Menokin is located in the rural region of Eastern Virginia known as the Northern Neck.

The region is characterized by expansive rivers and vast stretches of forests and farmland. The plantation and house were established in 1769 on land once inhabited by the Rappahannock Tribe, who gave the site its name.

Its 500 acres — half the original size — are an unspoiled, waterfront refuge featuring pristine nesting and migratory bird habitat, remnants of the 18th-century agricultural landscape and terraced gardens, and miles of woodland trails.

Menokin is located in the rural region of Eastern Virginia known as the Northern Neck.

The region is characterized by expansive rivers and vast stretches of forests and farmland. The plantation and house were established in 1769 on land once inhabited by the Rappahannock Tribe, who gave the site its name.

Its 500 acres — half the original size — are an unspoiled, waterfront refuge featuring pristine nesting and migratory bird habitat, remnants of the 18th-century agricultural landscape and terraced gardens, and miles of woodland trails.

Menokin is located in the rural region of Eastern Virginia known as the Northern Neck.

The region is characterized by expansive rivers and vast stretches of forests and farmland. The plantation and house were established in 1769 on land once inhabited by the Rappahannock Tribe, who gave the site its name.

Its 500 acres — half the original size — are an unspoiled, waterfront refuge featuring pristine nesting and migratory bird habitat, remnants of the 18th-century agricultural landscape and terraced gardens, and miles of woodland trails.

AN INDIGENOUS CULTURAL LANDSCAPE

Before colonial occupation, the Rappahannock tribe put their stamp on the Menokin landscape. The area is now identified as an indigenous cultural landscape within the Chesapeake watershed. This means the land retains the natural and cultural resources that supported the lives of American Indians at the time John Smith explored the Rappahannock River (and beyond) in the early 1600s.

John Smith map

Smith’s map, first published in England in 1612, was the primary map of the Chesapeake region used by colonists for nearly a century.

A Former Plantation

Under Francis Lightfoot Lee, Menokin was an active plantation, with livestock and three dozen slaves. Remnants of that era include the former slave quarters sites and traces of tobacco rolling roads — where tobacco hogsheads were rolled down the slopes to the landing on Menokin Bay and loaded onto barges to be shipped to England. The land served as a working farm until the early 20th century.

A Former Plantation

Under Francis Lightfoot Lee, Menokin was an active plantation, with livestock and three dozen slaves. Remnants of that era include the former slave quarters sites and traces of tobacco rolling roads — where tobacco hogsheads were rolled down the slopes to the landing on Menokin Bay and loaded onto barges to be shipped to England. The land served as a working farm until the early 20th century.

A Former Plantation

Under Francis Lightfoot Lee, Menokin was an active plantation, with livestock and three dozen slaves. Remnants of that era include the former slave quarters sites and traces of tobacco rolling roads — where tobacco hogsheads were rolled down the slopes to the landing on Menokin Bay and loaded onto barges to be shipped to England. The land served as a working farm until the early 20th century.

18TH-CENTURY TERRACED GARDEN

Evidence around the house indicates Menokin’s former 18th-century garden layout. Excavations have revealed unusually complex, asymmetric terraces. Gardens of this type were designed by American colonists to project wealth and power. Hills were cut into slopes and flats, where the owners and guests could walk.

terraced-garden-1300

Menokin’s gardens featured a series of terraced falls or graduations with sloping turf fronts & sides.

WATERFRONT ACCESS AND WILDLIFE REFUGE

Water surrounds Menokin. The property itself contains a half-mile of shoreline on Cat Point Creek, an unspoiled tributary five miles upstream from the Rappahannock River. Improvements to the historic road leading to the creek will grant greater access to the water and Menokin Landing (the former wharf). The Northern Neck peninsula, on which Menokin lies, is bounded by the Potomac River, Rappahannock River, and Chesapeake Bay.

 

Menokin’s rich natural resources and heritage require careful stewardship. A paradise for flora and fauna, the property features old-growth forest with woodland trails, fields, marshes, and shoreline. Of Menokin’s 500 acres, 325 are part of the Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge. The land is in an Important Bird Area, a National Audubon Society designation, with a high concentration of bald eagles.

SURROUNDING REGION

The Northern Neck is the birthplace of three early U.S. presidents (Washington, Madison, and Monroe) and two other Declaration of Independence signers (Francis Lightfoot Lee and his brother Richard Henry Lee). Four miles from Warsaw proper, Menokin is within a three-hour drive of more than 10 million residents: 75 minutes from Fredericksburg and Richmond; 90 minutes from the Historic Triangle (Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Yorktown); and 2 hours from Washington, D.C.

Mount_Airy_HABS_Color

MOUNT AIRY: from Historic American Building Survey (HABS)