The Berkeley Plantation holds over 1,000 acres along the banks of the James River. The Georgian manor that sits on the estate was built by the Harrison family in 1726. The home is currently filled with period furniture and antiques. Also found on the grounds are elaborate gardens and paths available to visitors. Tours are conducted by guides in period costumes to give visitors a better feel for the history of the building and grounds.
The Berkeley Plantation is considered one of the greatest estates in America, comprising of about 1,000 acres on the banks of the James River on State Route 5 in Charles City County, Virginia. The Berkeley Plantation was originally called Berkeley Hundred and was named after the Berkeley Company of England. The property is said to be the home of two United States presidents. The property is said to be the first to host an official Thanksgiving, which occurred on December 4th 1619. The Berkeley Plantation was also the site of the first distilled whiskey.
The Berkeley Plantation has a unique history as well.
On December 4th 1619, a group of 38 English settlers arrived at Berkeley Hundred. The Berkeley Plantation is located about 20 miles upstream from Jamestown, where the first settle of the Virginia Colony was established in 1607. The Indian Massacre of 1622 where nine settlers at the Berkeley Hundred were killed, along with a third of the entire population of the Virginia Colony settlers were compelled to leave the property. After a few years of abandonment, the location became the home of the Harrison family. The Harrison family was one of the first families of Virginia.
During the Civil War, Union forces occupied the plantation in 1862 and Abraham Lincoln visited twice. The Harrison family was not able to regain possession of their home after the war. It fell into disrepair for many years as it was passed on to a number of various owners before the state of Virginia stepped in.
The Berkeley Plantation is truly a unique experience. Visitors will be given the opportunity to get a glimpse of old Virginia, and will be captivated by the majestic setting of the property. The Berkeley Plantation is a fixture in American history. Regarded as one of the largest plantations in United States history, the property gives visitors a unique experience that is unlike any other. If you want to gain a unique experience of American history and want to step foot on a landmark of America's origins come to the Berkeley Plantation
Masson, Kathryn and Brooke, Steven (photographer); Historic House of Virginia: Great Plantation Houses, Mansions, and Country Places. Rizzoli International Publishing: New York City, New York, 2006.
Dowdey, Clifford; The Great Plantation, A Profile of Berkeley Hundred and Plantation Virginia from Jamestown to Appomattox; Berkeley Plantation, Charles City, Virginia, 1976.