History of Pharsalia
Pharsalia is a place where History never gets old. Pharsalia is an 1814 plantation home built by Thomas Massie for his son William as a Wedding Present. It is located in the Tye River Valley and sits on the shoulder of DePreist Mountain in Nelson County, Virginia. At its height Pharsalia’s working farm was part of a family owned tract in excess of 10,000 acres. Crops and products produced at Pharsalia included Wheat, Hops, Tobacco, Potatoes, Apples, Cranberries, and Smoked and Cured Bacon and Hams. In addition to the original family smokehouse still on the site today, a large commercial smokehouse was operated for the commercial exportation of specialty hams by bateaux. The smokehouse from William Massie’s father’s home, Level Green, also graces Pharsalia today. It was disassembled and moved to the property in early 2000 for complete renovation. Nearby Massie’s Mill and Tyro Mill were large mills built and operated by the Massie family for the commercial production and exportation of fine wheat flours to Europe and Northern and Western American markets.
William Massie’s wife, Maria (pronounced Mariah), continued to care for the Pharsalia home and property after Williams death in 1862. For 27 years, her diligence and dedication to continuing her husband’s legacy kept Pharsalia financially stable. Her many endeavors included, but were not limited to, keeping general farm operations going, supplying the Confederate Army and hungry neighbors with food, and managing a small boarding school for young girls out of her home all while educating her children and grandchildren.
After Maria’s death at the age of 75, Pharsalia passed out of the Massie family for 60 years. Pharsalia was purchased back into the family in 1951 by Perkins and George Flippin, the 4th generation of Massie descendants. Their daughter, the current owner, Foxie Morgan, is a direct descendant of William Massie’s youngest son Bland Massie. Foxie and her husband, Richard Morgan, are working hard to preserve Pharsalia. Their hope is to share this beautiful home and the grounds with others for generations to come.
To schedule your historic tour, please visit our tours page, or contact Rachel Deddens.