Riverside Farm


Riverside is a 300-acre working farm in Roseland that was part of a land grant to Robert Rose in 1744. Dr. George Cabell bought the original 537-acre farm from Rev. Rose. Later, it followed a change in ownership from Dr. Cabell’s heirs to James A. Goodwin in 1831. The property was later owned by James C. Pettit, and remained in the Pettit family for two more generations.

The original portion of the house -a Federal style frame dwelling, – was built in 1812, while the rear portion in the 1860s. In 2005, the present owners purchased the 300-acre farm. Over a two-year period, they renovated the entire house, adding another staircase to the kitchen on the lower level. Modern renovations were made, while arguably preserving the historical integrity of the house.

It is one-and-a half story frame house with exterior-end brick chimneys and Federal detailing. The exterior is beveled-edge weatherboarding. Riverside has an unconventional plan to accommodate the 1860s rear addition. The main entrance is a high porch that leads to an entrance with double doors. The windows flanking the door are nine-over-nine panes with wooden shutters. It contains three chimneys and nine fireplaces, two of which are working fireplaces; the others now have gas log units.


The main floor has a front entrance hall and staircase; a parlor; a large bedroom with bathroom; a library with built-in cabinets; and a powder room. All rooms ten feet high and have fireplaces with mantle.

Two steep, curved staircases lead to the second story. The upper floor has two bedrooms in the front of the house, which share a bath, and a rear bedroom that is separately accessible from the rear stairway by a widow’s walk.

The English basement it has now a den with fireplace, exposed brick walls and ceiling beams. Here, is the formal dining room, which has an original built-in round pie safe with revolving, lazy Susan type shelves located between the dining room and service area. There is also a powder room, and a mudroom with shower and separate entrance.

Riverside has fine interior woodwork. Delicately carved mantels and wide wainscoting add to the beauty of the rooms. The walls had the original wallpaper and they are currently painted in “Colonial” colors. Doors have the cross and bible design, each with its original brass lock and key. The main double door has, in addition, a wooden bar on the inside for extra protection.


A good collection of domestic and agricultural outbuildings survives in Riverside. On the landscaped grounds are the icehouse, a smokehouse, barn, and a tenant house. The icehouse contains a large round brick pit that is approximately 18 feet deep. The barn is frame, gambrel roof building with brick lower level. A doctor’s office built between 1900 and 1920 is a large two-story frame building. The family cemetery is enclosed with an iron fence located a short distance from the house.