Prince George County: Brandon

Brandon Plantation

Courtesyof Virginia Department of Historic Resources

Brandon is an historic plantation located on the south shore of the James River in Prince George County, Virginia. The plantation is located on 4,500 of the original 7,000 acres patented to Captain John Martin (1562-1632) in 1616. It is believed that the name Brandon came from the family name of Martin's wife, Mary Brandon. Martin was one of the original settlers to arrive in the New World. He served as a member of the first council for the Jamestown colony. Brandon was inherited by Martin's grandson, Robert Bargrave, who sold it to Richard Quiney in 1635.  Quiney's brother, Thomas, was married to Judith, William Shakespeare's daughter. Quiney and his descendants farmed Brandon until 1720, when it was sold to Nathaniel Harrison. Though Harrison never lied at Brandon, his son, Nathaniel Harrison II (1703-1791) decided to make the plantation his home. After Harrison II's death, Brandon was inherited by Colonel Benjamin Harrison (1743-1807).  After Harrison died, the plantation was divided between his two sons: William and George.  Upper Brandon was given to William Byrd Harrison. William Harrison built his mansion in 1825 on 3,555 acres. Lower Brandon (aka Brandon Plantation) was given to George Evelyn Harrison who took over the original Brandon house.

Brandon remained in the Harrison family until 1926. Mr. and Mrs. Robert W. Daniel purchased the property and undertook the restoration of the house and grounds. Today, the house is furnished with 1760s English and American furniture. Sixteen hundred acres of the property are used for soybean, wheat, and barley cultivation. The agricultural activities, representing one of America's oldest continuous farming operations, are overseen by the Daniel's son, Robert. 

Brandon was listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register on September 9, 1969 and the National Register of Historic Places on November 17, 1969. The property was privately sold in 2014; the family plants to continue the agricultural operation and to occupy the manor house for part of the year. There is an interpretive marker five miles southeast of the plantation on Rte. 10 at Burrowsville.

Last updated: September 19, 2016