Updates:

Find updated  information on events and activities at The Dunnington Mansion (sponsored by the DMF) and images from contributing photographers below.


Heart of Virginia Festival 2023

Please come visit our booth at the Heart of Virginia Festival in Farmville VA on Saturday Sept. 16th!

Come learn about the history of Dunnington Mansion and the efforts of The Dunnington Mansion Foundation to preserve its history.

There will be merchandise for sale as well as (hopefully) discounted last-minute tickets to the Historical Tour at the mansion that afternoon!

Documentary Filming: July 2023

In July of 2023 the DMF hired Michael Swartz (a professional film producer) in association with the Abandoned Atlas Foundation to create a documentary about the history of Poplar Hill and the efforts of The Dunnington Mansion Foundation. We hope to to have the finished product in Septempter of 2023!

A huge thanks to all those who participated!!!!

DMF board members Heather Beach, Ryan Murtagh, John Prengaman, Clint Mooney and Richard McClintock.

Longwood University representatives Audrey Biringer, Dr. Ryan Stouffer, and Dr. Alec Hosterman.

Preservation Virginia representatives Sonja Ingram and Dr. Lisa Winn Bryan.

Architect Adams Sutphin.

Former mansion owners Nelson and Marsha Bolt.

Farmville historians Jimmy Hurt and Bob Flippen.

Dunnington great grandchildren Buck Sydnor, Skip Sprye and Southard Brumfield.

This would not have been possible without their help and the help of our donors and those who attended our historical tours with John Plashal Photo!!! 


Click here to listen to the WFLO interview with DMF President Heather Beach and Farmville-Prince Edward Historical Society members Jimmy Hurt and Bob Flippen about The Dunnington Mansion Foundation.

Urban Sketching Adult Summer Camp

On Sunday 6/4/23 The Dunnington Mansion Foundation hosted an Urban Sketching Adult Summer Camp taught by Audrey from Red Door 104!! Absolutely beautiful work!!!πŸ’—πŸ’—

Karen Jerzyk - Professional Photographer

The DMF hosted professional photographer Karen Jerzyk in June of 2023

Karen Jerzyk (karenjerzykphoto.zenfolio.com) is a self-taught, internationally published photographer from the Greater Boston area. In 2009, after nearly 10 years of working as a photographer in the music industry, she started shooting portraits of people, and ultimately decided to concentrate her focus on photographing models.

Her trademark of shooting elaborate scenes in abandoned buildings has led many to describe her imagery as "future-past". She currently travels the US, photographing people for various projects which is what brought her to the doorstep of Dunnington Mansion.

β€œI strive to produce photos that tell a story that connects with the viewer on a personal level. I like to find locations that were abandoned before any sort of technological age…the older, the better, to capture a feeling of "future-past." I ultimately strive to present my photos as readable images. There is no right answer to the ultimate meaning of any one of my photos, as each viewer can read the scene differently.” – Karen Jerzyk

"Working with Karen and her models was an absolute delight! She is a wonderfully creative person and an amazing photographer. The huge respect that she has for abandoned places was very evident and much appreciated. We hope she will share her experience working with The Dunnington Mansion Foundation (www.dunningtonmansion.com) and encourage other artists to help fund our cause by creating their art in such a beautiful and unique place.” – Heather Beach (President: The Dunnington Mansion Foundation)

Interested artists can contact the DMF at [email protected] for rates and rules of Mansion rentals or navigate to our STORE page on this website for third party payment options.

Update: April 2023

Dunnington Mansion Foundation partnered again with Communication Studies students at Longwood University. Dr. Hosterman's class created fundraising ideas for the DMF as their final semester project.

Updates: February 2023

We are excited to announce the very first stabilization project funded by The Dunnington Mansion Foundation.

After consulting with preservation specialists, a list of critical projects was identified. As we raise funds they will be applied to the recommendations given by these experts. Stabilizing the brick entry was listed as a priority project. This week temporary framing was installed to shore up the arched opening improving safety for accessing the home and preserving the integrity of the beautiful brick work until it can be permanently restored. A huge thank you is in order for Sadler & Whitehead who provided the recommendations for historic preservation.

Please consider donating to this important cause!!!

