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[photo] Current views of the main house and farm building at North Bend
Photo courtesy of Virginia Department of Historic Resourcess

North Bend is the best example of the Greek Revival style in Charles City County. The house is situated on the Weyanoke peninsula, the projection of land between the James River and Kittiewan Creek. 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 house with a center hall, flanked by one room on either side. In 1843 Thomas H. Willcox acquired the property and in 1853 undertook a major expansion, transforming the house into a double-pile (two rooms deep) Greek Revival mansion with decorative details based on the pattern book designs of Asher Benjamin. The grounds of the plantation still include several early farm buildings, a dairy and a smokehouse.

[photo] Historic view of North Bend, c. 1916
Photo courtesy of Virginia Department of Historic Resources

At the beginning of the Civil War, fearing shelling from Union gunboats, Thomas Willcox moved his family to his inland plantation of Belle Air. In 1865 North Bend was the headquarters of Union General Philip Sheridan prior to his crossing of the James River to join the Seige of Petersburg, during which time he stayed at Flowerdew Hundred. The plantation was owned by the Hewitt family of Richmond for 50 years following the Civil War. Since 1916 North Bend has been the home of the Copland family. The current owner is a descendent of President William Henry Harrison and noted agriculturist and Southern nationalist Edmund Ruffin. The house is furnished with antiques and family heirlooms, many of which are from the Harrison and Ruffin families.

North Bend is located at 12200 Weyanoke Rd. (County Rte. 619), one mile south 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 Edgewood , Piney Grove and Westover available). Please call 804-829-5176 or visit North Bend Plantation for further information.

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