“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Nuttsville in Lancaster County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)


Bewdley Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. J. Prats, September 5, 2009
1. Bewdley Marker
Inscription.  About three miles southeast, on the north bank of the Rappahannock River, Bewdley was one of the most unusual houses in Virginia, with two rows of dormer windows. It was built by Major James Ball, cousin of Washington’s mother, about 1750. The first steamboat on the river touched at its wharf. The house burned in 1917; only one chimney remains.
Erected 1948 by Department of Conservation and Development. (Marker Number J-81.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Colonial EraNotable Buildings. In addition, it is included in the Virginia Department of Historic Resources (DHR) series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1750.
Location. 37° 48.05′ N, 76° 34.167′ W. Marker is in Nuttsville, Virginia, in Lancaster County. Marker is at the intersection of River Road (Virginia Route 354) and Morattico Road (County Route 622) on River Road. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Nuttsville VA 22528, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Lancaster County / Richmond County
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(approx. 2.1 miles away); Trade Routes (approx. 2.3 miles away); Birthplace of Washington’s Mother (approx. 2.8 miles away); St. Mary’s White Chapel (approx. 3.4 miles away); Morattico Historic District (approx. 3.4 miles away); St. Mary’s Whitechapel (approx. 3.8 miles away); Queenstown (approx. 3.9 miles away); Cyrus Griffin’s Birthplace (approx. 4½ miles away).
Also see . . .  Steamboat Service on the Rappahannock River 1828–1937. “George Weems established service on the Rappahanock River in 1828 with the steamer Patuxent. George’s son Mason L. Weems (pictured on the left) took over for his father and became the master of steamers on the Patuxent and Rappahannnoock for many years. The service provided transport of both freight and passengers to and from Baltimore, Norfolk and Washington, DC. In 1829 The Baltimore and Rappahannock Steam Packet Company was formed and also began service on the Rappahannock with two steamers, the Rappahannock and the Fredericksburg. Competition was stiff and companies like the Rappahannock Steam Packet Company and then latter the Maryland and Virginia Steam Packet Company that
Bewdley Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. J. Prats, September 5, 2009
2. Bewdley Marker
was formed in 1847 ultimately gave in to bankruptcy leaving the Weems line as the operator. The Weems line remained in service up until 1904 when it was sold to the Pennsylvania Railroad.” (Submitted on November 2, 2009.) 
Additional commentary.
1. Bewdley
Entry in the 1915 book Historic Virginia Homes and Churches by Robert Alexander Lancaster. “Bewdley, in Lancaster County, is one of the most unusual looking houses in Virginia. It is a frame building with four great chimneys, two at each end, towering above it, and from its high, shingled roof two rows of dormer windows, like so many heavily-lidded eyes, look out. The exact date when the house was built is not known, but the estate has been owned by a branch of the Ball family for two hundred years, and perhaps longer. It is first mentioned as the home of Major James Ball (1678–1754), a grandson of the first of the Ball family in Virginia, and a first cousin to Mary Ball, the mother of Washington.

“Major Ball was succeeded at Bewdley by his son Colonel James Ball (1718–1789), who was many years a member of the Virginia House of Delegates and also a member of the [Virginia Ratifying] Convention of 1788 [for the ratification of the U.S. Constitution].
Bewdley, Circa 1900 image. Click for full size.
3. Bewdley, Circa 1900
From the 1915 book Historic Virginia Houses and Churches by Robert A. Lancaster, Jr.
His son and Heir, Colonel James Ball (1755–1825), of Bewdley, was likewise frequently in the House of Delegates. Among the sons of this last named Colonel Ball was William Lee Ball, for several terms a member of Congress.

“A recent owner of Bewdley was Captain James Kendall Ball, of the 9th Virginia Cavalry, Confederate States Army.”
    — Submitted November 2, 2009.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on November 2, 2009, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 2,432 times since then and 99 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on November 2, 2009, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Better old photographs of Bewdley • Current photo of the remaining chimney • Can you help?

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Apr. 22, 2024