Smithfield Plantation, built ca. 1773, was home of Colonel and Mrs. William Preston. Located on what was then the edge of the frontier the sophistication and generous scale of the architecture recalls many of the plantation homes in Tidewater. The L-shaped home features spacious rooms and high ceilings.
Used as a revolutionary family home as as well as a Revolutionary War stronghold, Preservation Virginia acquired the house in the 1950s and restored it as a museum in the 1960s. The house features many orginal Preston family furnishings. It is now operated as a museum by the Montgomery County branch of Preservation Virginia.
Visitors to Smithfield Plantation can enjoy a variety of seasonal special events as well as guided house tours and self-guided tours of the Weaver's Cottage and a restored Cider House. They can also browse through the well-stocked museum shop. The gardens surrounding the house have been restored byThe Garden Club of Virginia.
The house is a one-and-a-half story frame L-shaped structure covered in beaded clapboard siding. The principle facade features four bays with a central door. Gabled ends accent each arm of the house. The brickwork of the foundations and chimneys is laid in Flemish bond with random glazed headers. The double entrance door in the center of the southside of the structure is topped with small transoms. These windows are the first of their type to be used in the mountains.
The interior woodwork features paneled dados and molded chair rails in the main rooms of the house. Wood pegs are used throughout the doors and the floors.
The most unusual feature of the interior is the front stairway. The Chinese Chippendale design and unusual turning at the second floor makes it unique on the Frontier. The closest similar example is in Williamsburg at the Peyton Randolph House.
Preservation Virginia is pleased to announce that the stewardship of Smithfield Plantation has transitioned to the Smithfield Preston Foundation. To learn more about this recent transition click here.