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Smith’s Fort Plantation

ca. 1761
217 Smith Fort Lane, Surry, VA 23883

Smith's Fort Plantation

Smith's Fort:

The only place you can listen to the stories of

  • John Smith 

  • John Rolfe

  • Pocahontas 

  • Wahunsenacawh’s 

All told through their interactions with the place now known as Smith’s Fort Plantation.

  • Four centuries of this Nation’s history revealed in while touring a quaint middle class merchant’s home on the Southside 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.

Since Preservation Virginia acquired Smith’s Fort Plantation from the John D. Rockefeller Foundation in 1933, it has been fully restored and boasts a fine collection of colonial English and early American furnishings. The original 1609 fort site is just a short walk or drive away from the plantation. Today, visitors can see the site of the proposed retreat fort, the manor house, and its grounds restored by the Garden Club of Virginia. 



Visitor Information


Hours: March 3, 2017 through December 30, 2017

Smith's Fort will be closed on Christmas Eve. 

Friday: 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Saturday: 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Sunday: 12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.


Special Summer Hours (Memorial Day through Labor Day)

Friday: 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Saturday: 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Sunday: 12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Monday: 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.


Also open by Appt.  Please call 757-294-3872  in advance to schedule a special tour. 


Preservation Virginia Members:  Free (Become a Member)
General Admission: $10
AAA Members, Military and Senior Citizens (60+):  $9
Students: $7
Children Under 6: Free
Block Tickets (w/ Bacon's Castle):

General Admission $14; Senior Citizens $12

Group Tours:

Friday through Sunday groups of ten or more are charged at a rate of $7.00 per adult and $6.00 per youth. Monday (Tuesday during Special Summer Hours) through Thursday general tours for up to twelve people are $100 per hour, and any additional visitors increase the price in intervals: 1-12 visitors: $100, 13-25 visitors: $200, and so on. Group tours are available at any time by arrangements made no less than one week in advance of the visit. 


Site Event Rental:

Garden Rental: $50 per hour. Open House Tours: $100 per hour (during hours not regularly open to the public), Grounds Rental: $50 per hour. Meeting space and Interior Rental: $100 per hour (during hours not regularly open to the public). To utilize the interior of Smith's Fort Plantation exclusively for your event during regularly open hours, an additional fee of $200 per hour will be charged. 


Post Office Box 240
Surry, Virginia 23883

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