Francis Eppes inherited the house and 1,074 acres following his grandfather's death. His cousin Thomas Jefferson Randolph sold the remainder of the estate to cover debts. The Eppes, Cobbs, Hutter and Watts families who lived at Poplar Forest in the 19th and 20th centuries made changes to the core landscape that are still visible today. They planted most of the surviving trees and shrubs and built many of the remaining structures. These include two brick tenant houses now used as offices (mid-19th century), the archaeology laboratory (1915), smokehouse (mid-20th century) and the museum shop (garage, mid-20th century).
Ongoing archaeological and historical research has identified sites of barns and slave quarters, necessary for a working farm. One such archaeological feature in this area is the sunken greenhouse, or "pit for flowers" as Edward Hutter called it. It was built adjacent to a kitchen garden in 1848 and was used as a nursery to start seedlings in the spring. Abandoned and filled with trash in the early 20th century, this site is one example of changes made at Poplar Forest after 1826.
Death of Jefferson
Francis Eppes sells Poplar Forest to William Cobbs
Emma Cobbs marries Edward S. Hutter
S. Hutter records: "Dwelling house destroyed by fire..."
Renovated in 1846
Hutter's Farm Journal entry: "built pit for flowers"
William Cobbs dies, leaves plantation to Emma Cobbs Hutter
Civil War ends
Emma Cobbs Flutter dies
Edward S. Hutter dies
Marian Cobbs dies
Christian S. Hutter acquires Poplar Forest, begins to run the farm and uses it as his summer home
Pit for Flowers filled in
Christian S. Hutter sells Poplar Forest to James Watts