Wednesday, May 25, 2016


We didn't explore Surry County the last time we stayed in Williamsburg. I don't think I even knew all of the history that existed over there, but not this trip.

Our day started with taking the free ferry across the James River from Jamestown to Surry. It takes between 15 to 20 minutes to cross the river. Your wait time to get on the ferry depends on the time of day you try to cross.

A few miles after you get off the ferry is Smith's Fort/Plantation. We got at the plantation after a tour had started and was told we could drive down a road and see Smith's Fort. Well, that was a memory we made. (The one-laned dirt road had several low places that left our clean rental car not so clean anymore.)

This berm is all that remains of the fort.

Back at the Smith's Fort Plantation....

It was built for Jacob Faulcon and his family between 1751- 1765. It contained some of the oldest pieces of furniture we have ever seen.

Trunk was made in 1691
Tool to tighten the ropes that support the mattress
"sleep tight...."
Another chest made in 1691
Another old piece (secretary) but forgot exact date

The "driveway" was lined with huge tulip popular trees in full bloom...

A magnolia bloom I could reach on one of the several trees on the grounds...

Our next stop in Surry County was at Bacon's Castle...

Bacon's Castle (original house on left)
The original house was built in 1665 for the Arthur Allen family. It is the oldest documented brick house in the country and the only example of Jacobean architecture in British North America.

This pictures one example of Jacobean architecture...

Some of the outbuildings ...

front of slaves house

Smokehouse c.1850 has most of its original weather board, trim, and hardware.

back of the slaves house
The son of Arthur Allen was driven out of the house in 1676 by followers of Nathaniel Bacon during Bacon's Rebellion. The house became known as Bacon's Castle even though Bacon never sat foot on the grounds. It continued in the Allen family until 1844. 

The house was enlarged with the addition on the right including the middle section that is called a hyphen. The front door was moved to this section. Inside are stairs to go to the second floor.

You can read more about the house and Bacon's Rebellion here.

One more quick stop in the county at Chippokes Plantation State Park...(an interesting thing is that they have remodeled 4 slave houses into cabins that you can rent out to stay overnight at the park)

Jones-Stewart Mansion c.1855
and then we were back at the ferry but this time on the Pocahontas...

An osprey's nest on the pilings at the dock...

Halfway across the James River, you "meet" the other ferry coming across...(I cropped my picture to get a closer look at wasn't this close to us.)

and another exciting day had to come to an end....

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