Brickland turns 200

Published 9:15 am Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Area agriculturalists and historians will pay tribute to the construction of Brickland Plantation, which took place 200 years ago.

The celebration of the historic home milestone will take place Saturday from 1-5 p.m.

Brickland is located at 6877 Brickland Road in Kenbridge. It now operates as a Certified Naturally Grown produce and berry farm.

During the celebration, The Lunenburg County Historical Society will offer tours of the house and land. Gardener Dawn Conrad will discuss the plants at the property from 2-3 p.m.

Lunenburg native Adam Erby, who currently works as Associate Curator at George Washington’s Mount Vernon, will present an in-depth history of Brickland’s architecture from 3-4 p.m.

After the event, there will be a separate fundraising dinner at Brickland for the Southern Virginia Food Hub, a multi county initiative to create a central location for people to purchase locally grown foods.

The initiative received a grant for $62,176 from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services at the beginning of the year. Tickets for the dinner can be found at

Steve Israel will re-enact original Brickland owner Dr. Sterling Neblett, reliving the experience of seeing his home built before his eyes.

“Brickland is a true Lunenburg landmark, with an exterior and amazing interior that would compare very favorably to the sophisticated architectural styles of major East Coast cities of the time period,” Anne Hamlett with the Lunenburg County Historical Society said.

Hamlett said Brickland was constructed by Lunenburg native Dr. Sterling Neblett II early in the 19th century.

“The house was built in two sections; the first section was constructed about 1818 and the second section – a three story addition – was built within several years of the first, about 1822,” the release noted.

The event will feature the dining room table original to the house, on loan from the Neblett family. Tourists will also be able to see the home’s elliptical staircase, which extends three floors.

“Also on display will be Dr. Neblett’s medicine chest and his saddle bag used in making “house calls” throughout the southeastern portion of Lunenburg County,” the society noted.

The event is meant to draw awareness both to the house and the Southern Virginia Food Hub. Jerry Tuttle has lived at Brickland, a converted tobacco plantation for five years and operates Brickland Farm out of the property. He said the farm mainly focuses on growing vegetables, but he has recently began growing strawberries and blackberries.

He said construction for the food hub has begun at the Colonial Theater in South Hill and is expected to open at the end of the year.

Having lived on a tobacco farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina growing up, Tuttle said the experience being at the historic Lunenburg home has been meaningful.

“I couldn’t wait to get away from farming, and then I couldn’t wait to get back,” Tuttle said.

“The Southside community is invited to come visit Brickland on its 200th anniversary, and also support the Lunenburg County Historical Society, as well as the Southern Virginia Food Hub,” Hamlett said. “Both organizations are grateful to Brickland’s owners for their hospitality in opening the house to the public as a means of benefiting both of these groups.”