Last updated: 6/16/2016
Surry, Virginia
Street Address
217 Smith Fort Lane
Surry, VA 23883
Mailing Address
204 W Franklin Street
Richmond, VA 23220
Hours
March through December
Friday - Saturday10 AM - 5 PM
Sunday12 PM - 5 PM
Special Summer Hours (Memorial Day till Labor Day)
Monday, Friday - Saturday10 AM - 5 PM
Sunday12 PM - 5 PM
Admissions
General Admission: $8
Seniors: $6
Preservation Virginia Members: free
AAA Members: $7
Students (): $5
Children under 6: Free
Services
Gift Shop
Group Tours
Staff
Jennifer Hurst-Wender, Director of Museum Operations and Education
phone: 804-648-1889
Tom Forehand, Site Coordinator
phone: 757-294-3872
Description

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.

History

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.

Artifact Collections

The Site has limited researchable collections and refers scholars to contact the Preservation Virginia Main Office located in Richmond, Virginia.

Governance

Smith's Fort Plantation is an official historic property of Preservation Virginia.

ADA

Smith's Fort is not wheelchair accessible.

Services

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.

Gift Shop

Group Tours

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