An auction was conducted last Friday and Saturday to sell household belongings and real estate of the late Jessie Powell, former resident of historic Travelers’ Repose in Bartow. The property was the first stage coach stop west of the Alleghenies and the site of an early Civil War battle in 1861.
Powell, the beloved matriarch of Travelers’ Repose, passed away on June 2, 2013. Powell’s property had been bequeathed to her three daughters, who reside outside the area.
Household belongings, including many antiques, were sold on Friday and Saturday and the real estate auction was conducted starting at noon on Saturday. As a result of deliberations between the owners and prospective buyers, it was agreed that three parcels, including the homeplace at Travelers’ Repose, the Confederate fortifications and a Confederate cemetery, would be combined and sold as one parcel.
The high bidders who purchased the property are Darrell and Kandi Pingley, of Sand Ridge. The Pingleys were unavailable for comment about their plans for the property.
Last year, the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike Alliance successfully applied for grant money to preserve the property, in the event Powell or another owner wished to cooperate. Last November, the group reported that $350,000 had been made available through a Federal Highway Administration Transportation Enhancement Grant to purchase easements to protect the property. The Alliance said another $46,000 was available from a National Park Service American Battlefield Protection Grant for planning purposes, such as the hiring of experts to conduct a battlefield assessment.
It remains unknown if the Pingleys are interested in participating with the preservation program or selling protective easements. More details will be reported as they become known.
Powell was profiled in the 2012 winter issue of Goldenseal, in which she spoke of her love for the historic home, in which she spent her entire life.