The dynamic growth of Dykeland paralleled that of the Harvie family. The one-and-a-half-story frame section at the rear of the house was already on the 1,011-acre tract that Lewis E. Harvie, a charismatic politician and entrepreneur, purchased in 1836 and named Dykeland for the dikes along nearby Flat Creek. As Harvie's fortunes prospered and his family grew to include twelve children, he expanded his residence, adding a three-bay, two-story frame front section with brick exterior-end chimneys. Approximately twenty years later, he added a hipped-roof two-story Italianate section and linked it to the c. 1838 section by running a one-story porch across its facade. In the side yard is a reconstructed springhouse and, behind it, three mid-nineteenth-century weatherboarded structures—a frame dairy with brick nogging and ventilation holes near the eaves of its pyramidal roof, a gable-roofed smokehouse, and a frame kitchen with an exterior-end brick chimney.
During his years as owner of Dykeland, Harvie was president of the Virginia Agricultural Society, served in the House of Delegates from 1841 to 1850, and was president of the Richmond and Danville Railroad from 1856 until after the Civil War. He was an ardent secessionist. After the war, Harvie turned his energies to farming his land. He hired local African Americans to work his farm and, as did others in Southside, supplemented their labor with white foreign workers, in his case, eighteen men from England, Germany, and Switzerland.