Evolution of Gracefield Hall-a Colonial Plantation House
Imagine a young boy arriving in Norfolk, Virginia, from England during the first quarter of the eighteenth century. Unable to pay his passage, he signs onto a ship as a cabin boy, leaving the ship in Norfolk. Walking to Williamsburg, the new colonial capital, he soon finds work as an apprentice in one of the many shops in town. By the middle of the century, he has saved enough money to buy some timber land about halfway between Richmond, a small village at the falls on the James River, and Williamsburg. It is a heavily wooded treasure (most of the land between the James and York rivers on the middle peninsula was long ago cleared of timber, which was needed for firewood and building materials) on some rolling hills with a small stream and marsh on the east side of the property.