I love old houses. There's just something special about them. Whether historically significant or just a plain old farm house, each has it's own tales to tell.
Shirley Plantation, in Charles City, Virginia, between Richmond and Jamestown , is the oldest plantation in Virginia, founded in 1613, just seven years after the founding of Jamestown. It is still owned and occupied by the eleventh generation of Hill-Carter descendents, and is the oldest family business still in operation in the United States.
The Carters of Virginia were a prominent family in early American history. Carter descendents include US Presidents William Henry Harrison and Benjamin Harrison, three signers of the Declaration of Independence, and numerous American military figures, including General Robert E. Lee.
Construction on the Great House, which faces the James River, was begun in 1723 and completed in 1738. On the land side, the Great House, Kitchen, Laundry House, Ice House, and Storage Building form the only known example of a Queen Anne Forecourt in the US. The flying rigged staircase in the Great House rises three stories with no visible means of support.
All photos were taken by me on my last trip to Shirley Plantation.
Two pairs of twin outbuildings along with the Great House form the Queen Anne Courtyard.
Left: the Kitchen and Ice House.
Right: the Laundry House and Storage Building (not visible).
The willow oak beside the James River is over 350 years old.
My favorite of the animals at Shirley is "Tunneh" the tabby, who was hanging out in the kitchen while tourist-watching.
This article was formerly published on Bubblews.
Content (c) 2013 by Debbi Craton. May not be used without permission. All rights reserved.
Photos (c) 2008 by Debbi Craton. May not be used without permission. All rights reserved.
Image Credit » Photo (c) 2008 by Debbi Craton. May not be used without permission. All rights reserved.