign in the militia. He later followed his brothers to Williamson county, Tennessee. William
Bean s cabin c1746 was located northeast on the old Berry Hill Road. Bean sold out and
moved to Tennessee in about 1768. His son was the first white child born in the Watauga
Oak Hill (1825) was the home of Samuel Pannill Hairston. He was one of Virginia s largest
slaveholders and many of their descendants retain the surname.
Oak Ridge was built in 1832 by George Adams, Jr. In 1828, he paid taxes on 1,934 acres. Dr.
John R. Wilson married a daughter in 1853 of Adams and lived here many years. Oak Ridge
is still standing and occupied.
Bachelor's Hall was the home of Constant Perkins. His land grant here was for 639 acres in
1770. He ran a store here on the Berry Hill Road. He was a major in the militia. Bachelor's
Hall is still standing and occupied.
Ferry Farm was the home of Peter Wilson. He began his ferry about 1748. He died in 1762
and left land to his eight children. One of his sons was Col. John Wilson who was County
Lieutenant during the Revolutionary War. When Pres. George Washington came through this
area in 1791, he ate a meal at the Wilson home. John amassed large tracts of land before he
died in 1820. (sons Robert, Nathaniel, and George have homes listed here).
Dan's Hill was built by Col. Robert Wilson in 1833. This is still standing in good condition. His
brothers built Laurel Cliff and Belle Grade.
Laurel Cliff - Major George Wilson built Laurel Cliff in 1820 across the river from Dan's Hill,
near the southern ferry dock. Danville's Ferry Road leads to Major Wilson's former land. His
brothers built Dan's Hill and Belle Grade.
Belle Grade (1823) in what is now Danville. When Colonel Nathaniel Wilson died his estate
included 4,000 acres and 80 slaves, all names in estate papers. Belle Grade itself was 935
acres. His brothers built Dan's Hill and Laurel Cliff.
Bridgewater was the home place built about 1827 on the 648-acre plantation of Gen.
Benjamin W. S. Cabell. Cabell came to Danville in 1816 and was instrumental in constructing
the Roanoke Navigational Canal (see #27) around the falls of Dan River. One of his sons
Gen. William Lewis Cabell graduated from West Point in 1850 and was a Confederate
General. He was later the mayor of Dallas. The home of Joseph Motley (1784-1841) is east
of the Danville airport. The house built in 1819 is often mistakenly called the home of John
Dix. John Dix operated a ferry and ordinary near his home on Dan River from about 1766. He
built a water powered grist mill in 1772. He was paid for transporting many wagons and
soldiers during the Revolutionary War. The home of Capt. Robert Payne was near the
Carolina line where the river reenters the state. His cousin Dolly Payne married President
James Madison. The Payne's came here from Goochland county. The Piedmont Mall in
Danville, Virginia, is located on the Bridgewater home site. It
The home of Thomas Fearn (1745-1805) was near the present Goodyear plant. He lived on
a 1,260 acre tract and owned a 200 acre Mill Tract west on Rutledge s Creek. Most of Fern's
descendants moved to Huntsville, Alabama after his death.
The home of Col. William Wynne (1705-1778) was near the water-powered grist mill
(operating in 1754). His mill was among the first in what is now Pittsylvania County, Virginia.
Briarfield was the home of George Chadwell which was built about 1768.
Another grist mill shown is the Barnett & Townes (1796) Mill in downtown Danville.
The poster on heavy paper measures about 17 inches x 22 inches.
This poster is part of the History Poster Collection created by Danny Ricketts - also known as
Trader Dan, who has spent over thirty years researching the history of Pittsylvania County
and Danville, Virginia, where his family has lived for many generations. See our eBay store
"Southside Books" for his other posters and other items about Virginia history.