Submitted by FHMaster on Sun, 12/18/2016 - 12:58

North Bend Plantation is an estate located on the north bank of the James River in Charles City County, Virginia. It is located along State Route 5, a scenic byway which runs between the independent cities of Richmond and Williamsburg.

The North Bend Plantation site was first inhabited by the Weanoc Indians. The original portion of the present house was built in 1819 by John Minge. In 1853 the home was doubled in size by Thomas Hamlin Willcox. Architectural detailing from the expansion included Greek Revival detailing reminiscent of the designs of builder/architect Asher Benjamin. In 1864 North Bend served as the headquarters of Major General Philip Sheridan as 30,000 Union Army troops prepared to cross the James River on a pontoon bridge during the Overland Campaign. The home has been in the Copland family since 1916.


North Bend is an historic home on Weyanoke peninsula in Charles City County. The property was first occupied by the Weanoc tribe, for which the peninsula is named. The original portion of North Bend was built in 1819 for John Minge and his wife Sarah Harrison, the sister of President William Henry Harrison. It was a modest two-story structure with a center hall and one room and either side.

In 1843, Thomas Wilcox bought the property and in 1853 undertook a major expansion. Wilcox transformed the house into a double pile (two rooms deep) mansion based on pattern book desings of Asher Benjamin. There are several buildings, including a smokehouse and a dairy, that still exist on the property.

At the beginning of the Civil War, Thomas Wilcox moved his family to Belle Air plantation out of fear of shelling from Union gunboats. In 1865, North Bend served as the headquarters of Union General Philip Sheridan before he crossed the James River to join the Siege of Petersburg. Thomas Wilcox and his family never returned to North Bend. After the Civil War, North Bend was purchased by a Mr. Hewitt who owned the property from 1865-1916.  North Bend was purchased by George Forbes Copland in 1916, who undertook renovations in 1982. The current owner is a descendant of President William Henry Harrison and Southern nationalist Edmund Ruffin.

North Bend was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. It is located at 12200 Weyanoke Rd. Charles City, VA 23030. For more information please visit: or call 804-829-5176.

Current view of North Bend


37°18′42″N 77°3′21″W
John Minge
Thomas Hamlin Willcox
12200 Weyanoke Road Charles City, Virginia 23030
NRHP Ref Number