The Davis-Sours house has been continuously occupied by the same family longer than any other home in Chatham. It appears on the 1878 Gray's Map of Chatham as belonging to “H. Davis,” and the building was probably quite recently constructed at that time. Ownership of the house passed from Homer and Catherine Davis to their daughter and son-in-law, Mary Nannie and Charles Gray Sours, who were married in the house on February 25, 1891. The property has been handed down through two more Sours generations, to Jesse D. Sours, Sr. and Jesse D. Sours, Jr.
Charles Gray Sours was a son of well-known local ironworker Jacob Sours, who as foreman at the Birch Creek Iron Works constructed the ornamental iron railings which still grace the Pittsylvania County Court House, where they were installed in 1854.
An original smokehouse can still be seen behind the house. According to family lore, Charles and Mary Nannie Sours were so fond of dancing that they had a ballroom built on the east side of the house, a long one-story addition which now serves as a kitchen and dining room.
At the time the Davis-Sours home was constructed, the Davis property stood astride the northern entrances to the town, a three-way intersection of the Louis Island Road (now the northern loop of Military Drive), Wards Springs Road (North Main Street), and Hickey's Road (Hurt Street / Chalk Level Road).
Further information and sources:
This webpage is provided by Mitchells Publications and the Sims-Mitchell House, as part of an online documentation of Chatham, Pittsylvania County and Danville, Virginia.
Copyright © 2001–2006 Patricia B. Mitchell.