Chatham's Oldest?

Hurt Street at Chatham Hall campus
By Henry H. Mitchell


The log-bodied rear rom of Mansfield is thought to be a residential building dating back to the 1700's, and if so, it would probably be the oldest home in Chatham. It appears to be typical of the region's simple colonial-era homes.

When Pittsylvania County was trimmed to its present boundaries in 1777 and its court moved from Callands to Chatham, the General Assembly ordered that court be temporarily held at Richard Farthing's home. It sat near Hickey's Road (modern-day Hurt Street/Chalk Level Road), the first major east-west thoroughfare through this frontier district. Several local historians have assumed that Mansfield is the Richard Farthing home. However, researcher Ronnie Walker determined conclusively that the Farthing property (a portion of which was later owned by his ancestor) was some distance east of Mansfield (from correspondence 1/15/2013 between Ronnie Walker and Sarah E. Mitchell).

After the Civil War, Mansfield was the home of Judge Doddridge Coles, of Ex Parte Virginia fame, until he built a larger home on Main Street.

Mansfield is currently a private faculty residence on the campus of Chatham Hall.

For further information, see:

Related Book

(Available from the sponsor.)

Pittsylvania: Homes and People of the Past

Fitzgerald: Pittsylvania: Homes and People of the Past

This webpage is sponsored by Mitchells Publications, Chatham, Virginia.