Central Garage-King William-West Point; 25.2 m. State 30.
Asphalt-paved roadbed throughout.
This highway traverses a peninsula lying between the Mattaponi and the Pamunkey and formerly called Pamunkey Neck. It prospered in Colonial days when tobacco was king, and in the ante-bellum era, when, with slave labor, its plantations yielded bumper crops of corn, wheat, and black-eyed peas. The large plantations have been divided into small farms.
State 30 branches east from US 360 at CENTRAL GARAGE, 0 m.
RUMFORD, 2.7 m. (20 POP.), is at a junction with County 600.
Left here to RUMFORD ACADEMY (R), 0.3 m., a dilapidated brick building that held one of the many private schools for boys operated before the inauguration of a State high school system. It was established in 1804.
The entrance to MOUNT PISGAH (R), is at 1.4 m. The large brick house is in a grove, and its lawn sweeps toward the river. Thick walls, recessed windows, wide floor boards, the trim, and a basement containing kitchen, dining room, and storage pantries attest its age, as does a brick in a fireplace bearing the date 1760. The house has been beautifully restored. Its builder was Henry Robinson, a brother of Speaker John Robinson (see Tour 1).
In 1870 Miss Fannie Page Robinson opened a seminary here for young ladies and had the roof of the house lifted to provide more bedrooms for her students. just what 'Miss Page' taught is not a matter of record; yet from Mount Pisgah and other such seminaries students were prepared for the ear1y women's colleges of Virginia, which patterned their curricula after 'The University' and Richmond College.
At 3.9 m. on State 30 is a junction with County 60.
Right here to CHERRY GROVE (R), 1.1 m., a remodeled frame house on a slight eminence. Ambrose Edwards, who came to Virginia in 1745, built the house and lived here until his death in I&o. Wealthean Butler was his first wife. Late in life, he married a rich widow, Barbara Finch, who, like many another woman of her day, managed to evade the rigors of the Common Law through a prenuptial contract stipulating that her husband should not interfere with the management of her property and in turn agreeing to make no claim upon his.
Close by the house is the family burying ground, now a tangle of vines and mulberry shoots. Because seven Negroes died soon after working among the graves, it is now well nigh impossible to employ men to clear away the underbrush.
At 6.6 m. on State 30 is a junction with County 629.
Left here to ENFIELD (R), 1.8 m. (see Tour 1).
At 6.7 m. on State 30 is a junction with County 629.
Right here to ACQUINTON CHURCH (R), 1.8 m., gaunt ghost of another day. Its flagstone flooring is gone; its brick walls are now covered with stucco; its pews and pulpit have been taken away. Yet Acquinton, built in 1732, was one of the four Colonial churches in the rich Pamunkey Neck area, embraced originally by St.john's Parish. Of the Reverend Henry Skyron, rector from 1773 to 1787, Bishop Meade wrote, 'He was an elegant scholar . . . alike remarkable for his eloquence and piety, never participating in any of the worldly amusements so common with the clergy . . . When Mr. Skyron preached Acquinton Church was always so crowded that the people used to bring their seats and fill up the aisle after the pews were full.' The Bishop added, 'His widow, who was too amiable to refuse a favor . . . allowed the ministers of the neighboring parishes to pick over and take away his sermons, which were never returned.'
For a time after the Revolution Acquinton Church was abandoned; later it was used by Methodist and Baptist congregations.
At 3.5 m. is a junction with County 623; L. here 3.9 m. to a private road and R. to ELSING GREEN, 5.1 m., a large brick house in a wide lawn near the Pamunkey River. This large, solid Georgian Colonial building, built in part about 171g, has a pair of gable-roofed dependencies. Large halls form a cross. At each end of the side hall is a fine stairway with such an easy rise that a daughter of William Browne, one of the owners, once rode her pony up one flight and down the other.
Captain William Dandridge, captain in His Majesty's Navy and uncle of Martha Washington, built part of the structure, which was the home of Carter Braxton (see below) from 1758 to 1767.
At 5.3 m. on County 629 is a junction with County 6oo; L. here 1 m. to a private road, and R. I M. to CHERICOKE, a square hip roofed brick house shaded by old locust trees and surrounded by hedges of mockorange. The house was built in 11767 by Carter Braxton, gutted by fire during the Revolution, restored, burned, and again restored.
Carter Braxton (see Tour 1) lived here until 1786. He was educated at the College of William and Mary; served in the house of burgesses almost continuously from 761 until 1775; was a member (1774-76) of the Virginia Conventions and of the Continental Congress in 117 76; and signed the Declaration of Independence.
KING WILLIAM, 7.8 m. (50 POP), seat of King William County, with its few scattered stores and homes, bustles mildly on court days. It is no larger than it was in Colonial days and only slightly changed in appearance and way of life. The automobiles parked outside the court green seem an anachronism. Most prominent in the enclosure formed by the Colonial brick wall, one of the few still standing in Virginia, is the COURTHOUSE, a T-shaped building, with hip roof, end chimneys, and an arched loggia across its fa~ade. On the court green are also the CLERK'S OFFICE and JAIL, both built since 1885, and the usual CONFEDERATE MONUMENT. King William County was formed in 1701 from King and Queen County and named for William III. King and Queen had been cut from New Kent in 1601.
