Historic Tidbits

Back to: Plantation History

Enjoy these notes about Belvedere Plantation and the Fun Barn from former families who have lived here or from former farm managers. 

From Charles S. Berger / Pacific Palisades, California

Charles and a twin brother were born in the plantation home in 1918. His father, Samuel, was son of Alexander Berger.Alexander Berger, President of the La Cienga Land and Cattle Company of Arizona, purchased Belvidera in 1909. The company had purchased it in June 1908 from the Taylor family who had owned the plantation since 1842. There were 1,675 acres — including land in Caroline County, part of Fox Springs Farm.

The farm later passed to Helen Berger Bryan. After her death in 1966, McKendree G. Fulks purchased Belvedere Plantation from her estate in March 1968.

From Charles Hooper, Jr. in 1981 / Manager of Rappahannock Electric Co-Op

Charles Hooper, Sr. was farm manager for Mr. Alexander Berger and lived in the big house from 1908-1919. He was given $10,000 a year to build and improve the farm. The barn (now the Fun Barn) and silo were built between 1912-1915. According to Mr. Hooper, the crack in the silo was caused by a flywheel that came off a stationary engine running a silo filter. Mr. Hooper, Sr. lost a hand in an accident filling the silo. 

An artisan well about 198-feet deep was dug from the bank below the big barn about 1914 and was still in use when the Fulks family purchased the farm. It flowed into a large concrete pit and pumped to the barn and houses by the river. After the flood of 1972, it kept silting in and a new well had to be drilled to service the buildings.

Mr. Hooper constructed the corn house, the hay barn, and tenant houses.

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