Kittiewan Plantation & Museum
Headquarters of the Archeological Society of Virginia
Mailing & Physical Address:
Archeological Society of Virginia
12106 Weyanoke Rd.
Charles City, VA 23030
Open second Saturday of each month April thru November, 10 am to 4 pm. Other times by appointment.
School groups and other groups are welcome. Call (804) 829-2272 for appointment.
KITTIEWAN MANOR HOUSE
KITTIEWAN IS . . .
Home of the Archeological Society of Virginia (ASV)
The former plantation of Kittiewan became the home of the ASV in 2007 due to a generous final bequest from William Cropper, long-time resident of Charles City County. With his late wife Wilma Clark, Cropper wanted to ensure that the property would remain a working farm and historic site. The ASV manages Kittiewan’s 720+ acres, which include wooded areas, cultivated fields, and cleared domestic spaces that border Kittiewan and Mapsico creeks. The property encompasses Kittiewan’s historic Manor House, a modern Visitors’ Center, two historic cemeteries; military earthworks; and terrestrial and underwater archeological sites. Housed at the Visitors’ Center are the ASV’s library and archives, as well as regional archeological collections and the massive collection of artifacts that the Croppers acquired as the basis for their planned “Museum of Americana.” ASV volunteers guide tours of the historic house and grounds during scheduled Open House days; opportunities for research in the library, archives, and archeological collections can be arranged by appointment. Kittiewan also has served as a training site for ASV’s certification program.
Kittiewan manor house
ASV Headquarters & Visitors' Center
ASV Certification Training
8,000 Years of History
By the time that John Smith explored and mapped the Virginia colony in 1607-1609, Native Americans had occupied this land for nearly eight millennia; today, archeological investigations at Kittiewan have revealed abundant evidence of their presence here. English exploration paved the way for new occupants to settle in this region. Over the next 400 years, descendants of those European and (initially enslaved) African newcomers labored to develop Kittiewan, first as a plantation and then as a working farm, producing crops such as tobacco, wheat, corn, and hay and harvesting the property’s abundant timber resources. Kittiewan and the surrounding area also were impacted during the Civil War. Confederates routinely patrolled nearby roads and the James River, while Union forces constructed fortifications across the property to protect troops as they crossed the river in 1864.
Segment of John Smith's 1607-1609 Map of Virginia
Native American Pottery Fragment
An architectural “diamond in the rough”
The centerpiece of the Kittiewan experience is the property’s historic Manor House, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The core of the Georgian-style residence was built during the last half of the eighteenth century, likely by or for Dr. William Rickman, who served as Director of Hospitals in Virginia during the American Revolution. The elegant paneling and woodwork in the original section of this dwelling are particularly noteworthy. Subsequent owners modified and enlarged the house, which today also displays rotating exhibits of William Cropper’s Americana collection. Visitors to the house today can observe the on-going restoration efforts that have revealed hidden architectural details masked by over 200 years of continuous modification.
Unique Interior Architecture