In 1888, Lovice (Vicey) Skipwith purchased land from the Sir Peyton Skipwith family of Prestwould Plantation, his former owners, near the town of Skipwith. Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries the log cabin on his property became home to several African-American families in Mecklenburg County's Bluestone District. Patrick Robert "Parker" Sydnor (ca. 1854-1950), with whom the cabin is historically associated, was a carver of tombstones in Mecklenburg and Halifax Counties. His tombstones stand in various church cemeteries in Southside Virginia.
The Sydnor Log Cabin is a one-and-one-half-story log building with a gable roof and a brick and stone chimney on the west end. The building was constructed circa 1865, possibly earlier. The three contributing outbuildings (all dating to ca. 1930) are a wood storage shed, a chicken house, and an outhouse, all located behind the cabin.
The exterior end chimney standing against the west wall is built of stone, composed of cut blocks and fieldstone (with some mortar repairs from probably early to mid-twentieth century), with a brick chimney stack laid in American bond. The workmanship in shaping and fitting the stones shows considerable skill in masonry construction in comparison to similar log house chimneys from the same period in Mecklenburg County. The vernacular log cabin is representative of the simple, yet carefully constructed, dwellings once inhabited by —and also built by-- enslaved African Americans.
Geographical and Contact Information
Wilbourne Road (Intersection of Routes 701 and 702)