Named for a region of southern France, Vaucluse was long the seat of the Eastern Shore’s prominent Upshur family. It is believed that the brick-ended section of the present house was built ca. 1784 for Littleton Upshur. His son, Abel Parker Upshur, expanded the house to approximately its present size in 1829, making it one of Northampton County’s grandest plantation dwellings. Abel Parker Upshur (1791 1844), who was born at Vaucluse, served President John Tyler as secretary of the navy. In 1843 he was appointed secretary of state and was responsible for negotiating the treaty annexing Texas. His promising career ended abruptly in 1844 when he and other officials were killed aboard the USS Princeton when a cannon accidentally exploded. In the 1970s the Vaucluse plantation was subdivided for a housing development, but the waterfront setting of the house has been preserved.
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