Charles M. Barnett

Charles M. Barnett (1869 – 1940) and his wife Stella purchased Ferry Plantation in the 1890s. He also owned a home in New York and the Charles M. Barnett House at 521 Fairfax Avenue in Norfolk (listed on the Historical and Cultural Inventory of the City of Norfolk). Charles was a prominent business man in Hampton Roads, working in the shipping and oyster business. He shipped the famous Lynnhaven Oysters all over, including to New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel and Grand Central Station. Lynnhaven Oysters were also the main hors d’oeuvre served at the famous O’Keefs Casino in Virginia Beach, which President Taft was known to frequent. He and his wife Stella Barnett held oyster roasts throughout the year for church members at Ferry Plantation next to the Lynnhaven River. In October 1912 Stella pasted away from toadstool poisoning. Charles later married Stella’s young sister Cora and he lived on in the house until his death; adding modern conveniences such as plumbing and electricity in the 1930s. Cora lived on the property into the 1950s.