Moss Side Manor
Moss Side Manor Summary
Moss Side was constructed in the wake of the Civil War, as the agricultural economy of New Kent County was beginning to emerge from the damage the war inflicted. The main residence and detached kitchen dependency, built circa 1870 and circa 1880 respectively, are simple, vernacular buildings. Both employed the then-relatively new technique of balloon-framing, using circular-sawn pine likely harvested from the site. The two buildings are believed to have been constructed for a sawmill operator and one of his employees’ families. While buildings like these became common in the years following the Civil War, many have been lost to demolition over the years; others have been significantly altered or expanded. Moss Side represents an increasingly rare example of post-war domestic construction.
Moss Side 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 1870
Constructed by Poindexter relatives
Acquired in November 2013
Situated on 227 acres
Structure fully restored
Historical landscaping in place
Historical barn modernized
Located in north-central New Kent County, Virginia, the 226-acre property features a circa-1870, two-story, frame I-house and domestic outbuilding. The historical dwelling and outbuilding at Moss Side were most likely constructed at or close to the same time, shortly after the Civil War. Lumber dealer John Riley and Prussian-born engineer Henry Meyers constructed both for themselves and perhaps for other employees of the Riley Lumber Company. Both buildings are vernacular in design, materials and construction methods and reflect an optimistic investment early in the Reconstruction period.
Moss Side is situated on the south side of Route 249, a few miles east of Route 106 North. It adjoins Cedar Lane, another Foundation holding to the east. The residence is surrounded by lush pastures and is separated from its agricultural fields by a deep creek bed spanned by a low-water crossing.
An early owner of Moss Side, John L. Poindexter was an established local planter. Moss Side – eventually part of his estate – was possibly a fragment of the original 17th-century family landholdings. It was inherited by Matilda Anne Poindexter, who would later marry Bartholomew D. Christian, a well-respected figure in New Kent County. Their children became prominent participants in New Kent County affairs.
In 2012, Moss Side was acquired by Criss Cross Properties, a Poindexter corporate affiliate, thus returning it to the ownership of its founding family.