CHIPPOKES PLANTATION STATE PARK
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.
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.
Funding for foundation efforts are from the General Assembly with matching private donations.
A conference shelter with a kitchen is available for a fee to use for wedding receptions, meetings, or special events. Available on a reservation basis only by calling the park.
Rental periods: Mon-Sun: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. or 4 p.m.-10 p.m.
Historic area grounds: Mon-Sun, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. or 4 p.m.-10 p.m.
Mansion Conference Room: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. or 4 p.m.-10 p.m.
Pool complex: This facility may be reserved before or after normal pool hours by calling the park, (757) 294-3625. Memorial Day-Labor Day: Mon-Fri, 10 a.m. - noon or 7 p.m. - 9 p.m..
BBs / Inns
Offering historic lodging our Bed and Breakfast is in a great location The College of William and Mary is just across the street, and Colonial Williamsburg is just a short walk. In addition, popular attractions such as Busch Gardens, the Williamsburg Winery, Yorktown, and the Jamestown Settlement are all a short drive away.
8.9 miles from park*
Olympic size swimming pool and separate kiddie pool open Memorial Day to Labor Day, Monday through Thursday, noon to 6 p.m.; on Friday through Sunday and holidays, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m..