Submitted by FHMaster on Sun, 12/18/2016 - 11:54

Ferry Plantation House, or Old Donation FarmFerry FarmWalke Manor House, is a brick house in the neighborhood of Old Donation Farm, Virginia Beach in Virginia BeachVirginia. The site dates back to 1642 when Savill Gaskin started the second ferry service in Hampton Roads to carry passengers on the Lynnhaven River to the nearby county courthouse and to visit plantations along the waterway. A cannon was used to signal the ferry, which had 11 total stops along the river. The first ferry service was started nearby by Adam Thoroughgood. [citation needed]

The house, which is reputedly haunted by 11 spirits, has been used as a plantation, courthouse, school, and post office. It is currently a museum and educational center. A Summer History Camp, which educates youths about life in the 18th and 19th centuries, is also held on the site.

The area was initially cleared by the local Indians in the 16th century and many of their artifacts have been found on the site. The third Princess Anne County courthouse, the first brick courthouse in the county, was built on this site, complete with stocks and pillory. This third courthouse was in existence from 1735 until the construction of the Walke Mansion. The Walke Mansion 1751-1828 owned by William Walke was destroyed by fire on September 12th, 1828. Walke may have run a tavern here during the American Revolution.

The current house was built in 1830. Its exterior is Federal style three-course American bond brickwork; all of the bricks were from the ruins of the Walke Mansion. A West Bay addition was built in 1850. The house has 10 rooms with heart-of-pine flooring and several original features. It was once covered with oyster shell stucco. The rear of the home faces the western branch of the Lynnhaven River.

The house occupies 0.1 acres (0.040 ha) owned by the city and is encompassed by 2 acres (0.81 ha) of open space owned by a homeowners association. There are some small gardens on the property and in the back yard is a large Southern Magnolia planted on April 6, 1863 by Sally Rebecca Walke in memory of her fiancé' John, her fallen Confederate officer.



4136 Cheswick Lane Virginia Beach, Virginia
36°51′50″N 76°7′6″W
William Walke
NRHP Ref Number