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Berkeley Plantation, Charles City

#1 of 7 in Things to do in Charles City
Must see · Battlefield · Historic Site
Berkeley Plantation, one of the first plantations in America, comprises about 1,000 acres (400 ha) on the banks of the James River on State Route 5 in Charles City County, Virginia. Berkeley Plantation was originally called Berkeley Hundred and named after the Berkeley Company of England. In 1726, Benjamin Harrison IV built on the estate one of the first three-story brick mansions in Virginia. It is the ancestral home to two presidents of the United States: William Henry Harrison, and his grandson Benjamin Harrison. It is now a museum property, open to the public.

Among the many American "firsts" that occurred at Berkeley Plantation are:

First time Army bugle call "Taps" played: July 1862, by bugler Oliver W. Norton; the melody was written at Harrison's Landing, the plantation's old wharf, by Norton and then General Daniel Butterfield.

American whiskey was originally distilled at Berkeley Plantation in 1620.
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474 reviews
  • We had already visited Washington's Mount Vernon, Madison's Montpelier, Monroe's Highland, and Woodrow Wilson's museum in Staunton before coming to Berkeley Plantation on our Virginia Presidential...  more »
  • Gorgeous working farm (plantation) with tons and tons of history. Talented tour guides, plenty of parking, and a truly beautiful house and grounds. Best - pet friendly!  more »
  • Fantastic afternoon spent at Berkeley Plantation. Our tour guide, Clarence, showed his love of history and his passion for his job. We love a great storyteller and we got exactly that on our tour! Thank you for making the history of Berkeley come alive! An afternoon well spent!
  • This is a great historical site with many connections to early American history through the civil war. Our tour guide was great and knew a lot of things about the property. I had a great time and hope to be able to go again I one day.

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