Kittiewan is a typical colonial-period medium-size plantation house. The house sits above the Kittiewan Creek at its confluence with the James River, on land patented by Charles Roane in 1667. The date of the dwelling's construction is unknown. The center hall plan and five bay façade are characteristic of substantial frame residences built throughout the Virginia Tidewater, however, the finely-crafted, full-length paneling is typical of woodwork found in much larger homes of the 18th century. The first known owner of the house was Dr. William Rickman during the late 18th century. In 1776 Dr. Rickman was appointed by the Continental Congress to oversee the Virginia hospitals during the Revolutionary War. Dr. Rickman died at Kittiewan in 1783.
During the Civil War the property, along with adjacent North Bend, was occupied by Union troops under General Philip Sheridan as the Army of the Potomac prepared to cross the James River to join the Siege of Petersburg on the pontoon bridge that led to Flowerdew Hundred. During the early 20th century the paneled interior was identified as a potential acquisition for the Metropolitan Museum of Arts' American Wing, although the owners did not entertain the thought of removing this significant feature of the house.
Kittiewan is located on Weyanoke Rd. (County Rte. 619) one mile south of Virginia Rte. 5. It is open daily for tours by appointment. There is an admission fee. Please call 804-829-2272 for further information or visit the website.
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