Cousiac Manor opened in 2013 for other families in the community to enjoy and share in its abundant beauty. After searching tirelessly for a wedding venue for the owner’s daughter and her special day, the owners made it their goal to ensure that they could share this special gem with others. They knew that Cousiac’s tranquil atmosphere would be appealing to many in the community, especially with the surrounding commercial and land development. So many clients state that Cousiac is such a unique venue and considered a “blank canvas,” allowing clients to create that personal, individual touch. Cousiac’s diverse offerings makes it appealing to not only avid outdoorsman, but also historians and naturalists.
Conservationists & Outdoor Enthusiasts
Alvin Henry Hechler, born in February 1904 purchased the property, known as Pamunkey Farms (Cousaic Manor) in 1947. The property was acquired by his only child, Kathryn Hechler and grandchildren. Today, it is managed by his grandson and the next generation. Alvin originally worked for his family’s business, The Hechler Bros. Construction Company headed by his father, “Captain” Charlie Wood Hechler. The Hecher Bros. were responsible for building VA. Rt. 17, Interstate 64, and the Washington D.C beltway.
In 1926, Alvin Hechler became the owner of Hechler Motor Company. His family owned the Farmington Dairy Farm on Nine Mile Road (Henrico, Virginia), which later became known as Hechler Village and Eastgate Mall. He also owned orange groves and sugar cane farms in Florida. He was the owner of the one of the first herds of French Charolais cattle in the United States on Pamunkey Farms.
Because of his success, Hechler was able to promote the welfare of others and in his community. Friends would say you would find Alvin in a 3-piece suit, a shotgun by his side, and driving his 1940’s Cadillac convertible across the fields to hunt. Pamunkey Farms provided a haven for his young soul and love for the outdoors.
Cousiac Manor has many acres in crop production as well as research programs in seed manufacturing. The family farm has been recognized as forester of the year, a recipient of the Corn Club Awards, and a participant in the conservation program. As part of the land conservation programs, the owners are focused on preserving the ecosystem with clean water, erosion control, and land preservation. The farm has been a homestead filled with outdoor adventures for Hechler’s generations and descendants to come.
“A true conservationist is a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers, but borrowed from his children.”
-John James Audubon
In 1926, Hechler became owner, president, and treasurer of Hechler Motor Company and opened a 35,000 square foot service shop with a 10 car showroom. The dealership was sold in 1988, but many locals still refer to it today as Hechler Chevrolet. He annually donated vehicles to the local high school, Highland Springs as driver education vehicles.
Hechler was a chairman of the board of Fairfield National Bank in Highland Springs, which became Wells Fargo. Fairfield National Bank opened in 1964. He was also an active member in New Bridge Baptist Church and placed the steeple on the Nine Mild Road New Bridge Church during its 1962 additions and renovations.
Alvin was part owner of several construction companies including East Gate Mall, Highland Springs Corp. and Burnum Venture. He was owner of former Hechler Brothers Construction Co. and Spotsylvania Construction Co., a road building firm and a director for the Virginia Road Building Association.
The Hechler family provided the first “school bus,” to the community of Highland Springs in 1907. The horse and carriage sits in front of the four room school house. Alvin’s brother, Edward Wood Hechler is driving including two of his sisters, Ethlyn Hechler Perry and Myrtle Hechler Perry.
His true love & wife, Leonia Virginia Taylor was an animal enthusiast, the president of the Highland Springs Woman’s Club, and an instrumental member of the community. She ensured many donations were made in various sectors of the community including food and necessities to the needy, wholesome recreational activities for children, improving quality of life in a small town.