Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

028-0044 Wheatland

Photo credit: Jeff O'Dell/DHR, 1990

*Click on image to enlarge.

For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 09/20/1988

NRHP Listing Date 12/19/1990

DHR's Virginia Board of Historic Resources easement

NRHP Reference Number 89001918

John Saunders, a planter and merchant, had this massive frame house erected on the banks of the Rappahannock River in Essex County between 1849 and 1851. The house was attached to an earlier dwelling, now the kitchen wing. With its high basement and two-tier porticos, the main house presents a classic “Southern plantation” image. In addition to his farming activities, Saunders operated a plantation wharf, known as Saunders Wharf, within sight of the house. Here Saunders received goods for his store in Loretto and neighboring farmers bought produce for transportation to cities. Steam packets continued to call at Saunders Wharf until 1937. The present wharf building, dating from 1916, is possibly the only such structure remaining on the Rappahannock, and is now preserved as a small museum and tourist attraction. Wheatland remains the home of Saunders’s descendants and is located in the listed Occupacia-Rappahannock Rural Historic District.

VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark

Updated: May 11, 2021