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Virginia: Chippokes Plantation State Park
Posted on Thursday, September 01 @ 08:30:39 MST by iljiana

Horse Rentals & Day Ride Trails 695 Chippokes Park Rd.,
Surry, VA 23883
Phone: (757) 294-3625

General Information: Chippokes Plantation State Park is one of the oldest working farms in the United States. Chippokes is a living historical exhibit located in a rural agricultural area along the James River in Surry County. In addition, the park has a wide variety of traditional park offerings, including a swimming complex, visitor center, picnic facilities, and hiking and biking trails. The plantation has kept its original boundaries since the 1600s and has a variety of cultivated gardens and native woodland. The formal gardens surrounding the Chippokes Mansion are accented by azaleas, crepe myrtle, boxwood and seasonal flowers. The plantation grounds are also home to the Chippokes Farm and Forestry Museum.

Chippokes Plantation State Park is operated by the Department of Conservation and Recreation in cooperation with the Chippokes Plantation Farm Foundation. The Virginia General Assembly created the foundation in 1977 to establish, administer and maintain the model farm. Funding for the foundation comes from farmland rent payments, donations, admissions and gift shop sales.

Location: Surry County. From I-95 and I-295, take Route 10 towards Hopewell. Follow Route 10 East for approximately 40 miles to Surry. Turn left at the intersection of routes 10 and 31 (this continues on Route 10). Turn right at the blinking light. Turn left at Route 634 (Alliance Road), and the park entrance is four miles on the left.

From southside Hampton Roads (Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach): Take I-64 East to 460 West. Take exit to Route 10 West (through Smithfield), approximately 15 miles. Make right on Alliance Road (Route 634). Park is four miles on left.

From Newport News/Hampton: Take James River Bridge (Route 17 South). Make right on Rt. 258. Take Route 10 West (through Smithfield) approximately 15 miles. Make right on Alliance Road (Rt. 634). Park is four miles on left.

From Williamsburg: Take Jamestown Road to Jamestown and follow signs to ferry. Once the ferry lands across the river at Scotland, follow the road to Route 10 and make a left. Turn left at Route 634 and continue to park entrance on the left. (The ferry is free.)

Horse Rentals: None

Trails: The park has 3.5 miles of hiking and bicycling trails, a half-mile of which is accessible to people with physical disabilities, through the historic area, as well as an auto farm tour road. The park also has an equestrian area with about 10 miles of riding fun available around farm fields as well as two long, multiple-use trails.

Estimated Driving Time to Park from: Northern Virginia: 2 - 3 hours; Richmond: 1.5 hours; Tidewater/Norfolk/Virginia Beach: 1.5 hours; Roanoke: 4 hours

Park History: Captain William Powell, a prominent colonial gentleman, received a grant for 550 acres of river frontage on Chippokes Creek in 1619. This is the first record of ownership for this land. The plantation and the bordering creek were named for an Indian chief who befriended the early English settlers. Under the ownership of Colonel Henry Bishop in 1646, the plantation was expanded to its present boundaries encompassing 1,403 acres.

In 1854, Albert Carroll Jones built the present Chippokes Mansion, which overlooks the historic James River. This Italianate structure was built of brick, stuccoed and painted on its river facade. Chippokes was once the site of one of the few legal distilleries in the Commonwealth. Local legend has it that the mansion survived the Civil War because Albert Jones sold his brandies to both sides during the war. The plantation changed owners many times before it was bought by Thornton Jeffress of Rochester, New York and V.W. Stewart of Wilson, North Carolina in 1918. Mr. and Mrs. Stewart moved to Chippokes and put much effort into restoring the property and compiling a detailed history of the plantation. Upon her husband's death, Mrs. Stewart, in order to preserve the plantation in its entirety, donated Chippokes Plantation to the Commonwealth as a memorial to her husband in 1967. Mrs. Stewart hoped that the plantation would be made into a park and preserved as a working farm to interpret day-to-day farm life through the centuries.

Chippokes Plantation State Park is operated by the Department of Conservation and Recreation with cooperation from the Chippokes Plantation Farm Foundation. The Virginia General Assembly created the foundation in 1977 to establish, administer and maintain the model farm.

For more information:
http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/parks/chippoke.htm




 
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