Sherwood Forest Plantation Foundation, Charles City

3.2
#6 of 7 in Things to do in Charles City
Historic Site · Hidden Gem · Landmark
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Sherwood Forest Plantation was the home of 10th U.S. President John Tyler from 1842 until his death in 1862. It is the only nineteenth century presidential home to have been continuously owned and occupied by members of the President’s family. The oldest parts of the house date to ca. 1660. Construction and renovations of the 18th and 19th centuries, completed by President Tyler and his wife Julia Gardiner Tyler in 1845, have made the house a classic example of Virginia Tidewater “Big House, Little House, Colonnade, Kitchen” architecture. At 301 feet in length it is the longest frame house of its age in the country.

The house is furnished with family heirlooms, antique furniture, paintings, silver, porcelain and oriental rugs. A few of the pieces in the home were used by President and Mrs. Tyler in the White House and were brought to Sherwood Forest after the President’s term in office. Though many furnishings purchased for the house by President and Mrs. Tyler were destroyed during the Civil War some still remain. Others are from the South Carolina home of Mrs. Harrison Ruffin Tyler who, with her husband, restored the house in the late 1970s. There are nearly twenty oil portraits of family members past and present on display in rooms toured by the public.

Sherwood Forest is considered one of the most complete plantation yards still in existence in America with outbuildings, or dependencies, dating to ca. 1660. They include a tobacco curing shed, a smoke house, a milk house and a privy among others. Julia Gardiner Tyler planned Sherwood Forest’s grounds according to the principles of New York landscape gardener and architect A. J. Downing. The 25 landscaped acres surrounding the house today include centuries-old trees, terraced lawn and gardens.
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Sherwood Forest Plantation Foundation reviews

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Google
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TripAdvisor
  • This is a question for trivia lovers: What is the only private residence in the United States to have been owned by two unrelated U.S. Presidents? Sherwood Forest Plantation. Located at 14501 John... 
    This is a question for trivia lovers: What is the only private residence in the United States to have been owned by two unrelated U.S. Presidents? Sherwood Forest Plantation. Located at 14501 John...  more »
  • Guided tours of the house are only available by appointment. Tim was our guide and very knowledgeable of history and the family. Wonderful stories to learn more about the ”best unknown President... 
    Guided tours of the house are only available by appointment. Tim was our guide and very knowledgeable of history and the family. Wonderful stories to learn more about the ”best unknown President...  more »
Google
  • Tim was an amazing host. We tour presidents houses as a hobby and this was the most intimate. Yes, it is pricier than some, but trust me, you get your money's worth. The grounds are visually stunning so if you skip the house, you still have a good time. This place is family owned and they are the epitome of southern hospitality, you leave feeling like you know all the family. Any historian needs to make a stop here, you won't regret it!
  • We opted for a self-guided tour and spent 45 minutes or so circling the well-kept yard of this huge house. Of particular note is the pet cemetery, but there are also several outbuildings and other points of interest. Kids under age 15 free, adults $10, slip your cash in a box.

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