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Bethel Baptist Church

1100 Huguenot Springs Road, within sight of Midlothian Turnpike

The present Bethel Baptist Church, built in 1894, is the third meeting place of this

congregation, which was established as an offshoot of Spring Creek Church in 1799.

The Gothic Revival structure is the only nineteenth century brick church in

Chesterfield. Constructed of five-course American bond brick, with decorative

buttresses defining each bay, the building features a steep gable roof sheathed in

slate and pierced by gabled vents.

The fleur-de-lis finials capping the vestibule and main front gables are said to have

been used because a large part of the congregation was of French Huguenot descent.

Indeed, the general form and detailing of the church appears to be based on French

rather than English Gothic models.

Bethel is a registered Virginia Historic Landmark and is on the National Register of

Historic Places. It was so designated for its contribution to religious freedom in our

nation. Not only were many of its founders descendants of Huguenots seeking

freedom from persecution in France, but it was also a haven for dissenters from the

Church of England around the time of the Revolutionary War, and it was the mother

church of Mt. Sinai Church when its Negro members departed after the Civil War.

Compiled by Lucille C. Moseley for the 300th Anniversary

Celebrating the Arrival of the Huguenots in Virginia

Trabue's Tavern

11940 Old Buckingham Road, just east of Midlothian

Trabue's Tavern served born as a public hostelry and as the residence of a prosperous

Huguenot coal mining family in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

Jacob Trabue, who died in 1767, the earliest traced owner of the property, was the

son of Antoine Strabo (later Anglicized to Trabue), one of the original Huguenot

settlers at Manakin Town. The property remained in the family until 1956, about 200

years, when it was sold to someone else.

The earliest portion of the house, built in the late eighteenth century, was added to in

the early nineteenth century with a two-story two-room section connected by a tenfoot

square hyphen. A 56-foot long tavern porch ran across the front of the house. All

fireplaces have small shallow fireboxes designed to burn coal, a fuel rarely used in

other Chesterfield dwellings of the period.

In today's modern trend for adaptive re-use of historic properties, the old tavern has

become the home of a pewtersmith's business.

Compiled by Lucille C. Moseley for the 300th Anniversary

Celebrating the Arrival of the Huguenots in Virginia


Melrose sits adjacent to Trabue Tavern and may have once been a part of the Trabue plantation. The property was later owned by Huguenot descendants Elmore and Gustavus Deppe. The Deppes sold it to William Robinson in 1828, who built Melrose in 1831.

This early nineteenth century frame story and one half structure typifies local

Huguenot architecture. Twin front doors side by side open into each of the two first

floor rooms. A steep staircase winds to small loft rooms originally lighted by small

windows in the gable eaves. Dormers installed after a roof fire in 1965 provide more

light and ventilation. End chimneys rising from the raised back basement furnish

each room with a fireplace. Except for the rebuilding of the porch and the additions

of the dormers, Melrose remains almost unaltered.

Members of the Robinson and Cole families occupied the house for many

generations. Their cemetery, enclosed by a picture fence, lies west of the house.

Compiled by Lucille C. Moseley for the 300th Anniversary

Celebrating the Arrival of the Huguenots in Virginia

Bethel Baptist Church
Trabue's Tavern
Huguenot Houses Tour
Aetna Hill
Forkland Tavern
Adventure Hill
St. Leger
Manakin Episco Church
Hughes Creek
Hunter's Fare
Michaux Grant
Sublett's Tavern
Terre Haute
Hot Springs Hotel
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