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Tuckahoe (plantation)

Tuckahoe, also known as Tuckahoe Plantation, is located on Route 650 near Manakin, Virginia overlapping both Goochland and Henrico counties, six miles from the town of the same name. Built in the first half of the 18th century, it is a well-preserved example of a colonial plantation house, and is particularly distinctive as a colonial prodigy house. Thomas Jefferson is also recorded as having spent some of his childhood here. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1969.[3][4][5]

Tuckahoe Plantation
Tuckahoe plantation.JPG
Tuckahoe plantation's southern wing
Tuckahoe (plantation) is located in Virginia
Tuckahoe (plantation)
Tuckahoe (plantation) is located in the US
Tuckahoe (plantation)
Location SE of Manakin near jct. of Rtes. 650 and 647, near Manakin, Virginia
Coordinates 37°34′13.7″N 77°39′11.4″W / 37.570472°N 77.653167°W / 37.570472; -77.653167Coordinates: 37°34′13.7″N 77°39′11.4″W / 37.570472°N 77.653167°W / 37.570472; -77.653167
Area 568 acres (230 ha)
Built 1712 (1712)
Architect William Randolph
Architectural style Georgian, Other
NRHP reference # 68000049
VLR # 037-0033
Significant dates
Added to NRHP November 22, 1968[2]
Designated NHLD August 11, 1969[3]
Designated VLR November 5, 1968[1]



Residence and cabin at the Tuckahoe Plantation, photographed by Frances Benjamin Johnston

Construction of the home began by Thomas Randolph around 1714.[6][7] William Randolph, Thomas' son, built a two-story, four room home in 1733 around the existing structure. This wing features pine and black walnut paneling with exquisite carvings and moldings. William then added a center hall and south wing, creating a unique "H"-shaped, which were completed by 1740. William and his wife, Maria Judith Page, had three children, two daughters, and a son, but his wife died in 1744.[8] William Randolph's cousin Jane married Peter Jefferson, and they were close friends. Before William Randolph died in 1745, he added a codicil to his will asking that Peter Jefferson come to Tuckahoe Plantation and care for his three orphaned children until his son Thomas Mann Randolph came of age.[9] The Jeffersons moved from Shadwell in Charlottesville to Tuckahoe Plantation with their three daughters and two-year-old son Thomas. While at Tuckahoe, Jane Randolph Jefferson gave birth to three more children of whom the two sons (both named Peter) died in infancy. The Jeffersons and Randolph orphans lived together in the "H" shape home until 1752. During the seven years of the Jefferson residency, young Thomas was tutored in a one-room schoolhouse with his sisters and Randolph cousins.[10] Peter Jefferson directed the activities of the plantation and its seven overseers, "retaining a connection to the estate" even after he returned to his own plantation of Shadwell.[11]

In 1792, Thomas Mann Randolph III was born (not to be confused with his half-brother, Thomas Mann Randolph Jr. who was born in 1768). To the dismay of Randolph Jr., Randolph III (also called "the imposter") inherited Tuckahoe and kept the plantation until 1820. Since then, it has continued to be privately owned. The house is currently occupied by owner/manager Addison B. Thompson and his wife Susan. The grounds are open for self-guided tours. The house is open for private tours by appointment and may also be rented for private events.


The two-story wood structure sits in its original spot, the only Randolph home to not be relocated. The structure forms an "H," with wings mirroring each other and connected by a central corridor. The entrances to the house are reached by flights of stairs and two porches. The stoop is covered by a projected pediment supported by simple wooden posts and is framed by a wooden railing. To either side of the entrance is a pair of windows as well as a central window over the entrance, each with dark shutters. Each two-sashed window contains 9 panes of glass. The gabled roof rests on a simple cornice line with dentil moldings. A large brick chimney rises from either side of the home.

The grounds around the house include outbuildings: the schoolhouse where Thomas Jefferson was educated, a kitchen house, three slave quarters, smokehouse, storehouse, stable, and the cemeteries of the Randolph, Wight, and current Ball/Thompson families.


  1. ^ "Virginia Landmarks Register". Virginia Department of Historic Resources. Retrieved 2013-03-12. 
  2. ^ National Park Service (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  3. ^ a b "Tuckahoe". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-04-20. 
  4. ^ James Dillon (October 9, 1974), National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Tuckahoe Plantation (pdf), National Park Service  and Accompanying 14 photos, aerial and exterior and interior, from 1968, 1972, and 1974 (32 KB)
  5. ^ Charles W. Snell (March 19, 1971), National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Tuckahoe Plantation House (Thomas Jefferson Boyhood Home) / Tuckahoe (pdf), National Park Service 
  6. ^ Glenn, Thomas Allen, ed. (1898). "The Randolphs: Randolph Genealogy". Some Colonial Mansions: And Those Who Lived In Them : With Genealogies Of The Various Families Mentioned. 1. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Henry T. Coates & Company. pp. 430–459. 
  7. ^ Tuckahoe Plantation
  8. ^ , Malone, Dumas, Jefferson the Virginian, St. Martin’s Press, 1948, Volume 1, p. 19
  9. ^ , Malone, p. 19
  10. ^ Malone, pp. 20, 26
  11. ^ Malone, p. 20, n48

Further readingEdit

  • Masson, Kathryn and Brooke, Steven (photographer); Historic Houses of Virginia: Great Plantation Houses, Mansions, and Country Places; Rizzoli International Publications; New York City, New York; 2006

External linksEdit