Daily Archives: April 5, 2013

Friday’s Fences: Smith’s Fort Plantation

For the first 22 years of my life, I lived in Surry County (Virginia), which neighbors Isle of Wight County, where I currently live. Near the town of Surry lies property now known as Smith’s Fort Plantation.

This land was once owned by the Indian Chief Powhatan. For those of you who never studied Virginia history, his name may not be familiar, but I bet you’ve heard of his daughter, Pocahontas. When Pocahontas married John Rolfe, her father, Powhatan, gave him the property as a dowry. It was later inherited by their son, Thomas.

Thomas Rolfe sold the land to Thomas Warren, who built a house there around 1651. The house that now sits on that property was built after 1750.

Smith’s Fort Plantation House

The property was formerly known as The Rolfe House and The Rolfe-Warren House.  Captain John Smith began work on a fort on that site around 1609 to protect nearby Jamestown from possible attack, thus the current name of Smith’s Fort.

Smith’s Fort Plantation is now owned by Preservation Virginia, the same organization that owns my beloved Bacon’s Castle. If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you know that a cousin of my maternal grandmother owned Bacon’s Castle, and that my Mother and her family lived there from around 1920-1940. (For my new followers, click on the Bacon’s Castle category to read previous posts.)

Smith’s Fort Plantation House from the back

But my family also has a connection to Smith’s Fort.  The Thomas Warren who purchased the land and built the first house there? He was my eighth great-grandfather.

gate smiths fort

Smith’s Fort Plantation Herb Garden

When Marshall learned a few years ago that his ancestor purchased land from the son of Pocahontas, he was astounded.  “Son, you have deep roots”.

Linking up to Friday’s Fences.

fridays fences