This has been identified as the home of Theophilus (1808-1881) and Rebecca Crumpton Nichols (1818-1869). According to Findagrave, Theophilus Nichols was born out of wedlock on 16 January 1808 in either North Carolina (probable) or Virginia. His father’s surname is said to have been Mann, and his mother, probably surnamed Nichols, is believed to have died in childbirth or very shortly thereafter. Theophilus told his grandchildren that his grandfather, who lived in Rappahannock County, Virginia, during the American Revolution, had four sons who served in the Continental Army. I’m most grateful to Anna Hubner for inviting me to photograph it. Anna and her husband are slowly restoring the home and surrounding acreage.
The home likely dates to the 1840s or 1850s, but that hasn’t been confirmed. An amazing anecdote regarding Nichols and the house: Theophilus left home…at age 12 and ended up as a young man in Bulloch County, Georgia, where he married Rebecca Crumpton, had 10 children, built a large home, a farm of more than 1600 acres, and was known as a master carpenter and a most respectable citizen. His house was protected from being burned by Sherman’s troops in 1864 when local blacks surrounded the house and protested to the soldiers that Theophilus had never owned slaves and was adamantly opposed to that institution. [Nichols is absent from the 1850 and the 1860 Slave Schedules of the U. S. Census, and this is also true of his neighboring Crumpton in-laws. This would place Mr. Nichols in a rare position in the antebellum South and the story bears further research. ].
A friendly menagerie resides on the property, but the Asian Water Buffalo were my favorites.
Some of the herd are rescues from petting zoos, and they’re quite friendly.
As to the house, it was covered with vinyl siding, which caused serious damage to the exterior boards. Anna and her husband have already replaced some of them. Many believe that vinyl preserves houses as an interim measure, but as this case proves, it can actually do more damage than good. And aesthetically, it’s just not very appealing.