A number of fine eighteenth- and nineteenth-century plantation houses are located south of the Appomattox River west of Petersburg. Sysonby and Mansfield (DW47) belonged to the prominent Atkinson family. Sysonby was built for Ann Atkinson and her husband, John Ponsonby, as a wedding gift from her wealthy father, Roger Atkinson of Mansfield. The Georgian center-passage, double-pile frame house now has only one story over a raised cellar, but probably was originally one-and-a-half stories in height. Like a number of the region's houses, it apparently had its roof lowered as part of a Greek Revival remodeling that included the construction of the central porch. Unlike neighboring Mansfield, Sysonby has managed to retain a modicum of its original setting, but both have been overtaken by subdivisions.
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