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[photo] Current and historic views of Edgewood
Current photo by Rustin Quaide, National Register of Historic Places collection; historic photo courtesy of Virginia Department of Historic Resources

Edgewood, once a part of grounds of Berkeley plantation, is the sole example of Gothic Revival architecture found along the James River. The traditional center hall plan of the house provides the setting for a three-story staircase, which occupies the space beneath four steeply-pitched gables. The house was built about 1854 for Richard S. Rowland who moved here from New Jersey to operate the gristmill on the property. The mill was built during the 18th century by Benjamin Harrison V of Berkeley (largely rebuilt in the 19th century to accommodate new technology), and had been a center of commercial activity since the colonial period, reflecting the growing importance of grain in Virginia. It was visited during the Revolutionary War by British troops led by Benedict Arnold.

[photo] Benjamin Harrison's Mill
Photo by Shannon Davis, National Register of Historic Places collection

During the Civil War the third floor of Edgewood was used as a lookout post for Confederate generals when their troops were camped at nearby Berkeley and the gristmill ground corn for both the Union and Confederate armies. On June 15, 1862, Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart stopped at Edgewood for coffee on his way to Richmond to warn General Robert E. Lee of the Union Army's strength. In the early 1900s, Edgewood became Charles City County's first restaurant, The Blue Tea Pot. The house has also served as a church, post office, telephone exchange, restaurant and is now a bed and breakfast.

Edgewood is located seven miles west of Charles City on the north side of Virginia Rte. 5. It is open daily for self-guided grounds tours, house tours by appointment and bed & breakfast lodging. There is an admission fee (combination ticket with North Bend, Piney Grove and Westover available). Please call 804-829-2962 or visit Edgewood Plantation for further information.

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