on the South Shore of the Roanoke
A wealthy North Carolina planter named John Sommerville bought 2500 acres along the south shore of the Roanoke River and named his estate Berry Hill. He willed the land to his son John Sommerville Jr. in 1806 who began construction on the Georgian manor house. The addition dates to about 1821.
Berry Hill Plantation was built close to the southern shore of where Taylor's Ferry (from south of Boydton) crossed the Roanoke River.
The plantation changed ownership several times and was acquired by Henry Harrison and George Washington Burwell in 1875. It remained in the Burwell family until 1988 when the present developers bought it.
Currently, the land surrounding the manor house has been turned into a housing development along the lake. The manor house remains empty. It is interesting to note that my sister-in-law's former mother-in-law used to live on the first floor of this house and it is where she and her daughters would visit their grandmother when they were children.
Here is the only older picture of Berry Hill I could find. This picture is from the book Land By the Roanoke first published in 1957.
For more information on Berry Hill, please visit the Library of Virginia's Virginia Historical Inventory Project.
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