Premier Historic House Tour Returns After Two-Year Absence
(Charles City County, VA) – The Autumn Pilgrimage House Tour, a tradition that began nearly seven decades ago, is back after a two-year absence. The tour, first held is 1954, was cancelled for the last two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but organizers are excited to bring it back for 2022.
The Autumn Pilgrimage House Tour is organized by Westover Episcopal Church in Charles City County, making it possible for visitors to visit some of the most historic homes in America, all within just a few miles of each other. This year’s tour adds several new homes and brings back several favorites from previous years.
Charles City County was first settled in the 1600s as colonists expanded their footprint from Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in the Americas. This year’s tour, held on September 24, will include several homes that are only open to the public on this one day out of the year. Proceeds of the day will benefit the Church and its area outreach programs, including Meals on Wheels, other local feeding programs, and children’s outreach through the County’s Social Services agency.
The following properties are featured this year:
- Berkeley Plantation: Built circa 1726, this plantation was the site of the first Thanksgiving and was the ancestral home of U.S. Presidents William Henry Harrison and Benjamin Harrison.
- Inn at Eagles’ Watch: Surrounded by 5,000 acres of protected state game lands, Eagles’ Watch is one of Virginia’s few surviving 17th century brick dwellings. Listed on both the State and National Historic Registries, the original structure dates to approximately 1685.
- River Edge: This 250-year-old colonial plantation is in the middle of a multi-year renovation, with a restoration goal that will take years to realize. Since being built in 1790, the home has been used for a variety of purposes, including Civil War headquarters and a private school.
- Cary Hill: This charming 18th century house sits in a pastoral country setting, and has been lovingly maintained and decorated with period antiques that reflect its successive owners’ tastes and affinity for history and art.
- Kittiewan: The 700+ acres that today make up this property have been farmed almost continuously for over four hundred years. Built in 1728, this property was donated to the Archaeological Society of Virginia and now serves as its headquarters.
- Westover Plantation: Built circa 1730, Westover Plantation is considered one of the best examples of Georgian architecture in America.
- Westover Episcopal Church: More than 400 years old and going strong, this church is home to one of the most historic parishes in the nation.
High resolution photos of each property are available upon request. More in-depth information about each property is available here. A high-resolution video of Westover Plantation is available here.
Tickets are $40 when purchased before September 1, $45 when purchased after September 1, and $50 on the day of the event. Tickets are valid for one day of admission at all sites on the 2022 Autumn Pilgrimage House Tour. Box lunches are also available for pre-purchase (including a vegetarian option) for $15 each. Tickets and meals can be purchased online by clicking here. Note that tour sites are not handicapped accessible due to their age and historical status. For more information, please call (757) 561-6430.
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