Ferry Plantation first got it’s name in 1642 when the Ferry Boat Service ran the Lynnhaven waterway, as far as we have traced back there may have been as many as eleven stops along the river. The ferry operator was summoned by a signal cannon, one at each of the eleven stops. Three of these cannons have been located.
Saville Gaskin was the ferry operator in 1642 he was commissioned for a year by Adam Thoroughgood II for 800 pounds of tobacco. Interesting, this is the precise figure of a debt of his.
The second Princess Anne court house was built on the Plantation near the present location of Old Donation Church. This was the courthouse that had held part of the trial of Grace Sherwood, Virginia's only convicted witch that was tried by water and found guilty of witchcraft. Grace was jailed for some time in a now long gone timber courthouse. The trial took place on July 10th 1706, at that time the church that was used, built in 1692 was the Brick Church. This was outgrown and was replaced with Old Donation Episcopal that stands on that location today. It was completed in 1736.
The third Princess Anne Courthouse was built in 1735 of brick on Ferry Plantation to replace the timber courthouse. This was built closer to the Ferry Landing. This courthouse was used until 1751, the stocks and pillory were taken from Ferry Plantation in 1751 to the new courthouse location at Newtown. The Walke family, owning the property at that time, built the Manor house and used the former Courthouse as a kitchen. There have been several dig sites open for the public to see the remains of the past, and telling our family history.
In 1828 the Walke Manor house burned to the ground. It was not until two years later that George and Elizabeth (Walke) MacIntosh built from the good bricks of the manor house, the house that stands on the Plantation today.
It was built for their seventeen year old son Charles Fleming MacIntosh. At the beginning of the Civil War, he and his family were against secession. However, as many young Virginians did, when Virginia seceded, Charles resigned his USN commission and was commissioned by the Confederate Navy to be Captain of the CSS Louisiana.
Ferry Plantation is currently being renovated by "The Friends of the Ferry Plantation House, Inc. 501(c)", in partnership with the City of Virginia Beach. The house is open to the public as a museum for tours and educational center.
Come out to hear the rest of our legacy on the Lynnhaven!