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New Kent County Virginia: An Elite Address Since Colonial Times   by Elaine VonCannon


Since Colonial times, New Kent County Virginia has been a place where elite landowners, farmers, and professionals lived and prospered. Because New Kent County lies practically equidistant between Williamsburg and Richmond, Virginia, it offers rural seclusion while remaining close to big city amenities. New Kent County was home to many prominent politically connected and wealthy families, whose descendants still reside there today. The most notable New Kent County resident was the mother of our country, Martha Dandridge Washington. Martha Washington was born at a farm called Chestnut Grove, in New Kent County Virginia on June 2, 1731, a property that was once nearly a 1200 acre parcel. Martha's father was John Dandridge, who emigrated from England with his two bothers William and John. In 1730, John Dandridge was County Clerk. That same year, he married Martha's mother, Frances Jones of York County. Martha was the oldest child of five sisters and three brothers. She married her first husband, Colonel Daniel Parke Custis in 1750 and lived at his estate, White House, on the Pamunky River. Custis died suddenly. Widowed and mother of two children, Martha married Colonel George Washington on January 6, 1759. Washington distinguished himself as a commander in the French and Indian War and also held an elected position of burgess in nearby Frederick County. In April of 1759 Martha and her children Jacky and Patsy moved away from New Kent County to Mount Vernon, Virginia. During the 1800s, many other prominent Virginia landowning families, often with large land parcels or distinguished estate houses, resided in New Kent County. These included the Lipscomb family, who were mainly engaged in farming and at one time inhabited a Virginia Estate named White House. The family of Judge B.W. Lacey lived in New Kent County. Lacey served in the Virginia house of legislature in the late 19th Century. Augustine Delaware Hewlett and his loved ones also lived in New Kent County in the 1800s on a Virginia estate known as "Sunnyside" which is situated on the Pamunky River. This New Kent County waterfront estate consisted of 900 acres of land during Hewlett's ownership of the property. Hewlett made a living from cultivating the land and selling lumber. The early Americans who inhabited New Kent County were of fine stock. Some served as commanders and leaders in the Civil War on the side of the Confederacy. Often they were doctors, lawyers, legislators, or successful merchants. These early American ancestors are still very much alive in the minds of many inhabitants of New Kent County, Virginia, who still make their home there today. (http://www.rootsweb.com/~vanewken/nk_bio.html) Contemporary New Kent County Virginia is filled with infinite possibilities for the homebuyer who wants to purchase a distinguished elite address and a parcel of land along with a luxury home or a historic or country estate. The county still retains its agricultural ambience, making it a peaceful location to retire, relocate or purchase a second home. Waterfront estates are available along the Pamunky and Chicahominy Rivers and its tributaries, so the boater will find this location ideal. In order to find a waterfront estate, colonial estate, or large land parcel of land in New Kent County, work with a seasoned REALTOR who can identify when properties go on the market and can email them quickly. Call me at 757-288-4685 or email vonmor1@cox.net for an overview of available properties in the area and a commitment to finding the dream home or property desired. For the homebuyer interested in settling into New Kent County Virginia, now is the time to invest. In addition to existing historic estates, country estates, waterfront estates, farms, and large land parcels, New Kent County has several distinguished areas from which to choose. Recently a new multi-phase community was just announced: the Farms of New Kent. This exclusive community will include 2,300 homes, an active adult retirement community, a signature golf course, vineyards, a winery, country inn, a village center, and over 600,000 square feet of retail and office space. The company developing the Farms of New Kent, Republic Land, has pledged to "plan the community to be sensitive to the current rural character of New Kent, while providing for managed, economic growth" (www.republicpropertiescorp.com). Whether it is the simplicity of country living a family needs, or the excitement of big city culinary, cultural, and entertainment opportunities, New Kent County Virginia has it all. Living in New Kent County Virginia is a way of connecting to our rich American past, and forging a future with infinite possibilities.

About the Author

Elaine VonCannon is an award winning REALTOR with RE/Max Capital in Williamsburg, Virginia. She specializes in retirement and relocation in the Williamsburg, South Eastern Virginia area and in Virginia Estate properties. To learn more visit http://www.voncannonrealestate.com or http://www.estatesinvirginia.com. Email Elaine at vonmor1@cox.net.

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