Nelson County pre-war plantation returns to family hands | Local News
In his letters, William wrote that he wanted a wife of “strong sisters”, and he found this in Maria Effinger, who was 19 years his junior. The couple married in 1834 and she survived her 27-year-old husband.
The couple had four children who lived to adulthood – Martha Virginia, Hope, Florence and Bland. Maria also raised William’s other two children from her previous marriages.
“It is the most documented farm in the country,” said Richard. “The reason is that William Massie kept records every day – weather, farming practices, everything. “
For example, Foxie said, Cyrus McCormick, the inventor of the mechanical harvester, visited the plantation and one of the first prototypes was used there.
By the time of William Massie’s death in 1862, his farm spanned more than 10,000 acres in four plantations, and the family grew wheat, hops, tobacco, potatoes and apples. He built a number of mills to grind and export flour.
Massie’s plantations were run by slaves, but he “strove to be a just and equitable master, buying family units or uniting families of slaves, wherever possible,” according to reports. on the property.
Maria continued to manage her husband’s plantations after his death, guiding the plantation during the civil war and reconstruction. She supplies the Confederate troops with food and takes care of the women around her whose husbands have gone to war.