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Watkins Family Bloomsburg Plantation Halifax County VA

Date Built  Store

plantation home side view

Alexander Watkins built a fine plantation at Dan Ripple. This fine home was called Bloomsburg. The home place is three stories. As in most homes of this era, the third floor was used for dances and parties. All the rooms in this majestic home are large with high ceilings. The baseboards and mantles in the two parlors are made of marble. Deep frescoed molding and medallions cover the ceilings of the hall and parlors. Hand carved leaves adorns the staircase. The kitchen was brick and separate from the house. Separating the kitchen from the rest of the house was a common practice of this era. It was done to avoid the extra heat in the summer.

"Alexander Watkins built a magnificent home for that period (soon after the Revolution). It is still standing, owned by strangers. The frescoed alabaster walls of marvelous whiteness and hardness, the smooth hard wood and marble mantles, would make any housewife green with envy."

Bloomsburg along with 525 acres was sold on December 24,1863 to Sydney Walton. The price was $18,000. Rights to "God's Acre", the family burying plot, was reserved for future Watkins. This transaction is recorded in Halifax, VA D. B. 60 pg. 251.

Being loyal to the Confederate cause, Alexander invested his money in Confederate bonds. When the war was lost, so was Alexander's fortune.

On his property in Dan Ripple, Alexander ran a county store. In 1871 Alexander died. He did not have a will. The Civil war left its mark on Alexander, as it did with most of the South. Evidently, Alexander extended credit to his customers who were probably neighbors in need. When Alexander died, the store account books had listed $48,677.92 in overdue accounts. Of these overdue accounts, only $5000 was ever collected. The store was sold to Robert Adams. slave cabin

In 1957, to make way for Highway Route 58, the store was torn down. Robert Adams also bought the Watkins' plantation and land. Once more, the place was again sold in 1921 to GE Solomon.

Many old homes that were originally owned by different Watkins are near Turbeville, VA. Of these old homes, one belonged to William Watkins. It was called Blaines' Mill House and was restored by Garland Hutchinson.

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