- In the middle 1780?s, two Zimmerman brothers came to North Carolina from Culpepper County, Virginia to
?seek their fortunes?. One brother returned to Virginia, but Reuben Zimmerman remained and purchased a plot
of land overlooking Muddy Creek. He took up residence in a log cabin which he built or which may have already
In 1787, Reuben returned to Virginia and brought to North Carolina his family, consisting of wife Elizabeth and
two year old daughter Nancy. Ensuing years saw the arrival of four more children: sons John, James, and
Reuben, and daughter Elizabeth.
Reuben Zimmerman died in 1842 and was buried in the family graveyard, which lies inside the stone walled
area east of the present #18 green. After Reuben?s death, Elizabeth and her five children continued running the
farm. Daughter Elizabeth subsequently married Philip Barrow, who bought the interests of the other Zimmerman
children and became the sole owner of the property, increasing its size by further purchases of adjacent land.
By 1845, there were several log cabins on the farm. In addition to the original cabin, there was a kitchen
building, a wash house, a smoke house (this building is now located by the 6th tee), an ice house (which was a
hole in the ground with a roof), a barn, and several cabins where 10 to 12 slaves lived. In 1845, Philip Barrow
built the brick house which now comprises the front part of the Pine Brook Club House building. The brick house
consisted of six bedrooms, living room, music room, sewing room, and four bathrooms. The new house was built
adjacent to the old log cabin, which then became the dining room. Kitchen facilities continued to be a separate
building. Philip Barrow and wife Elizabeth continued to live in the house until their deaths in the 1870?s raising
three children, James, Susan Elizabeth and Reuben.
About 1814, another family was being started, a family which was to merge with the Barrows. This family was
started when William Cox married Nancy Leedy, producing several children. First, there was Joseph Martin Cox,
then Mary Louisa Cox, then Romulus Leedy Cox, and perhaps Emmaline Cox. Romulus was born in 1834 and
served as a Lieutenant in the Confederate Army, taking part in the historic battle of Gettysburg. After the war,
he married Susan Elizabeth Barrow and then purchased the entire estate from the Barrows in 1873. From then
on the estate was known as the Cox Plantation and was increased in size until it totaled about 1000 acres,
embracing all the present Pine Brook Country Club area, the farm across the road (where Reuben Barrow had
built a brick house in the late 1860?s), and all of the land occupied by the housing area presently surrounding
Pine Brook Country Club.
Romulus and Susan had seven children, two of whom died before reaching their first birthday. The surviving
daughters, Lula May, Mary (Betty), and Daisey Sue, did not marry, but the two sons Charles Philip Cox and
Robert Martin Cox, married and had children. Charles? son, Romulus, died as an infant and Robert had two
children, Robert Martin Cox Jr. and Eleanor Sue Cox, who was an important source of information for this history.
Susan Cox died in 1880, following the birth of her seventh child. Romulus lived on at the plantation and was an
active citizen in the County, serving as County Treasurer, and Commissioner for ten years. During the late 1890?
s Romulus? sister, Mary Lousia, came to live with him following the 1897 death of brother Joseph, for whom Mary
had served as housekeeper. Romulus Cox died in 1924, after which son Robert managed the plantation. He
also became a leader in the community, serving as a State Representative from 1917 to 1931.
In 1926, the plantation house was modernized, with electricity and steam heat installed. Interesting notes about
the house include the fact that the room now called the ?Blue Room? was the living/music room and that the
house main entrance was the door leading to the tiled porch facing the golf course practice green. Also, the
floor of the Blue Room consists of two layers of one inch thick sub-flooring, overlayed with two complete
separate floors of hardwood, all resting on large beam joists. (This flooring arrangement, was discovered in
1984, when the floor had to be opened up to repair a leaking steam pipe.) Also worth mentioning is the fact that
the walls of the original log cabin still survive in the Clubhouse, the logs being enclosed behind the walls of the
present ?Bridge Room?. Second floor rooms presently used for storage include a full cedar lined room and a
large room which served as the area where, during plantation life, dressmakers came to the home for a period
of a week to make all the clothes to be used by the family during the following year.
The Cox families continued to live in the house until 1952, when the entire estate was sold to the Plantation
Homes Corporation, which divided the property for further development.
Most of the Zimmerman-Barrow-Cox family members are buried in the family graveyard in the woods east of
the 18th green. All graves are those of family members except for one, that of a friend who died while visiting
the family in 1820. Outside the southeast corner of the graveyard is a small stone marking the grave of
?Colonel?, the family pet St. Bernard dog.
PINE BROOK COUNTRY CLUB HISTORY
In the early 1950?s, a group of local residents played golf regularly at the Reynolds Park Golf Course. Because
of some dissatisfaction with golf arrangements at Reynolds, one of the group, Robert G. Zimmerman (no
relation to plantation founder Reuben Zimmerman) suggested that the group start a golf club of its own. In 1953,
Bob Zimmerman, Wiley Fleenor, Gene Phillips and Ed Semon met for preliminary discussions. They agreed to
meet again the following week, with each one bringing three interested friends. This second meeting was held
with 14 men in attendance and plans were laid to proceed with the project. The initial step was to start soliciting
300 charter members at $300 each.