Beaver Creek Plantation
Beaver Creek, the second Hairston home in Henry County, was built in 1776 by George Hairston, son of Robert and Ruth Stovall Hairston. It has always been called "the largest and most beautiful of the Hairston homes." The original mansion was built on a Kings Grant of over 30,000 acres, but was rebuilt in 1837 after the house was destroyed by fire. One of George's sons, Marshall Hairston, had the original house of virgin oak. An old legend says that a picture of Marshall is etched on a third floor rear window of this house. It is said that he was standing in front of it when he was struck by lighting and stunned for a few seconds. Later, the profile of a man appeared on the window, and it has always been attributed to Marshall Hairston.
Around the end of the nineteenth century, two new wings were added the Beaver Creek home. Later, a third wing was added featuring a sun porch and Norwegian rose marble floors and a classic mantel in the living-dining area. The house was also re-plastered except for two places where the original construction can be seen.
The bricks that were saved from the original kitchen smoke house were made into servants quarters. A small frame building on the front lawn was converted into an office, featuring tiles designed with scenes from Beaver Creek. The back of the house boasts a swimming pool, pool house, and tennis court. The grounds are beautifully shaded with cedar, boxwood, sugar maple and magnolia trees. A boxwood path leads to the cemetery at Beaver Creek. The boxwoods are over a century and a half old and are about 35 feet tall. George Hairston and his wife Elizabeth Perkins (Letcher) Hairston are buried here along with many other Hairston relatives. In 1987 George Hairston's grave was marked in a special ceremony by the General James Breckinridge Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. This DAR marker cites George Hairston as a Captain, the rank he held during the American Revolution. George Hairston also served as a Brigadier General during the War of 1812.
During the same year that Beaver Creek was built, George Hairston donated fifty acres of land for a courthouse in Henry County. Half-acre lots were laid off on part of the tract of land and sold to pay for the construction of the public building of the county. The original courthouse burned and the present brick one was built and occupied around 1824. A plaque in this courthouse reads as follows:
COLONEL IN THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR
BRIGADIER GENERAL, WAR OF 1812
JUSTICE HENRY COUNTY COURT
WHO GAVE THE LAND AND PROVIDED
THE MEANS TO BUILD THE COURT
HOUSE AND OTHER PUBLIC BUILDING
OF HENRY COUNTY, VIRGINIA
THIS MEMORIAL ERECTED BY HIS DESCENDANTS
George Hairston also gave the land on which the First Methodist Church in Martinsville was erected. In 1939 his descendants gave the following plaque as a memorial to George Hairston, and it hangs in the church today.
TO THE GLORY OF GOD AND IN MEMORY OF
WHO GAVE THE SITE ON WHICH THIS
THIS MEMORIAL WAS GIVEN BY HIS
by Carolyn Henderson, Libba Johnson and Robert E. Hairston, Jr. - hairston.org
There is an excellent book by Peter Wilson Hairston called "THE STORIES OF BEAVER CREEK".
For more historical information about Beaver Creek, please see the National Register of Historic Places Inventory -- Nomination Form.