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VLR Listing Date 06/16/1993
NRHP Listing Date 08/12/1993
NPS property number 93000824
This L-shaped plantation seat is characteristic of the housing favored by the majority of the regions’s gentry in the early 19th century. Though it lacks the stylish frills of an architect-designed dwelling, the building has an inherent sophistication coming from the use of an established architectural vocabulary of forms and proportions. The front was originally accented by a two-tier portico. The interior is highlighted by reeded woodwork, intricately carved stair brackets, and areas of original graining. The house was built ca. 1822 by Bowling Eldridge, a tobacco planter and mill owner. At its peak the plantation included nearly a thousand acres, sustained by some seventy slaves. The Eldridge family sold the place in 1869 after which the house suffered neglect during a century-long period of absentee landowners. The current owners, Eldridge descendants, are planning a restoration.
The Bowling Eldridge House was relocated from Halifax to Bedford County. Two Bowling Eldridge descendants separately had purchased the house in the 1960s and 1990s with plans to restore it to its original state but were unable to enlist the resources to accomplish this goal. The house now sits atop a grassy knoll and overlooks the James River Valley across Route 794 in Bedford County near Lynchburg, much as it overlooked the Birch Creek Valley in Halifax County when it was also called “Ridgecrest.”
[2000 move documentation approved, NRHP 5/23/2003, NPS Reference Number 93000824]
VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark
Updated August 21, 2018