"Charles City, Virginia..home of plantation 2001" Charles City by butterflykizzez04

Charles City Travel Guide: 87 reviews and 170 photos

WESTOVER PLANTATION

Westover was built circa 1730 by William Byrd II, the founder of Richmond.

It is noteworthy for its secret passages, magnificent gardens, and architectural details. The grounds and garden are open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, but the house is not open to the public.

Westover was named for Henry West, fourth Lord Delaware and son of Thomas West, Governor of Virginia. The shady tulip poplars framing the building are more than 150 years old. "Ancient" is the best word to describe the boxwood hedges which enclose the lawn.

The house is considered one of the most outstanding example of Georgian architecture in America. Of special notice is the unusually steepness of the roof, the tall chimneys in pairs at both ends. Another special touch is the elaborate doorway, which continues to be recognized as "the Westover doorway" despite its adaptation to many other buildings.

400 yr old Oak Tree at Shirley Plantation

A visit to Shirley Plantation affords a panorama of rare historical continuity. Shirley was founded six years after the settlers arrived at Jamestown in 1607 to establish the first permanent English Colony in the New World.

Shirley Plantation, granted to Edward Hill in 1660, features the pineapple (the Colonial symbol of hospitality) in the hand-carved woodwork in the house, and as a three-foot finial on the peak of the roof. And for good reason -- Shirley was a well-known center of hospitality in Colonial times.

The Hills and Carters entertained the Byrds and Harrisons, not to mention Washington, Jefferson and other prominent Virginians at Shirley. Visitors today see an 800-acre working plantation operated by the tenth and eleventh generations of the Hills and Carters, who continue this tradition of hospitality.

Sherwood Plantation

Sherwood Forest is the home of President John Tyler, the first Vice President to ascend to the presidency.

Following the "Tippecanoe and Tyler, too" campaign of 1840, William Henry Harrison died just 30 days after his inaugural address. Tyler succeeded him and his 1841-1845 presidential term was the pinnacle of an active political and legal career.

Tyler was twice Governor of Virginia, a U.S. Senator, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, a Virginia state senator and member of the Virginia House of Delegates. A graduate of The College of William and Mary, he later became Chancellor of that institution. As a supporter of state's rights, he re-entered public service in 1861 as an elected member of the Confederate Congress.

Sherwood Forest, contained in a 1616 land grant, was known originally as Smith's Hundred. Sherwood Forest has the distinction of being owned by two US. Presidents; William Henry Harrison, 9th President, inherited the plantation in the late 18th century. The plantation had several other owners until President John Tyler purchased it and its 1600 acres in 1842. Since then, it has been continuously owned by his direct descendants. In the mid-1970s, the residence was restored by President Tyler's grandson and his wife, the current owners.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Beautiful Old Plantation House..worth the drive
  • Cons:NONE..only that more our not opened or preserved
  • In a nutshell:Truly a rewarding experience
  • Last visit to Charles City: Sep 2001
  • Intro Written Apr 29, 2005
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butterflykizzez04

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