Chippokes Plantation State Park
Surry, VA

Park Size: 1,683 acres.

HISTORY:
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 one of the oldest working farms in the United States.

THINGS TO DO:
Chippokes is a living historical exhibit located in a rural agricultural area along the James River in Surry County. The plantation has kept its original boundaries since the 1600s and has a variety of cultivated gardens and native woodland. The plantation grounds are also home to the Chippokes Farm and Forestry Museum.

The park has a wide variety of traditional park offerings, including a swimming complex, visitor center, picnic facilities, and hiking and biking trails. Cabins and camping are available.

Canoe trips are offered on Saturdays and Sundays from April through Labor Day.

Olympic size swimming pool and separate kiddie pool open Memorial Day to Labor Day. Note: From mid-August through Labor Day, swimming may be available only on weekends and Labor Day. If your stay depends on using the pool, please contact the park before making a reservation.

The park has 3.5 miles of hiking and bicycling trails, a half-mile of which is accessible to people with physical disabilities, through the historic area, as well as an auto farm tour road. The park also has an equestrian area with about 10 miles of riding fun available around farm fields as well as two long, multiple-use trails.

The park's visitor center features exhibits on the history of the plantation, the James River and agricultural methods.

Chippokes Mansion Tours: Tours of the 19th century Chippokes Mansion are available weekends April through October and other times by reservation for groups of 10 or more. In the spring, special tours of the mansion and gardens are offered in conjunction with Garden Week. During the Christmas season, the mansion is decked in Victorian period decorations and open for tours.

Chippokes Farm and Forestry Museum Tours: Opened in June 1990, the Chippokes Farm and Forestry Museum uses more than 600 antiques to interpret rural early American farm life. The seven building complex is open for self-guided tours. Contact the park for museum hours.

CONTACT INFO:
Chippokes Plantation State Park
695 Chippokes Park Road
Surry, VA 23883
Phone: (757) 294-3625
chippokes@dcr.virginia.gov

LOCATION: Surry County. From I-95 and I-295, take Route 10 towards Hopewell. Follow Route 10 East for approximately 40 miles to Surry. Turn left at the intersection of routes 10 and 31 (this continues on Route 10). Turn right at the stop light. Turn left at Route 634 (Alliance Road), and the park entrance is four miles on the left.

Learn more about park offerings by calling 1-800-933-PARK or email resvs@dcr.virginia.gov.

Visit at: www.dcr.virginia.gov/state_parks/chi.shtml