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Address: 217 Smith Fort Ln, Surry, VA 23883-2910
Phone Number:
+1 757-294-3872
12:00 - 17:00
Open now
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Sun 12:00 - 17:00
Mon 10:00 - 17:00
Fri - Sat 10:00 - 17:00

Smith's Fort Plantation is nestled on the south side of the James River,...

Smith's Fort Plantation is nestled on the south side of the James River, located on the site of Captain John Smith's planned "New Fort", on the land given by Chief Powhatan as a dowry for his daughter Pocahontas upon her marriage to John Rolfe. The 18th century manor house retains much of its original woodwork and provides examples of early American and English period furnishings from the late 16th through the early 18th centuries.

Built sometime between 1751 and 1765, this story-and-a-half Flemish bond brick house was home to Jacob Faulcon and his family. The name "Smith's Fort Plantation" comes from the fact that John Smith began construction of a second fort on this site in 1608. Smith's Fort offered a strategic location for a retreat fort away from the original settlement, but construction was abandoned early due to starving conditions at the first fort and conflicts with the local Native American tribe. A few years later after the successful union of Pocahontas and John Rolfe, the bride's father, Wahunsenacawh, was the paramount chief of Tsenacommacah (In 1607, the English colonists were introduced to Wahunsenacawh as Powhatan and understood this latter name to come from Powhatan's hometown near the falls of the James River near present-day Richmond, Virginia.), Gave his new son-in-law a grant of this land as a dowry gift. Although the couple never lived on site, their only son, Thomas Rolfe, later returned to Virginia and opened a tobacco plantation on over 400 acres of the property.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 74 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 55
  • 9
    Very good
  • 8
  • 2
  • 0
Tom was super nice and knowledgeable

We were driving around after the ferry ride and stumbled across this hidden gem. Tom was awesome (I'm 99% sure his name was Tom). We were his last tour after a very busy day and... read more

Reviewed 4 days ago
via mobile
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74 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 74: English reviews
Level Contributor
22 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 days ago NEW via mobile

We were driving around after the ferry ride and stumbled across this hidden gem. Tom was awesome (I'm 99% sure his name was Tom). We were his last tour after a very busy day and you couldn't tell one bit. Had an answer for every question. The furniture and history of the site was very interesting.

Thank kzip79
Glen Allen, Virginia
Level Contributor
205 reviews
63 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 108 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

You can read reviews of this house elsewhere but please be aware that there is no handicapped entrance into the house, and when you get in there are many stairs and long periods of standing. Also the "necessary", in a dilapidated shed in the garden, is up an incredibly steep step.

1 Thank Yogaphile
Crozet, Virginia, United States
Level Contributor
32 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 April 2017

We rode our bikes from Chippokes State Park to the plantation! Very nice paved trail to the Plantation and great views of the James River in the background!

Thank Robbie M
Arlington, Virginia
Level Contributor
18 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 March 2017

This was one of the best historical tours I've attended. The guide was extremely knowledgeable and personable. It is obvious he is a Virginian and loves this house and it's history. We spent more than two hours here and learned so much history about Pocahontas, John Smith , John Rolf and the first colonists. Really, a must visit. Be sure... More 

1 Thank Bill1690
2 reviews
Reviewed 4 March 2017

We loved this place. Our tour guide was Pam and she was so nice and very knowledgeable. There are several amazing pieces in this house, the bible (from 1622), the beautiful chandelier in the blue room, the bible cover in the girls' room and the many artifacts in the basement. It is true, the fort site isn't much to see,... More 

Thank Lisa N
cincinnati, ohio
Level Contributor
224 reviews
81 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 286 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 January 2017

The Jamestowne colonists should have made this their settlement instead of Jamestowne Island and its swamp - much better crop land. The island was chosen more for its defensive position against a Spanish invasion than for a good settlement location. Smith's Fort was chosen as a fall back position in the event of attack of the island - it's redoubt... More 

Thank bassbum
Coden, Alabama
Level Contributor
28 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 November 2016

Not a very long tour, but our guide was very sweet and had a love and appreciation of this home. The old Bible was my favorite.

Thank usgranny
Level Contributor
91 reviews
68 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 October 2016

I am a history buff (and major) and I love checking out things that are not high on the tourist-priority list. I also like exploring a little on my own. Smith's Fort Plantation was one of those places. I went after hours so I did not tour the interior of the building nor did I have a guided tour. I... More 

Thank John S
Yorktown, Virginia
Level Contributor
310 reviews
132 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 September 2016

I would suggest buying a block ticket that includes Bacon's Castle when purchasing your ticket for Smith's Fort Plantation. Also, a ride on the Jamestown Ferry is a nice addition to a day's touring in Surry County. If walking the unpaved road to the original fort site that was located on the water, be aware that it is a very... More 

1 Thank Patricia B
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 August 2016 via mobile

We went for a tour of the Smith's Fort Plantation with a teenager. My teenager who is not a history buff hated it saying it was way to long. In his defense the tour guide was very long winded and there are no chairs on which to sit . I found it interesting and informative about life in the eighteenth... More 

1 Thank Suzanne B

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