Fireside Chat(ham)

24 Hargrave Boulevard, Chatham, Virginia
By Henry H. Mitchell


Ingleside (Scottish for “fireside”) was built in 1844 by Dr. Chesley Martin, who had bought 30 acres from his nearby brother-in-law Dr. Richard White as a location for his “hearth and home.” Thus Martin became the third physician to locate on adjacent lots, after White and Dr. Robert Coles.

Also in 1844, Dr. Martin gave a half-acre portion of his newly-acquired property for the location of a new Methodist church building. Today the third structure on that site, facing Main Street, serves as Watson Memorial United Methodist Church (see related information). The rock-walled Martin family cemetery remains between Ingleside and the parking area at the rear of the church.

Once the Martin family moved in, Ingleside became the boyhood home of Dr. Martin's son Rawley White Martin, who as a young man served as commanding officer of the 53rd Virginia Infantry, C. S. A., and whose gallantry during Pickett's Charge at the Battle of Gettysburg is legendary.

Later, Ingleside was owned by the Tredway family. Then, in 1909-1910, Ingleside again provided a historically significant nurturing role when it was home to Chatham Training School (now Hargrave Military Academy), after the school was moved from the Sims-Mitchell House, where it had been known as the Warren Training School. After the brief period at Ingleside, Chatham Training School's organizers (including J. Hunt Hargrave) moved the institution to new quarters atop the hill immediately to the west, Hargrave Military Academy's present campus.

During a long period of use by the academy as a faculty residence, the front and back yards were subdivided along the school's main access street. As a result, Ingleside now sits at a right angle to Hargrave Boulevard. Through the many roles in which the house has served, the original Federal structure has been expanded several times, most notably with a two-story wing on the north (street) side and enlarged porches to the east and west. In the mid-1900's, Ingleside was purchased by, and remains the home of, the Tucker family.

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 website is sponsored by Mitchells Publications and the Sims-Mitchell House, Chatham, Virginia.