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Small Business Saturday: Shirley Plantation

Small Business Saturday: Shirley Plantation


This Small Business Saturday feature is a family owned business in the truest form of the term. Shirley Plantation in Charles City County, Virginia has been a family owned business since 1638, making it our country's oldest family owned business. Today, Shirley is still a working plantation, a private home and a National Historic Landmark.


The home is still lived in by the Hill Carter family, direct descendants of the same family (11th generation). The Plantation has original family furnishings, portraits and authentic buildings. The plantation has survived Indian uprisings, the American Revolution, Bacon's Rebellion, the Civil War, and the Great Depression. Founded in 1613 on the James River, Shirley Plantation did not become an operating farm until 1638 when Edward Hill I established the farm and began construction of the mansion.


Shirley Plantation is open 7 days a week, all year except for Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Your admission includes a guided house tour, a self guided tour of the grounds, gardens and buildings. Each building has several exhibits explaining the time period and family history.


Many members of the Hill Carter Family served in the military in conflicts including the Civil War, the Mexican American War, the Spanish American War, World War I and World War II. They understand that military service means sacrifice at home as well as overseas and so active duty U.S. military and their dependents receive $5.00 off admission. Admission is normally $11.00 for adults and $7.50 for children.