12-A talented Negro carpenter, Willie Bowmer, drew the plans and supervised the construction of the new church. It was attended sporadically by the white tenants until 1949, when the Bruces deeded it to the local Presbyterians.
During the slavery era Berry Hill plantation was maintained by the Bruces in a highly productive state. Domestic supplies of almost every kind were produced in abundance, yielding in some years, in addition to great quantities of wheat, oats, hay and livestock, between four and five thousand barrels of corn and more than a million hills of tobacco.
A few comments on James Coles Bruce - James Coles Bruce, born at Woodbourne in 1806, attended both the Universities of Virginia and North Carolina before graduating in 1824 from Hampden-Sydney College. He also studied at Harvard. His father had served as a Trustee of Hampden-Sydney from 1805 to 1830, and his step-mother's grandfather, William Cabell, Sr., of Union Hill, in Nelson Country, had been one of its charter Trustees.