Grand farmhouse, Southampton County, Va.

Worn farmhouse, Southampton County, Va.  Photo by Andy Brack.

Worn farmhouse, Southampton County, Va. Photo by Andy Brack.

This stately, decaying grand Virginia farmhouse is mesmerizing and sad at the same time.  While you can see a well, drinking trough for animals and a couple of outbuildings, there’s also an old store and barn at this location, a few miles north of Courtland at the intersection of Wakefield and Millfield roads.

Looking at the complex at the corner of a big field, it’s easy to imagine how this farm was a focus of rural life 80 or so years ago when lots of Southerners got their start in the country.  Better South President Andy Brack writes, “Of all of the photos I took in July in Virginia, I come back to the pictures of this farm.  In my mind’s eye, I can almost see donkeys and horses getting a drink, kids playing barefoot in the front yard, folks dropping by the country store to sit, talk and enjoy a cold drink.

“I couldn’t find out anything else about this place despite trying to reach members of a Baptist church just down the road.  I look at how this house and its buildings, once a gem of this rural area, is falling apart.  Like much of the area of the Southern Crescent, it’s suffering from benign neglect.”

The complex is in Southampton County, which is known in history as the place where slave Nat Turner led a rebellion in 1831.  More information is here.  Today, 18,409 people live in Southampton County; three in five are white; most of the rest are black.  Poverty is about 16 percent.

Photo taken July 23, 2012, by Better South President Andy Brack.  All rights reserved.