At 8.5 m. is a junction with State 293.
Right on this road, which becomes County 633, to a junction with County 623, 7.8 m.; R. here to the PAMUNKEY INDIAN RESERVATION, 8.8 m., home of the Indians whose tribe has lived on this neck since the land was assigned to it by the colony in 16 7 7. The treaty announced that 'The Respective Indian Kings and Queens doe henceforth acknowledge their immediate dependency on, and Own all Subjection to, the great King of England, Our now dread Soveraigne.' The Queen of the Pamunkey (see Tour 6A), then ruler of the Tidewater Confederacy, signed the treaty by a symbol that resembles a script capital U. Charles 11 sent a gift to each of the signers; and the English Queen 'decorated' the Queen of the Pamunkey with a velvet hat adorned by a silver chain. This 'crown' is now preserved by the Virginia Historical Society.
On the reservation the wards, supervised by the State and exempted from taxation and continuing a semblance of their tribal customs, are governed by a chief and council of their own choosing. They live in small'frame houses along dirt roads, worship in a church affiliated with the Baptist General Association, send their children to a school provided by the State, and gain their livelihood through farming, hunting, and fishing. The women make and sell pottery, shape beads, and fashion pocketbooks, watch fobs, and other articles. Following custom, the chief and his men make a pilgrimage to Richmond each Thanksgiving and on the steps of the capitol present freshly killed game-quail, rabbits, turkeys, and occasionally a deer-to the governor of Virginia, whom theyaddress as'Great White Father.'For theoccasion the Indians wearbeaded doeskin suits and feathered headgear. They are frequently seen about the legislative halls, particularly when they fear that the passage of bills aimed to stop miscegenation will result in classifying them as negroid.
At 13.1 m. is a junction with County 640.
Left here to County 625, 1.1 m., and L. to the MATTAPONI INDIAN RESERVATION, 2.3 m., home of another small remnant of the former Tidewater Indian Conf ederacy. Af ter the massacre of 1644, the Mattaponi were driven from Pamunkey Neck by William Claiborne to a site near the Rappahannock, but returned here in 1668.
ST. JOHN'S CHURCH (open upon application at house near by), at 15.4 m., was erected in 1732 as one of the four brick churches that replaced former frame churches of old St. John's Parish. The building is T-shaped, and each unit of its roof is gabled. The aisles are paved with flagstones, and above both the north door and the main entrance are galleries. First a single rectangle, it was later enlarged. Abandoned after the Revolution, StJohn's suffered at the hands of vandals. Though no longer used regularly, the church has been restored.
At 17.7 m. is a junction with County 634.
Right here to SWEET HALL (L), 1.7 m., a sturdy story-and-a-half brick house on a bluff above the Pamunkey River. The house is distinguished by clusters of built-in chimneys at each end and by its fortlike brick walls. It was built about 172o by Thomas Claiborne, grandson of William Claiborne.
The estate is part of a tract patented in 1653 by William Claiborne, who had contended with Lord Baltimore over the ownership of Kent Island.
RUFFIN'S FERRY, 1.9 m., is a river landing and terminal of a ferry from Colonial times until the river was bridged in 1926. At this 'poynt,' states the patent to his estate, William Claiborne 'landed the Army under his command in 1644,' when he led an attack against the Pamunkey after the uprising of that year.
Here La Fayette placed in camp the 'light infantry' August 13, 1781, while observing Cornwallis.
At 21.1 m. on State 30 is a junction with County 635.
1. Right here to a private road 0.4 m., and straight ahead 0.5 m. to ROMANCOVE, seat of the estate that belonged irom 1653 to 1925 successively to Claibornes, Custises, and Lees. The present frame house by the Pamunkey succeeds the ante-bellux house burned in 1925. On part of this estate William Claiborne spent his last years. George Washington purchased Romancoke about 177o and in his diary often referred
to it as 'my Quarter.' He gave it to his stepson, John Parke Custis, through whom it descended to Captain Robert E. Lee, youngest son of General Lee.
2.. Left from State 30 on County 635 to (L) CHELSEA, 0.9 m., a brick house built in two sections, by the Mattaponi. The first section forms the stem of a T and has a steep gambrel roof with dormers. Boxwood, fine trees, and flowers adorn the wide lawn. The older part of the house was built about 1710 by Colonel Augustine Moore 1685-1743), who patented the estate; the hip roofed front section was added about 1740.
At Chelsea Governor Alexander Spotswood assembled the Knights of the Golden Horseshoe for the expedition beyond the Blue Ridge in 170. Colonel Moore was one of the 'Knights.'
PORT RICHMOND, 23.5 m. (800 pop.), was incorporated in 1924 as a town, separate from West Point, which it adjoins. At this farm town, which has developed since 1920, intensive experimental truck-farming on 10-acre farms is conducted.
WEST POINT, 25.2 m. (i,8oo pop.) (see Tour 6A) is at a junction with State 33.