7 Year Tea Party Winners: Susan Craft's winner of her trilogy novels - The Chamomile, Laurel, and Cassia is: Lucy Reynolds, The winner of a copy of The Backcountry Brides is: Tammy Cordery, the winner of a silver quill charm is: Kathy Maher, Choice of one of three books by Carrie Fancett Pagels in paperback: Joy Ellis, A Bouquet of Brides Collection by Pegg Thomas winner is: Becky Smith, Janet Grunst's Selah-Award winning novel, A Heart Set Free, is: Sherry Moe.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Sherwood Forest Plantation - By Carrie Fancett Pagels

Last year I had the privilege of going on the Charles City "pilgrimage" of homes along the James River. One of the magnificent estates was Sherwood Forest.  As indicated on their website, Sherwood Forest is the longest presidential home in the nation.

Left side of the house - Sherwood Forest

This home is about as long as a football field! And my, oh my, are there stories waiting to be told there!  Above is a picture of the left side of the home and below is the right side.

On the day I visited, we were blessed to be greeted at the house by President John Tyler's grandson, Harrison Ruffin Tyler, who owns the property.
Harrison Ruffin Tyler, 2013
He was very gracious in answering questions and explaining about the property.  I think the most fascinating thing to me was President John Tyler's wife, Julia, who was thirty years his junior.  I really felt their love story would be a fascinating one to write up as a historical romance!

And YES President Tyler was this gentleman's grandfather, despite John Tyler having been born in 1790. Here's an article that explains (click here.) Basically, President Tyler was in his 60's when his son, Lyon Gardiner Tyler (former president of the College of William and Mary) was born and   Professor Tyler was in his 70's when Harrison was born. (And I thought we had some long gaps in our family tree! My grandfather was born in 1886 and his youngest great-grandchild in 2002.)

The estate is a private home and is only open on special occasions. There was another recent viewing in December, 2013. The proceeds from the Pilgrimage (which included Sherwood Forest and several other plantations) I attended in 2013 went to a program through the local Westover Episcopal Church.

Dog statuary marks the front porch! I think this may be a "nod" to the Princess Anne Hunt Club which hunts on the property.
Dog statuary on the porch of Sherwood Forest

I loved this old bell in the back of the house!

The house is a series of chambers that connect one to another, forming a very long home indeed! At the end on the river side is a huge ballroom that was added so visitors could dance during celebrations. It is most impressive, especially considering how long ago it was built! The James River  runs adjacent to the land, but the house does not have a view. For that, you must walk down to the water. Below is the circular drive to the home.

This is Part 1 on Sherwood Plantation. Watch for a Part 2.

Question: Have you ever visited this private estate?  What impressed you most?


  1. I have visited Glensheen in Duluth. It is not private anymore, but is owned by the University of Minnesota Duluth. It is a wonderful place - one you could visit many times :)

    1. Sounds like a great place to visit, Betti! I'll have to google it!

  2. What a great place to visit. Thanks for sharing your visit. Quite interesting.

    1. Robin, I wish I could do it justice in the pictures. Will have some more to post later. This place is huge--really long. And it has all this cool history!


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