VLR Listing Date


NRHP Listing Date


NRHP Reference Number


The property at Pharsalia, apart from its impressive 1814 unusual Federal-style mansion, contains one of the best collections of antebellum plantation buildings in Nelson County, including a kitchen, slave quarters, and other farm buildings. The main house is currently T-shaped and features a prominent offset pediment above the original roof structure. The original owner of the plantation, William Massie, was a well-known miller, plantation owner, and businessman, but he is best remembered for his creation of the first commercial orchard in Nelson County. Massie was a meticulous record keeper regarding his business and personal dealings, and his records have been invaluable in reconstructing what life was like on the plantation. By the time of his death in 1862, Massie had 170 enslaved individuals working his substantial orchards and the three mills he owned. After his death the Pharsalia property was run by his fourth wife Maria, until her death in 1889.

Last Updated: April 29, 2024

Many properties listed in the registers are private dwellings and are not open to the public, however many are visible from the public right-of-way. Please be respectful of owner privacy.

VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark

For additional information Read

Nomination Form


Warminster Rural Historic District

Nelson (County)


Blue Ridge Tunnel

Augusta (County)


Ryan Hall Elementary School

Nelson (County)