Charles City County: North Bend

Current view of North Bend

Courtesy of Virginia Department of Historic Resources

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.

Last updated: September 14, 2016