Francis Land House
3131 Virginia Beach Blvd
Virginia Beach, Virginia, 23452
The Francis Land House is a historic brick house in located within the Rose Hall District near Princess Anne Plaza in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
It was the plantation home of the prominent Land family, a founding family of Princess Anne County, Virginia. Land family history on the site spanned the 1630s to the 1850s. The house passed through six males named Francis Land and then the last Francis' daughters before being sold to another family.
The first Francis Land arrived in the area in 1638–1639 and later acquired 1,020 acres of land by 1654, 200 of which was acquired via head rights by bringing four people with him. The plantation got as small as 350 acres over the next 150 years and at the time the current house was built the plantation was just under 700 acres. The current house sits on 7 acres of that original plantation, and is now in the midst of a very commercialized area.
Slaves were first documented on the site in 1694, with importation of new slaves up to the 1730s. In the mid-18th century the plantation had as many as 20 slaves.
The house was at one time thought to have been built in 1732, but recent research has placed its construction in the period 1805–1810 by Francis Land VI.
A large portion of the property was lost to foreclosure during the 1930s, but the DeFrees family kept the primary residence, the Francis Land House, and surrounding acreage as a dairy farm until the mid-1950s.
In the early-mid-1970s a developer wanted to tear down the house and build a shopping mall, but the City of Virginia Beach stepped in and purchased the house and 7 acres of surrounding land in 1975; subsequently operating it as a historic house museum since 1986.
The house's exterior is Georgian style and the inside features period rooms furnished with Federal style antiques and reproductions with heart of pine floors. The exterior walls are double depth Flemish bond brickwork.
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