Poplar Grove Mill and House

VLR Listing Date


NRHP Listing Date


NRHP Reference Number


The Poplar Grove Mill and House property, overlooking the scenic Mobjack Bay in Mathews County, includes the only surviving tide mill in Virginia. Tidal power, along with wind power, was harnessed by necessity in the low-lying coastal regions where ordinary waterpower did not exist. The present mill replaced a colonial mill, burned during the Civil War. The mill operated until 1912 and has since been restored. Across the mill’s lagoon is the multi-sectioned Poplar Grove house, the earliest portion of which was probably built in the late 18th century, possibly for the Williams family. The central portion was constructed in the Federal period probably after 1799 when the property was acquired by John Patterson. It has the distinctive details of the local builder Richard Billups. Patterson’s granddaughter, the nurse Capt. Sally Tompkins, the only woman to be commissioned an officer in the Confederate army, was born at Poplar Grove in 1833.

Last Updated: June 22, 2023

Many properties listed in the registers are private dwellings and are not open to the public, however many are visible from the public right-of-way. Please be respectful of owner privacy.

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

For additional information Read

Nomination Form


Gwynn’s Island Historic District

Mathews (County)


Mathews Downtown Historic District

Mathews (County)


Light Stations of the United States MPD

(MPD) Multiple Property Document