Magna Vista Plantation

Henry County, Virginia


Magna Vista Plantation 1988 - Photo by Desmond Kendrick

Photo submitted by Lisa Smith




Research mabe by Kissie D. Carter, Martinsville, Va., August 3, 1914



2. LOCATION:  10 miles south of Martinsville, Virginia, on Route #220; to Ridgeway, Virginia; thence 3 miles west on Route #687; thence 3 miles north on private road, leading to house.

3. DATE: 1848


William Martin        Prior to 1848
Joseph Martin        1884 to 1895
W. D. Brengle        1895 to 1900
Bettie M. Brengle   1900 to 1907
N. C. Brackett        1907 to 1912
Samuel Hairston    1912 to 1934
James Hairston      1934 to 1937

(No court reoords available prior to 1848)


This is a large two-story frame house, having two large, brick chimneys, one at each side. Originally a third one was at the back but that has been removed.  There is a two-story porch with large plain columns, having soapstone rests. The four panelled front door hes side-lights and transom.  Originally the glass in these was colored but most of the paint has disappeared.

Inside the floors are of wide, oak plank. the mantels are high and wide, painted white. The panelled walls are very elaborately carved in a four leaf design. Over the doorways and mantels are arches. At the ends of these arches are the same designs that will be found elsewhere in the rooms. In the center of the ceiling of the room that was used for the parlor, is a gorgeous medallion of leaf design or pattern. The panelling is in a carved shape with leaf design at the corners of the high windows and other corners. All doors are four panelled.

The dining room has a built-in cupboard with wide hinges, wide locks and brass knobs. There are eight rooms and three halls. The sills are handhewn, put together with wooden pegs and hand-made nails. In the back yard are the remains of the old kitchen. In the front yard are a number of large, oak trees and lots of tree boxwood, not fenced.


Col. Wm. Martin was one of Virginia's most gifted orators. He was elected a member of the Legisature before he was twenty-one years old. Some members of that body objected to his being seated because of his youth, but his reply, an oration unlooked for, overwhelmed the opposition and he became famous. He was later elected several times Commonwealth's Attorney for Henry County.


Informants; Mr. James Hairston, Martinsville,Virginia owner.
Mr. Wm. Booker, Martinsville, Virginia, R.F.D., tenant.

Court Records; Clerk's Office, Martinsville, Virginia

Deed Book: 13 page 433, 21 page 702, 28 page 104, 34 page 113, 35 page 469 and 476.
Will Book: 12 page 71.

History of Henry County, by Miss J. A. P. Hill, page 225.