Weekly Top Ten Real Estate Hot List Tue: 6-4-2013
Brandon Plantation in Virginia has been in agricultural operation continuously with the earliest record of land tended traced to 1607 with uninterrupted operation until today, according to the National Register of Historic Places. The plantation itself was part of a land grant issued by the King of England, James I, made to Captain John Martin of approximately 4,550 acres. Captain Martin was one of the first colonists who established Jamestown in 1607. Brandon Plantation is going to auction on June 26th.
At the death of Captain Martin in 1632, the plantation was inherited by his grandson, Captain Robert Bargrave, who sold it in 1637 to three British merchants who farmed it successfully until 1720. One of those merchants, Richard Quinley, was married to Shakespeare's youngest daughter, Judith. Interestingly, Shakespeare so distrusted Quinley he wrote a long, very carefully entailed will to ensure any future inheritance of Judith’s could never pass into Quinley’s hands.
In 1720 the plantation was sold to Nathaniel Harrison, in which family it remained until 1926. The Harrison family produced multiple governors and two U.S. Presidents. In 1926, the farm was sold to Mr. and Mrs. Robert Daniel who undertook a total restoration of the plantation. The estate of their son, former Virginia Congressman Robert W. Daniel, Jr. who died in 2012, is the current owner of the property.
Of the main house it is said that the wings were constructed originally, c. 1765, and that later Thomas Jefferson designed the central section and wing connections as a gift to his dear friends, the Harrisons.
Located on 3.5 miles of the banks of the James River in Prince George County, Virginia, the expansive estate contains more than 4,500 acres, of which 1,600 acres are cultivated with soybeans, wheat, barley and corn producing high yields. The farm operation has 14 farm structures, including a horse stable, two-story brick mule barns, a dairy barn, wood and metal frame buildings for storage of farm equipment and three grain elevators. There are also 11 tenant homes on the property for staff or guests.
The main house consists of 7,700 square feet with 7 bedrooms and 7 baths and is in the Palladian architectural style of a Roman country house, positioned 750 feet back from the river. Having weathered the Indian Massacre of 1622 and both the Revolutionary War and Civil War, cannonball pockmarks in the rear wall of the center section have been retained for posterity. The interior has been exquisitely maintained with much original millwork. English and American furnishings date to the period. Outdoor activity areas include a pool, tennis court and water sports or fishing on the river, not to mention game hunting expeditions. Although it is a private residence, Brandon Plantation has been designated a National Historical Landmark and the house and gardens have been open for tours.
For those seeking the rarest of the rare, partially designed by Thomas Jefferson. On 4,487.5 acres, main house is 7,700 square feet, 7 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, in Prince George County, Virginia. Auction date June 26 or open to prior sale if the price is right.