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Reynolds Homestead (Rock Spring)

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Rock Spring
c. 1843 rear ell; c. 1855 front section; 1970 restored, Frank Horton. 463 Homestead Ln.
  • (Virginia Department of Historic Resources)

The R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, had its roots in Patrick County. Richard Joshua Reynolds, founder of the company in 1875, was born and raised at the Homestead. A leader in reviving and modernizing the tobacco industry after the Civil War, he played a pivotal role in reviving the South's ruined economy. Before he moved to Winston, North Carolina, to start his own tobacco company, he had learned his trade here at his father's tobacco farm. The earliest section of his boyhood home, a small one-over-one brick dwelling, was built by his father, Hardin William Reynolds, who added the front section some years later. The resulting two-story Greek Revival brick house has a low-hipped roof and three front bays with a centered, one-story portico. The portico may have had a balcony, for above it is a second-story door with sidelights and transom, yet no ghosts of balconies appear in the brickwork. On the first story two massive Ionic columns flanked by equally hefty Doric columns are unusual enough but seem peculiar when contrasted with the two slender pilasters on the facade. The interiors march to the same quirky tune. The early section of the house has an unusual latticed stair railing that has some kinship with Chinese Chippendale. Interiors of the old and new sections were decorated by two painters whose schemes have been restored with all the era's elaborate marbleizing and graining. Several outbuildings, all probably dating from the mid-nineteenth century, include a small brick kitchen, a brick dairy with wooden-barred windows, a square-notched log icehouse, and a square-notched granary. In 2010 a square-notched log tobacco barn was reconstructed. Nancy Reynolds, R. J. Reynold's daughter, donated more than seven hundred acres of the farm for Virginia Tech's College of Forestry and Wildlife Resources Center. Seven acres were reserved for the restored house that is maintained as a mid-nineteenth-century plantation complex.

Writing Credits

Anne Carter Lee


What's Nearby


Anne Carter Lee, "Reynolds Homestead (Rock Spring)", [Critz, Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Virginia vol 2

Buildings of Virginia: Valley, Piedmont, Southside, and Southwest, Anne Carter Lee and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2015, 240-240.

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