Kittiewan Plantation

What Is Kittiewan?

Kittiewan Plantation.

Kittiewan Plantation is located in Tidewater Charles City County, VA, off Rt. 5 midway between Richmond and Williamsburg. It is one of the celebrated James River Plantations along with Shirley , Berkeley , Westover , and Sherwood Forest . It is situated overlooking Kittiewan Creek and the James River.

Kittiewan Plantation from the exterior is a typical Colonial-period medium-size framed clapboard plantation house characteristic of the Virginia Tidewater. The interior is anything but typical. The front rooms are entirely covered from floor to ceiling in an outstanding example of Georgian interior architectural paneling.

Kittiewan Plantation has the historic plantation house and hundreds of acres of fields, pastures and woodlands. Kittiwan fronts onto Kittiewan Creek and the James River with part of the eastern boundary is Mapsico Creek. Built in the 18th Century, the first known owner of the house was Dr. William Rickman. In 1776 Rickman was appointed by the Continental Congress to oversee the Virginia hospitals during the American Revolutionary, becoming in effect the first Surgeon General of the United States.

During the Civil War in 1864, part of U.S. Grant's Army of the Potomac encamped at Kittiewan and erected defensive earthworks across the property to secure the crossing of the James Rier by the army at Weyanoke Point and at Wilcox Landing to the west over to Windmill Point via pontoon bridges. Grant's Army had disengaged from Lee's Army of Northern Virginia after the Battle of Cold Harbor, crossed the James River, and moved west to begin the Siege of Petersburg.

The property contains the Rickman Family Cemetery, Civil War Earthworks and a view out over Kittiewan Creek to the south. It has a state record (6th) listed black oak tree.

Kittiewan Visitor Center
Kittiewan Visitor's Center

Through the generosity of life member Bill Cropper, the Archeological Society of Virginia was given Kittiewan Plantation in Charles City County. Kittiewan today is a working farm with a new museum built by Mr. Cropper. It is the ASV headquarters and base of operations. Stewardship of the house and surrounding 720 acres is administered by the ASV. The museum houses the collections of Mr. Cropper including an extensive set of 19th and 20th century kitchen and food preparation items. The museum also has a Visitor Center and Gift Shop.

The ASV is a member of the Society for American Archaeology, the Virginia Association of Museums, the Eastern States Archaeological Federation, and the Preservation Alliance of Virginia.

THe ASV has Type collections of prehistoric and historic artifacts, an extensive archaeological library and houses the Virginia Archeological Resource Center (VARC) dedicated to the study of Virginia archaeology and to the education of the public regarding archaeological matters.