Historic House Listings

So much history! “Mansfield”, Circa 1740! About two acres in Virginia. $424,950

February 19, 2020

This is such a special property!!! I remember reading about the family that purchased this fixer upper and I am going to be honest, I was envious!! They purchased this home at an auction! Imagine my surprise when the owner contacted me today. Mansfield is the home of Neil Nordheim and his wife, Joanna Gragnani. They are followers of Old House Life on Facebook. Mansfield was built in 1740! It is located on around two acres in Dinwiddie, Virginia. I’m in love with the history of this house and how about the restoration they did!!

This home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a Virginia Landmark. While restoring the house they found windows with initials etched into them. It was once home to Roger Atkinson, a tobacco merchant from England. After the Atkinson family it was home to Hugh Garland. He was a lawyer, politician and staunch supporter of slavery. Which brings me to the most fascinating story of the home and one that the owners wanted to make sure was told when they purchased the home.

The property was known by many locals as the Keckley House. When they call it that, they are talking about Elizabeth Keckley. She was an enslaved woman who spent four years at Mansfield. She eventually bought her freedom and she went on to become a rather well known seamstress in Washington, D.C. Mary Todd Lincoln learned about Elizabeth Keckley’s work and she became Mary Todd Lincoln’s personal seamstress. People even noted that they became friends. In 1868 Keckley published her memoirs. Need to find that book! This is such a special property! Four bedrooms, four 1/2 bathrooms, and 3,628 square feet. $424,950

Contact David Seibert with Long and Foster Churchill: 855-632-6100

Photography by: Quentin Penn-Hollar with QPH Photo http://www.qphphoto.com

From the Realtor.com listing:


Lovingly restored home Circa 1740 has the same footprint today as it did 280 yrs ago. Built by prominent merchant, Roger Atkinson, and home to historical figures Elizabeth Keckley & Hugh Garland. It is the perfect blend of 21st century conveniences and incredible history. It has original wainscoting, multi member crown, wide plank heart pine floors, federal mantel pieces, and an exposed Flemish bond brick chimney. 3.5 NEW baths in the main home. (4 full and 2 half baths total) a NEW Kitchen with quartz counters, glass front cabinets, and 3 BR’s with a GIANT master w/full bath. Upgrades include Heat Pump, Gas Furnace, new paint, refinished floors, new insulation. The property is on a fenced in 2.5 acre lot, with mature gardens, dogwoods, pear, chestnut & pecan trees, grape vines, and water garden w/ fountain. The property also includes an out building with 2 car garage, fully renovated 1 bd/1 bath upstairs apartment, and bonus space with its own bathroom with all NEW mechanicals and a NEW roof. Rentable for $900/month. Just a few miles from the public boat landing on Lake Chesdin and just a couple miles from I85, the location is convenient to RVA, the Tri-Cities, and Fort Lee!


Let them know you saw it on Old House Life!