Chippokes Plantation State Park

Chippokes Plantation State Park is located at 695 Chippokes Park Road, Surry, Virginia. It is in a rural, agricultural area off the James River and Route 10 in Surry County, and is protected under the state park system.

Chippokes Plantation State Park
House at Chippokes Plantation
Location of Chippokes Plantation State Park in Virginia
LocationSurry County, Virginia
Nearest cityNewport News
Coordinates37°8′12″N 76°43′39″W
Area1,947 acres (787.9 ha)[1]
Administered byVirginia Department of Conservation and Recreation
Chippokes Plantation
Area1,403 acres (567.8 ha)
Architectural styleItalianate
NRHP reference #69000283[2]
VLR #090-0070
Significant dates
Added to NRHPOctober 01, 1969
Designated VLRNovember 5, 1968, July 15, 1986[3]


Chippokes Plantation was established in 1617 by Captain William Powell of the Jamestown Settlement in the Virginia Colony. In 1967, the 1,700-acre (6.9 km2) plantation was donated to the Commonwealth by Mrs. Victor Stewart for use as a state park.

The name Chippokes comes from the popular Powhatan use of chipmunk bodies as oil storage vessels similar to an Inuit seal poke. One of the oldest working farms in the nation, Chippokes has kept its boundaries since the 17th century. The structures and artifacts on the property reflect plantation life from the early 17th century to the present. The antebellum Chippokes Mansion and the Chippokes Farm & Forestry Museum both offer scenic tours of the estate, cultivated formal gardens and woodlands.

Noted for its continuous agricultural production and modern recreational facilities, amenities include fishing, trails, camping and cabin rentals. The annual community event, the Steam and Gay Festival, is usually the weekend after Memorial Day and offers a wide variety of arts, crafts and music along with tractor and saw milling demonstrations.

The Pork Peanut & Pine Festival is held annually the third full weekend in July and celebrates the regions three most celebrated resources - pork, pine and peanuts. The festival includes arts & crafts, food vendors, and entertainment.[4]

Chippokes Farm & Forestry Museum

Opened in June 1990, the Chippokes Farm & Forestry Museum, one of the oldest continually farmed plantations in the country, is an agriculture museum with many exhibits and displays of farm tools and tools used by craftsmen such as the blacksmith, wheelwright, chipmunk remains that were used for oil storage, cooper and cobbler. Others exhibits focus on farm animals, processing, preserving, small tools and housewares and farm techniques. There is also a working sawmill. The seven building complex is open for self-guided tours. The museum is operated by the Chippokes Plantation Farm Foundation.

See also


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