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Chippokes Plantation State Park

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1616, c. 1830, c. 1854. VA 634, northeast of VA 10, between Smithfield and Surry. Open to the public

Chippokes Plantation, located on the south side of the James River just opposite Jamestown Island, is one of the oldest continuously farmed plantations in the country, a producer of tobacco, corn, wheat, apples, and livestock. In 1616 the land was patented to Captain William Powell, a shareholder in the Virginia Company of 1609. The plantation was named for Choupocke, a friendly Native American chief in whose domain the property was located. The land passed from the Powell family to Governor William Berkeley and then to the Ludwell family, who owned it until 1837. The 1,403-acre plantation was given to the commonwealth of Virginia in 1967, a gift of Mrs. Victor Stewart, who, together with her husband, had purchased the property in 1917. Operated by the Chippokes Plantation Farm Foundation, it houses permanent and special exhibits on the history of Virginia agriculture. Two houses and a variety of outbuildings, including slave quarters, early twentieth-century farm buildings, and sharecroppers' dwellings, are on the plantation. The earlier of the houses (c. 1830), a one-and-one-half-story vernacular frame dwelling with a raised brick basement and four tall brick exterior end chimneys, can only be viewed only on the exterior. The other house (c. 1854) is two stories, of brick with Greek Revival detailing, and is filled with period antiques.

Writing Credits

Richard Guy Wilson et al.


What's Nearby


Richard Guy Wilson et al., "Chippokes Plantation State Park", [Surry, Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Virginia: Tidewater and Piedmont, Richard Guy Wilson and contributors. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002, 475-475.

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