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“Must see”

Smith's Fort Plantation
Ranked #4 of 9 things to do in Surry
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner 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. 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.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children
2 reviews
“Must see”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 6, 2013

In depth tour with a tour guide who knows his stuff from the ownership of the plantation down to the details of the furniture! Well kept rooms decorated with the times' artifacts to give you an idea of how people lived. Well priced and excellent knowledge for those history buffs.

Visited July 2013
Thank Dentalren
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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73 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Portsmouth, Virginia, United States
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Summer Camp tour”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 25, 2013

I brought a group of children, grades 3-5, on a tour of Smith's Fort Plantation just yesterday as part of a summer camp called "Virginia History Digital Scrapbook." It was fantastic! The children loved the house and the information shared by our guide. Although our guide said that he doesn't usually do tours specifically for children, all information was spot on and geared just for the kids. I only wish we had more time to explore! I'm looking forward to visiting again with my fourth graders as we travel through Virginia History this coming school year. :-)

Visited June 2013
Thank Ashley J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
47 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Visit often”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 9, 2013

There is always some activity going on here and it's on the way to the free ferry to Jamestown. This property was owned by the Rolfe family but the house was built by another family.

Visited September 2012
Thank altfrau
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
40 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Historic home”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 17, 2013

My hsuband and I thououghly enjoyed our tour of this historic home. Ed, our tour guide did a wonderful job of presenting the history of the house and showing us around. He made the house come alive with his stories of the families that lived there. We recommend this house over the more well known Bacon's Castle.

Visited May 2013
1 Thank cew718
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Elgin, Illinois
Level Contributor
317 reviews
114 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 154 helpful votes
“Large Deposit of VA History”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 11, 2013

This small house and the gentleman who provided the tour is a stop that you should not miss, although it is easy to do. Your GPS is not going to take you here but, it is close and watch for the sign. The house is C 1760, the pieces inside are an amazing treasure trove of US history. The guided tour discusses Jamestown settlers, the starving time, Pocahontas and on and on! Wonderful, educational and.. no crowds.

We found this more accurate, more down to earth than the manufactured, for profit abomination at Colonial Williamsburg. Spend an hour... it is so worth it.

Visited May 2013
1 Thank thomasrydz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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