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Nydrie and Algoma related papers

Identifier: MSS -14956

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of papers relating to Nydrie and Algoma, consisting chiefly of photographs and articles pertaining to the family homes of the Logan and Forsyth families. Included is a scrapbook of articles by Lily Logan Morrill.This collection contains material from around 1880, when the homes were built, to about 1960, when the Forsyth family, which owned “Nydrie” at the time, started a discussion about what to do with the house due to its dilapidated conditions. This collection focuses on two families, the Logans who owned “Algoma,” and the Forsyths who owned “Nydrie.”

The papers consists of various photographs of the family, drawings, and newspaper clippings about Thomas Muldrup Logan, a Confederate Brigadier General who served under Robert E. Lee, photographs of Lily Morrill (1877-1944) who owned “Enniscorthy,” and photographs of the “Enniscorthy plantation” in the 1800s.

Also present are photographs and news clippings about Lily Morrill’s daughter Elizabeth Morrill Holladay (1909-1996), a pilot who helped ferry planes during WWII, news clippings and information about Axtell Academy, Buckingham County, Virginia, a school for women which was run by Meta Logan Cabell, the daughter of Thomas M. Logan, and five scrapbooks labeled A through E which hold photographs of the families, writings by Lily Morrill, as well as some photographs of African Americans. There are also various photographs throughout the collection of both the inside and outside of the “Nydrie” and “Algoma” houses, photographs of Lily Logan at graduation, and photographs of the Green Mountain Hunt Club .


  • Creation: circa 1862-2003

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use.

Biographical / Historical

This collection focuses on the two families that inhabited “Nydrie,” a farm located in Esmont, Virginia, and “Algoma,” a farm located in Buckingham County, Virginia.

“Nydrie,” located in Esmont, Virginia, was built in 1891 to resemble a Scottish castle and was owned by the Forsyth family. Members of this family include Harry Forsyth (1846-1902), a wealthy sugar broker who resided in Louisiana, and his wife, Sarah Rice Johnson Forsyth (1849-1920), their son, Douglas Forsyth (1875-1941), the children of Douglas Forsyth, Bucky Forsyth (1912-1980)and Sarah Forsyth Randolph (1912-1937), and various other family members.

The Forsyths were descended from William Forsyth (1812-1899), a conservative British member of parliament and lawyer who wrote several books about legal subjects. The land where the house was built was originally called the Tom Coles farm and was sold to the family in 1890. Douglas Forsyth eventually sold this mansion to Daniel Van Clief, a successful horse stud breeder, but it fell into disrepair and eventually was torn down in 1970. The Van Cliefs continued to own the land until 2008.

The “Algoma farm,” located in Buckingham, Virginia, was the summer home of Thomas Muldrup Logan and his family. Thomas Logan was a famous Confederate Brigadier General who served under Robert E. Lee, as well as a railway and business associate of John D. Rockefeller. About 1880, Thomas M. Logan bought the “Hartsook Farm,” and this land became the "Algoma" Farm. The “Algoma Farm” had several buildings on it including the “Algoma” house which was built in the 1880s, “Axtell Academy,” an educational school for women which was managed by his daughter Meta Cabell (1875-1904). The "John Crews Farm" was owned by Lena Logan (1879-1961), the wife of Douglas Forsyth, and “Dungannon,” built as a summer home for Dr. H.D. Bruns and his wife, Katy Logan Bruns, was next to “Algoma.”

There is a book called the “Algoma Log Book,” deciphered by Elizabeth Scott, which gives an excellent record of the everyday activities of this house as well as the African Americans which worked for the family.

The link to the "Algoma Log Book" transcribed by Elizabeth Scott is:


1 Cubic Feet (1 legal document box and 1 over size small flat box)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was given to the University of Virginia Special Collections Library on February 26, 2010, by Sarah Donnelly.

Condition Description

Fair to good.

Nydrie and Algoma related papers
Sharon Defibaugh and Abbie M. Morgan
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library Repository

Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library
P.O. Box 400110
University of Virginia
Charlottesville Virginia 22904-4110 United States