Hairston Plantation HAIRSTON - Hordsville Plantation, Henry County, VA - 1836

Hordsville Plantation

Hordsville was built in 1836 by George Hairston, Jr. and Louisa Hardyman Hairston. He was the son of George Stovall Hairston and Elizabeth Perkins (Letcher) Hairston. It is located near Stanleytown on the old Carolina Post Road between Bassett and Fieldale and is a copy of a house George had seen in Richmond. It was built of brick made by slaves on the plantation and iron from the Hairston Foundry located where Fairystone Park is now. The land was purchased from John Hord, an Englishman, who is buried on a knoll, which can be seen from the front of the house. Near the house is the old cemetery referred to as "God's Acre" where many of the Hairston and related families are buried.

To begin one's tour of this beautiful old home we see the soapstone walk which has been worn down by a century of use, huge wooden doors held together with pegs, and a lovely hand-carved circular staircase leading to the third floor.

 

An oil portrait of George Hairston once dominated the living room, but this portrait is now owned by Louisa Breeden. His treasures include a marble top liquor case from Scotland, a table with scalloped top, which turns like a lazy Susan, and a miniature blown glass elk.

Each room at Hordsville has a large fireplace. The dining room was furnished with a huge banquet table where George Hairston entertained many friends. The walnut corner cupboard was put together with wooden pegs and is a collector’s item. The spurs and hunting horn of George Hairston did hang in the hall reminding us of the gentleman who lived and hunted here for so many years. The guest quarters contained the sleigh bed belonging to George. Other pieces from the pre-civil war period were iron mortars and pestles and an iron washbowl, which were made at George Hairston's Union Furnace Iron Works in Patrick County.

George Hairston, generally called "Old Rusty", graduated from Princeton in 1805 and married Louisa Hardyman, a ward of President John Tyler. He first lived at Marrowbone but later built Hordsville, where he spent the remainder of his life. He served as a member of the Virginia Legislature longer than any member before or since. He was the originator of the Smith River Navigation Company and the Union Iron Works.

 by Carolyn Henderson, Libba Johnson and Robert E. Hairston, Jr. - hairston.org