Chinqua Penn was a beautiful old English manor near Reidsville, North Carolina. Originally built by Jeff and Betty Penn. The name Chinqua Penn comes from the name of a species of American Chestnut, the chinquapin and, of course, the family’s name.
Mr. and Mrs. Penn were philanthropists who traveled the world and furnished their house with the treasures they acquired on their journeys. There’s even a full scale Chinese pagoda on the property. The property was given into trusteeship by the University of North Carolina. In 2006 the property was sold to Calvin Phelps, the founder of Renegade Tobacco Company, and was closed, with all the beautiful belongings sold at auction during bankruptcy proceedings.
We were fortunate to be able to tour the property and house before the closure. One point of interest for us was the dog cemetery. The Penns were dog lovers and raised Cocker Spaniels and English Setters. The Penns buried their beloved companions in this cemetery, with Mr. Penn delivering the eulogy. It was a nice way to memorialize the animals they loved.