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Smith’s Fort Plantation

ca. 1761
217 Smith Fort Lane, Surry, VA 23883

Smith's Fort Plantation

Smith's Fort:

The only place you can listen to the stories of

  • John Smith 

  • John Rolfe

  • Pocahontas 

  • Wahunsenacawh’s 

All told through their interactions with the place now known as Smith’s Fort Plantation.

  • Four centuries of this Nation’s history revealed in while touring a quaint middle class merchant’s home on the Southside of the James River.

 Smith’s Fort Plantation is nestled on the south side of the James River, located on the site of Captain John Smith’s planned “New Fort”, on the land given by Chief Powhatan as a dowry for his daughter Pocahontas upon her marriage to John Rolfe. The 18th century manor house retains much of its original woodwork and provides examples of early American and English period furnishings from the late 16th through the early 18th centuries.

 

Built sometime between 1751 and 1765, this story-and-a-half Flemish bond brick house was home to Jacob Faulcon and his family. The name “Smith’s Fort Plantation” comes from the fact that John Smith began construction of a second fort on this site in 1608. Smith’s Fort offered a strategic location for a retreat fort away from the original settlement, but construction was abandoned early due to starving conditions at the first fort and conflicts with the local Native American tribe. A few years later after the successful union of Pocahontas and John Rolfe, the bride’s father, Wahunsenacawh, was the paramount chief of Tsenacommacah (In 1607, the English colonists were introduced to Wahunsenacawh as Powhatan and understood this latter name to come from Powhatan's hometown near the falls of the James River near present-day Richmond, Virginia.), gave his new son-in-law a grant of this land as a dowry gift. Although the couple never lived on site, their only son, Thomas Rolfe, later returned to Virginia and opened a tobacco plantation on over 400 acres of the property.

 

Since Preservation Virginia acquired Smith’s Fort Plantation from the John D. Rockefeller Foundation in 1933, it has been fully restored and boasts a fine collection of colonial English and early American furnishings. The original 1609 fort site is just a short walk or drive away from the plantation. Today, visitors can see the site of the proposed retreat fort, the manor house, and its small garden maintained by the Garden Club of Virginia. 

 

 

Visitor Information

Hours

Hours March through December

Friday: 10am to 5pm

Saturday: 10am to 5pm

Sunday: 12 to 5pm

 

 

Special Summer Hours (Memorial Day till Labor Day)

Friday: 10am to 5pm

Saturday: 10am to 5pm

Sunday: 12-5pm

Monday: 10am to 5pm

 

Also open by Appt.  Please call 757-294-3872  in advance to schedule a special tour. 

Admission

Members: Free (Become a Member)
General Admission: $8
Senior Citizens: $6
AAA Members: $7
Students: $5
Children Under 6: Free
Block Tickets (w/ Bacon's Castle):

General Admission $12; Senior Citizens $10

Group Tours:

Groups of ten or more are charged at a rate of $5.00 per person. Group tours are available at any time by arrangements made no less than one week in advance of the visit. The minimum charge for groups on non-scheduled open days is $100.

Contact

Post Office Box 240
Surry, Virginia 23883

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757-294-3872