Historic Image Gallery

The earlest visual information about Weston Manor comes from a map drawn in the late stages of the Civil War (published 1867). Union cartographer Nathaniel Michler showed a vast area between Jordan's Point and Chesterfield Courthouse, but included such detail that we can distinguish five buildings at Weston. The arrow points to the mansion, flanked on either side by outbuildings. Two structures sit further back from the river, one along the right side of the farm road (dashed line) and another smaller structure southwest of the house. At this time and probably earlier, Weston also included a large pier directly in front of the house. Signs of war surround the plantation, with Fort Abbott to the south and the sprawling Union army hospital complex to the east. (Map from Library of Congress) We were thrilled to find this 1870s photograph of Weston at the Virginia Historical Society, confirming expectations of outbuildings on the grounds. Besides the large structure in the foreground, the gable of another appears faintly through the porch, on the far side of the mansion. According to architectural historian Susan Horner, the style of the structure suggests it is contemporary with the late eighteenth-century mansion. Located on the same side of the house as the dining room and the bulkhead entrance to the service space in the cellar, the outbuilding originally may have served as a kitchen. Though the cropping of the photograph obscures a possible chimney—obviously essential for a kitchen—archaeologists did find brick rubble in this general area of the yard. (Fred Bell negatives, Virginia Historical Society) A later view of Weston (taken about 1900-1920) shows the western outbuilding that is only barely visible in the 1870s photograph. The photograph was loaned to us by Esther Charvat, whose aunt, Mary (Dolin) Jones lived at Weston from the later 1800s to the 1920s. Mary had told Esther that this outbuilding once was used as a schoolhouse. Appearance and placement suggest this structure combined with the one on the east end of the house as a symmetrical pair flanking the mansion. In the late 1780s, this classic Georgian layout would have been the height of fashion, declaring the owners' wealth and social status to all who approached the plantation. Weston Manor and several outbuildings appear in the background of this ca. 1916 portrait. It seems that the structures next to the house had been removed by this time. From left to right are William Ann Clark Redick Ford (her masculine first name honored her father, a Confederate soldier who died in battle before she was born), Ford’s daughters Gaynell Redick Warren, Redick McIntyre, and an unidentified man. (photo in possession of Historic Hopewell Foundation) A more recent view of Weston (perhaps 1930s) shows a small staircase leading to a porch along the east side of the house. (from Judge Robertson collection, Virginia Department of Historic Resources) In the early 1900s, the Appomattox River shoreline was much further from Weston. In fact, the base of the bluff was dry enough to grow corn (the darker vegetation visible behind the marsh grass). A structure of unknown age appears at the left edge of the photograph. (Photograph owned by Pat Lindquist)