Tuesday, May 17, 2016


We have toured a number of plantations in Virginia. Shirley Plantation, one of the James River Plantations, has the distinction of being the oldest surviving plantation in America. While it began by growing tobacco, it now grows corn, wheat, cotton, soybeans, and pecans. With its roots dating back to 1613 (that was just 6 years after Captain John Smith arrived and established the first English settlement several miles down the James River at Jamestown), it has been the home to the Hill Carter family for 12 generations since 1638. Only the main floor is open to tours, as the Carter family resides in the rest of the house. (That white finial adornment on the roof centered between the two chimneys is a pineapple, the southern symbol of hospitality.) 

The front of the house
The back of the house
Their view of the James River from the back porch
The kitchen (on the first floor), slave living quarters on second floor
Example inside the kitchen
The laundry on the first floor with slave housing on second floor
left to right - the ice house, the store house, smokehouse, and stable 
Dovecote, rousting area for domesticated doves used for eggs and meat
Ice house
Store house
Corn crib with stables in the background
Willow Oak over 375 years old 
You can visit their website here, and view a fantastic video of an aerial view of the site there.

After we left, we drove back through Charles City and thoroughly enjoyed our lunch at Cul's Courthouse Grille. Although the current restaurant dates to 2009, the building itself has quite a history dating back to 1872. (We can highly recommend the coconut cake, the fried oysters, and the grilled chicken pimento cheese sandwich!) You can read that fascinating history at its website.

Once again we had filled our day with places we will be talking about the rest of our lives.

No comments:

Post a Comment