Tobacco and Trolleys: Industry and Transportation
Antebellum Architecture
Richmond's African American Heritage
The Continuing legacy of Historic Preservation
Discover Our Shared Heritage Travel Itinerary
Woodward House


Woodward House
City of Richmond
Department of Community Development


The Woodward House dates to the early days of Richmond and is the last surviving building from the once-bustling James River port of Rocketts Landing. A portion of the house possibly predates the city’s incorporation in 1782. John Woodward, Captain of the Sloop Rachell and other vessels operating out of Rocketts, lived in the house from c. 1800 to c. 1820. Located at the corner of Williamsburg Avenue and 31st Street (then Bloody Run and Elm Street), the house is of wood frame construction with a brick foundation and three exterior end chimneys. Although it has seen several alterations and additions, the core of the house is from the Federal period. The original one-story, two-room cottage grew to 2½ stories in height in 1828-29 and had the dormered gable roof and two of the chimneys added at this time. Late 19th or early 20th-century changes included the addition of second story rooms on the river side and a small frame porch on the front.

The house remains the last significant building representing what was once a dense and lively section of old Richmond, a neighborhood where ship captains and sailors, harbor masters and tobacco inspectors, tavern keepers, draymen, and assorted craftsmen and laborers lived and worked during Richmond’s first century. The Woodward House is one of the oldest frame dwellings in the city.

This simple frame dwelling, although easily overlooked compared to more sophisticated landmarks, stands as a rare architectural survival of early Richmond and the last remnant of the busy maritime and mercantile community of Rocketts.

Plan your visit
The Woodward House is located at 3017 Williamsburg Avenue and is a not open to the public.
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