Eppington built circa 1768 in Chesterfield County, VA., was the home of Frances Eppes VI, a prominent farmer and brother in law of Thomas Jefferson. In 1989, Chesterfield County accepted the plantation house and 43 acres of land from the Hinds/Cherry family which includes the cemetery. Mary Ellen Howe triggered the property donation and referred to Eppington as the “crown jewel” of the County’s historic homes.
The History of Eppington Plantation
Eppington Plantation was built in 1768 by Francis Eppes VI, brother-in-law to Thomas Jefferson. Eppes and Jefferson also were close friends and, after Jefferson’s wife Martha died in 1782, the newly widowed Jefferson entrusted his two daughters, Maria and Lucy, to the Eppes family while he served as minister to France. Sadly, Lucy died of whooping cough shortly thereafter and was buried on the property. Maria grew to adulthood, married the eldest Eppes son and remained on the property until her death in 1804.
The house itself is a Chesterfield County Historic Landmark, a Virginia Historic Landmark and on the National Register of Historic Places. It is an excellent example of 18th century Georgian design and features a three-bay, two-and-a-half story central block design with hipped roof, dormers and flanking one story wings. Eppington is well preserved and still looks much as it did 250 years ago.
Chesterfield County acquired Eppington Plantation when it was deeded as a gift in 1989 by the descendants of the Cherry family, along with 43 acres for historic preservation. In 1997, the Eppington Foundation was established with the mission to preserve, restore and promote the history of Eppington and to educate the public to its historical, cultural, agricultural and architectural significance. The foundation works in a cooperative partnership with Chesterfield County’s Department of Parks and Recreation to manage the site and protect the property. Current land holdings are 376 acres with ongoing efforts to acquire additional parcels of land. The first annual Eppington Heritage Day was held in 1998 and the Eppington Foundation celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2017.
The plantation is registered as a National, Virginia State and Chesterfield County Historic Landmark.