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Photos courtesy of Ruth Tillar

by Ray Sasser

The Village View Mansion House was built in the 1790s for the young heir James Wall. Since that time it has been the home of the Wall, Land, and Briggs families. The plantation itself, however, dates to 1726 and the original patent by John Linch (Lynch).

From 1735 to 1751 it was the home of Rev. John Betty, the first minister of St. Andrews Parish. The archeological remains of an eighteenth-century house with a 47' by 17' English style basement and plastered walls, located adjacent to the Mansion House, are believed to be those of Betty's residence.

Absentee owners of the plantation during the eighteenth century include John Lynch, Michael Wall, Jr., the Vestry of Meherrin Parish, Littleton Tazewell (Clerk of Brunswick County) and his son Henry Tazewell (U.S. senator and father of the Governor of Virginia).

During the Civil War, the front parlor of the Mansion House served as the site of a council of war for Generals W. H. F. Lee, Wade Hampton, and Matthew Butler. In the late nineteenth century, rooms in the house, as well as its dependencies, have served as a doctor's office, a dentistry, an apothecary, and an academy for boys.

The plantation grew from its original 200 acres in 1726 to its maximum size of 4,990 acres in the late eighteenth century. In 1986, the Mansion House and its remaining four acres of land were given to the community by its last private owner, Sidney Briggs.

The restored Village View Mansion House, with its collection of historic furnishings, reflects the rural family life of Southside Virginia in the 1830s.  The numerous original features, including the distinctive fanlight over the front entrance, the variety of handcarved mantels, the decorative molding, the original hardwood floors, and the massive hand-hewn beams, as well as the period furnishings, offer a glimpse of the elegance and durable vitality of the early nineteenth-century plantation.
Village View is a Virginia History Landmark and is listed in the National Register for Historic Homes. All gifts from individuals, corporations, and other sources are tax deductible.

Call (804) 634-8687 or (804) 634-2475 for a guided tour.

It is located on 221 Briggs Street (off South Main Street) in Emporia.
Parking is available.