Chesterville was part of a tract patented in 1619 by John Leyden. It was purchased in 1692 by Thomas Wythe, a burgess for Elizabeth City County (now the City of Hampton). Wythe’s great grandson George Wythe, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and first professor of law at the College of William and Mary, is believed to have been born at Chesterville Plantation. Wythe inherited the plantation in 1755 and made it a country home while maintaining his main residence in Williamsburg, in the well-known Wythe House on Palace Green. In 1771 Wythe began construction of a new house at Chesterville, that stood until destroyed by fire in 1911. A photograph shows that it had a gable-end front with an arcaded first floor. Chesterville was sold by Wythe in 1802. The Chesterville Plantation Site property was acquired by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in 1950.
A 2022 updated nomination changes the property name from “Chesterville Plantation Site” to the “Chesterville Site.” Chesterville Site better reflects the multi-component nature of the site. In light of more recent archaeological investigations, the updated nomination for the Chesterville Site reduces and adjusts the site’s boundaries, informed by confirmed 17th- and 18th-century deposits with good integrity. The bounds for the site were drawn in a rough square to include both the brick Chesterville ruins and the stone foundation of the earlier ca. 1680 house, contemporaneously known as “Oares Plantation.”
[NRHP Approved: 10/26/2022]
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