Cedar Lane Summary
From at least as early as the 18th century, Cedar Lane spent generations as a holding of the Poindexter family. Cedar Lane’s earliest residential component was constructed in 1826, and it is one of a relatively small number of intact, early 19th-century frame dwellings that have survived to reflect the character of a typical plantation house in the county. The house began as a hall-parlor plan and was soon expanded into a central, two-story structure flanked by one-room wings. Cedar Lane embodies significant vernacular construction methods and materials, as well as trends in evolution of rural domestic architecture in New Kent County during the middle two quarters of the 19th century.
Cedar Lane was listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register in 2016 and on
the National Register of Historic Places in 2017.
New Kent County, Virginia
Built around 1826
Constructed by Poindexter family
Acquired in September 2013
Situated on 420 acres
Structure fully restored
Historical landscaping in place
Cedar Lane’s irregular massing, stretching nearly 80 feet in length, encompasses a series of additions and alterations made to the original central section of the house during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Inscribed on bricks just below the stepped shoulders of the east chimney is the name of the brick mason and the date, “By T. Turner Novr, 1826.” Built in 1826 as a modest, one-story, side-passage house rising from a raised cellar foundation, the dwelling nearly doubled in size three years with the addition of a one-and-one-half-story wing on the west and an enclosed shed addition on the north (rear) side. Probably imitating the work of his predecessor, the bricklayer responsible for these additions carved “By Barnet Rice Nov. 1829” in a recessed panel of bricks between the stepped shoulders of the chimney.
At the end of the Civil War, the house was substantially altered when an 18-foot square outbuilding was moved to the east side of the house and connected to the east end of the original 1826 block. At the same time, the original block was raised to two full stories. In the late 19th or early 20th century, an enclosed shed was added to the east wing’s east wall and a large section of the north shed extension was converted into a porch. During the20th century, a new porch was built across the original block’s south façade and much of the house’s foundation was reconstructed.
Cedar Lane is situated on the north side of Route 249, east of Route 106, and adjoining Moss Side on the west. It sits on the top of a knoll surrounded by its agricultural fields and is approached through a long, straight lane bordered by cedars.
Cedar Lane – a long-standing Poindexter family landholding – passed to William and Jacob Poindexter in 1782. Jacob was charged with 400 acres and William was charged with 244 acres at that time. The 1826 portion of the dwelling is fully intact and now serves as the central component of the existing residence. Norwood Apperson – of Poindexter relation, who owned Cedar Lane after the Civil War – wrote that his mother was called to the top of the stairs by a Union soldier who claimed that four of her sons had been killed in the Battle of Seven Pines. She realized this was not an appropriate manner for relating such horrible news, so she said, “You are lying, and I hope you fall down those steps and break your neck!”