considered leaving the land to his Bruce relation, but decided against it after concluding that he already had enough land.
Mr. Bruce gave the plantation to his eldest son, James Coles Bruce, who in 1833 began the erection of the present mansion, and undertaking that was to span seven years. But rather than start from scratch, so to speak, he chose instead to remodel the old Isaac Coles house, built about 1770, that stood on the estate.
A large brick structure, the Coles-Carrington house had one legend attached to it that has persisted over the years. Mrs. Wirt Carrington, in her HISTORY OF HALIFAX COUNTY, stated that it was a belief widely held by his descendants that Gen. Carrington, the son of Judge Paul Carrington, Jr., and Mildred Howell Coles of Sylvan Hill, Charlotte County - the elder Carringtons are buried at Berry Hill - entertained Lafayette in the house in 1824, when the great Frenchman was on his last visit to America, to attend the anniversary celebration of the Battle of Yorktown on 19 October.
Because of their close friendship, the legend goes, the General gave for Lafayette an "entertainment" that lasted all night and cost him nearly $10,000. In those days this was a princely sum, and the expenditure, coupled with heavy losses in several business ventured, forced him to sell the land which his uncle had referred to his his will as "my Dan River estate." Mr. Carrington remained in the county until 1841, when he moved his family to Mississippi and set up a law practice.