Black Walnut District, Halifax County, Virginia
The houses listed on this tour are private residences and are not open to the public.
Liberty Holly - The old Adkisson House
Adkissons have lived near Mount Laurel since 1835.
The huge house rambles in several directions, having many small halls and up and down steps. The holly tree in the yard is one hundred and fifty years old.
The oldest part of this house of many additions was built in 1829. Liberty Hall girls' school was once conducted here. A near tornado struck down several venerable oaks in the yard in June 1977, puncturing holes in the roof, but somehow not injuring boxwood in the yard. The 1829 tall slim holly tree escaped injury too, seeming to still touch the sky. Within the house an employee was praying with devoutness of extra intensity. William Adkisson, whose familv had lived there for generations, braced for the very worst. He and the house survived - some trees did not.
The Paul Carrington house on the opposite side of the road and facing the 1829 William Adkisson house was also admired by Robert Weekins in 1957. It is now owned by William Adkisson and is the home of his tenant. It has a slanting red tin roof with dormer windows, as most houses here did before 1800.
The author and Mrs. Wallace Moore saw these Mount Laurel houses July 5, 1977, and Mrs. Moore (nee Ovid Webb) remembered when she and her father, David W. W. Webb, used to drive 20 miles to call on Mrs. J. M. Carrington, sharing tidbits of both gardens and gossip.
M. W. Lewis
a citizen of Mt. Laurel
A brief history of the village of Mt. Laurel since the year 1825 to the present time.
1825, Mr. Glen Adkisson in his early manhood located in Mt. Laurel as a clerk in a store for some one unknown to the writer "as there are no records" and spent his life here engaged in farming and as the leading merchant of the community.
Mr. Elijah Hundley built the large mansion, known as the Doran place and raised a large family, and owned a large territory of land.
Adkisson was among the early comers and built the Robert Filk(?) home. Colonel Basvill(?) was a prominent farmer and lived and died at what is known the Bassvill(?) place.
About 1870 the Mt. Laurel Episcopal Church was moved by Wm Salmon and Miles Seay from the the Cemetary on the Clover road to the village where it now stands.
Back in the early Eightys Mr. John Salmon operated a large tan(n)ery in the vil(l)age.
The store house known as Adkisson store house was once a grainery and was moved from near the Fi(?)ts home to the place it now stands, and there is one thing about this store house that very few people know, and that is the water that runs off the roof of this store runs into four different creeks and is the headwaters of Lick branch, Adkisson creek, Reedy creek and Blackwalnut creek, and all four creeks flow into Staunton River.
Mr. W. S. Adkisson was one of the leading citizens of the community for a number of years and was one of the largest land owners in Halifax Co. at the time of his death.
J. E Green was for fourty odd years a prominent merchant of the vilage, but always maintained his home at Clover.
R. C. Carrington sold goods here for 40 years or more. He came from Charlotte Co. Henry Farrer operated a blacksmith shop here all his life and about 1902. J. J. Salmon, known as "big Tom" operated a wagon shop & blacksmith shop here all his life and was a very useful man but died practically a young man only 38 years old.
Mt. Laurel is one of the oldest post Office in the County. John Randolph of Charlotte co. received his mail for a long time from this office, (and) had (to) cross Staunton River on a boat to get his mail.
The stores in the village at the present time are operated by H. L. Hardee and Mrs. O. H. Lacks, and the shop is run by MWLewis who has served as Justice of the peace for nearly 30 years.
This handwritten history was contributed January 31, 2005 by Ann Lewis, wife of John W. Lewis, grandson of the author.
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