For eleven generations the same family has operated the Shirley Plantation. Their crops have been harvested for over 300 years. This home is still occupied by the family but some parts of the estate are open for tours.
What once started as a tobacco plantation in the early 1600s soon transformed into the landmark that stands today. In 1638, the Hill family purchased the land upon which Shirley Plantation was constructed. Since this acquisition the property has been under the ownership of descendants of Edward Hill.
Construction began in 1723 of the current home that still stands on the property. It took over a decade to complete the mansion. One of the daughters of Shirley Plantation went on to be the mother of Robert E. Lee. The Hill family used just under a hundred slaves to operate the plantation.
Making it past the Civil War, Shirley Plantation managed to keep itself a successful agriculture operation. The Hill family has worked hard to maintain the legacy of their ancestors and to preserve the beautiful historic home at Shirley.
Shirley Plantation is located on the banks of the James River. The address is 501 Shirley Plantation Road in Charles City, Virginia. Tours are available of the grounds, gardens and first floor of the home but upper floors are still inhabited by descendants of the Hill family.
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