β€œThe Dunnington Mansion is one of those rare buildings that retains so much of its original character and fabric. The Foundation is working hard to ensure that this building is stabilized and preserved for the benefit of future generations.”
                - Catherine Easterling (Sadler & Whitehead - Historic Preservation Consultation)

Updates: January 2023

January 21st:

We are once again partnering with John Plashal Photo to do mansion tours. Please visit www.johnplashalphoto.com for ticketing and information. The next tours will be held April 29th 2023.

January 25th:

The Foundation is using donations to hire an independent third party preservation firm to evaluate the mansion. We hope that the experts at Sadler and Whitehead can identify the crucial next steps to preventing further destruction. Our goal is to work with the investor owners to continue preservation efforts while the search for a buyer continues.

January 26th:

We are excited to partner with Longwood University students again! We will be collaborating with Dr. Alec Hosterman's Public Relations Campaigns students this semester.

Update: December 2022

The Historic Dunnington Mansion Experience

In December we partnered with John Plashal Photo to offer a first-of-its-kind mansion experience.

The event kicked off with a presentation of the history of this iconic mansion by Jimmy Hurt of the Farmville-Prince Edward Historical Society and Heather Beach of the DMF. This was followed by first hand accounts from the great-grandchildren of Walter and India. They reminisced about life in the mansion during their youth.  Following the presentations was a visit to the property for a narrated tour of the mansion.

Update: October 2022

Dunnington Mansion Foundation is partnering with Communication Studies students at Longwood University to create a video for this website! We offer huge thanks to Dr. Ryan Stouffer and his students for this fantastic opportunity!

Photos courtesy of Dr. Alec Hosterman of Longwood.

Update: August 2022
The investors have completed construction of the new roof section.
NEW AUDIO PIECE!!!

Audrey Biringer, a communications studies major at Longwood University has written and produced an amazing audio history of Poplar Hill. Please click HERE to listen to this wonderful piece.

Update: May 2022

Recently the mansion was nominated for Preservation Virginia's Most Endangered Historic Places list!!!

Follow this link to a May 2022 article by the Farmville Herald: https://www.farmvilleherald.com/2022/05/mansion-on-endangered-historic-places-list/

Follow this link to the Preservation Virginia Most Endangered Historic Places or Read the Article Below
   https://www.farmvilleherald.com/2022/05/mansion-on-endangered-historic-places-list/

Dunnington Mansion, Farmville

Significance:


Dunnington Mansion, and the surrounding land were part of what was originally known as the Poplar Hill farm. A 4-room house was first built here in the 18th century, but as the property changed owners over the years, the house was expanded. In 1897, the house was greatly enlarged by its then owner, tobacco tycoon Walter Dunnington who added the house’s impressive architectural details and ornate interior woodwork. Other structures were built on the property, but have mostly been demolished. These buildings, however, could prove to contain important archaeological deposits.

Threats:

  The house was bought by developers in 2000 with the intent to make it part of the Manor Golf Course. Unfortunately, those plans went awry during the housing crisis of the early 2000’s. Over the last 20 years the house has been open to the weather and exposed to vandalism. Recently, however, an investment group has purchased the mansion and surrounding acres. They have stabilized the structure and replaced parts of the roof with the intention of selling the house to an appropriate buyer to preserve the mansion.

Solutions:

The Dunnington Mansion Foundation, an organization dedicated to preserving the history of Poplar Hill and the Dunnington mansion, is partnering with the new owners to market Dunnington Mansion to a buyer willing to undertake the restoration of this remarkable piece of Farmville history. To learn more and to support these efforts, see the Dunnington Mansion Foundation.

Update: April 2022

At the end of 2021 the mansion and surrounding 400+ acres was purchased by a group of local investors. In April the Dunnington Mansion Foundation was granted permission to document changes that have been taking place at the property.

Stabilization work has begun to help protect the house and prevent further decay. Entrances to the house have been secured and the work crew is there daily. Brush has been cleared from around the house and the walled garden. This offers a view of the mansion that has not been seen in over a decade. Part of the collapsed porch has also been removed.

The investors plan to sell the mansion and some surrounding land in the near future. Sale will be contingent on the house being renovated and preserved. The Dunnington Mansion Foundation hopes to partner with the future owner allowing them to utilize advantages available for nonprofit organizations.

Donations are still being accepted to help with our administrative costs and to hopefully pass along towards preserving the house!!

Serious inquiries can be sent through this webpage and will be forwarded to the investor group.

                                              Below are images from April 2022

Ryan Murtagh

Heather Beach