Historic Hickory Hill house listed for $2M

The 19th-century Hickory Hill house. (Photos courtesy CVRMLS)

Correction: Wanda Garrett is the listing agent for the property. An earlier version of this story named another agent by mistake. 

Just in time for Historic Preservation Month, a 19th-century plantation house in Hanover County that’s the namesake of a modern-day subdivision nearby has been put up for sale in search of its next caretaker.

The colonial-style manor house of the former Hickory Hill plantation hit the market this week with an asking price of just over $2.22 million.

The 7,400-square-foot house, which dates back to the 1800s, has been restored in recent years by Shannon Pritchard, a local preservationist who purchased the 50-acre property with his wife Lesia in 2011.

The sellers have restored the house over the past decade.

Wanda Garrett with Hometown Realty has the listing, which went live this week after an initial “coming soon” listing in March. She said the listing was held off to allow some painting and more renovations to be done, including a new cedar shake roof on the plantation overseer’s cottage.

She said a family health concern is prompting the Pritchards to sell the house they have restored over the better part of a decade, with improvements including a geothermal heating system, a new roof, and redone electrical, plumbing and floors.

“The property has been redone from top to bottom,” Garrett said. “He used the original materials when he could so that it looks exactly like it would’ve in 1820. The property was being used as an animal rescue before he bought it, so basically everything had to be redone.”

Listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places, Hickory Hill was established in 1820 by the Wickham family, whose name also graces the 1812 Wickham House, also known as the Wickham-Valentine House, at Richmond’s Valentine museum.

The Hickory Hill house was built in 1827 and burned in 1875, according to a history included in its state register listing. A wing of the house built in 1857 survived the fire and was incorporated into the reconstructed brick house, which remained in the Wickham family’s ownership through the 20th century. Members of Robert E. Lee’s and J.E.B. Stuart’s families stayed at Hickory Hill during the Civil War.

“The history is just incredible,” Garrett said.

County property records show the Pritchards bought the 50-acre property for $600,000 from Hickory Hill Partners LLC, the group behind the nearby Hickory Hill subdivision that’s been taking shape over land that was part of the plantation.

The group of investors, which includes Mike Chenault and Todd Rogers of RC-I Builders and Hometown Realty, has been developing the subdivision consisting of 1-acre lots and considerable open space since buying up about 1,700 acres over a decade ago. Planned for 277 homes at buildout, the neighborhood is hosting this year’s Homearama showcase, a virtual version of which remains scheduled next month.

Totaling 14 rooms with five bedrooms and five bathrooms, the four-level Hickory Hill house includes a basement media room, gym and wine cellar. The house also features a chandelier that once hanged in the Virginia Governor’s Mansion.

The grounds are notable for its ornate gardens, including a 4-acre English garden and a boxwood maze. A marble patio extends off the kitchen of the house, which includes front and rear porches. The property also includes a four-car garage, smokehouse, barn/root cellar, the overseer’s cottage and other outbuildings.

The rear of the house features covered porches and patios.

Garrett, who’s served over 30 years on the county historic commission and whose real estate listings often involve historic homes, said she’s received interest from one buyer who’s giving the property consideration and has seen the house twice.

“This buyer is going to be someone that can recognize and appreciate the history of this property,” said Garrett, whose recent sales have included Little Plymouth, a 1765 house in King and Queen County, and the 1916 Home Lea house in Tappahannock.

Garrett said she’s marketing the house with a 3D virtual tour, a video tour with aerial photography, and a voiceover video telling the history of Hickory Hill.

“I’m going all out on my marketing – that I can with the pandemic,” Garrett said, noting that she’d normally host a broker’s open house and invite tours before the days of social distancing requirements.

The Hickory Hill house joins another $2 million listing that can likewise be found off Patrick Henry Road. The 10-year-old, 12,500-square-foot house on 40 acres at 9988 Wintercrest Drive, was listed in December and remains on the market at $2.2 million.

The 50-acre property includes the house and various outbuildings.

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