B. T. Yeary Place
William Richmond Settlement

Location: At River Boulevard at First Avenue, Big Stone Gap, VA.

Date: Approximately 1840.

Owners: William Huff was the first owner of this place and he sold it to William Richmond before the County of Wise was formed. It cannot be ascertained whether Huff or Richmond built this house. If Huff built it, it is perhaps older than the foregoing given date. Richmond lived here until the fall of 1879. He sold
the place to James Monroe Flanary, August 21, 1879. The property is still in the possession of the Flanary Heirs.

Description: The house is "U" shaped with four rooms on each floor in the front. The top of the U is formed by two additions of rooms in length, one story high, each of the two rooms are added to the rear of the building at the ends making an enclosed court at the rear. The house is built of hewn yellow poplar logs,
weatherboarded with yellow poplar weatherboarding. The floors are yellow poplar, about six inches wide except five rooms that have been refloored with matched flooring. The ceilings are very low and at one flight stairway leads up from the two end rooms of the first floor to the two end rooms of the second floor.
Long porch across the front, with small square columns and a plain baluster. Gabled composition roof and twelve pane type window. Two interior chimneys with fireplaces and hand made yellow poplar mantels.
This was the finest house in the community in the early days. 
     Just back of this house is a big flat rock running down into Powell River that is known as "Canoe Rock." About 1850 or before, William Richmond began running a canoe across the river to transport travelers across. There was no charge for this, he did it only as a neighborly act. After he sold the place to
Flanary in 1879 the custom was still carried on until the building of the bridge across the river about 1890.
Thus the name is still known as Canoe Rock to the people of that town.
     William Richmond was the first presiding Justice of Wise County Court and was elected the first day of court, July 28, 1856. His daughter Miss Caroline Richmond was a school teacher at the Three Forks
Church House in 1862. Benjamin F. Richmond was a son of the above mentioned and was a Confederate Soldier and is buried in the Glencoe Cemetery at Big Stone Gap. Ben Richmond was married to Adaline, a daughter of Jessee and Sarah Gilley, August 18, 1856, and Ben Richmond was a merchant by trade. One
daughter Callie N. married Livingston M. Day in 1864. The Richmonds moved to Floyd Co., KY, in the fall of 1879. They moved away in an ox-cart, the wheels of which were made by sawing a strip off the butt of a large log and working the wheel from it. The wheel, hub and spokes were all worked out together
making the whole wheel one piece. Early before the county was formed William Richmond had some slaves. A slave by the name of Thomas, belonging to Richmond joined the Three Forks Baptist Church in July 1846 and the following month his black woman by the name of Sealey joined the same church.
William Richmond was known in the community as "Fritter Bill" and is mentioned by this name in John
Fox, Jr.'s Novel, "Christmas on Old Lonesome."

Source of Information: Mrs. B. T. Yeary, Court Records and Church Records.


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