Within the Tidewater Region of Virginia, the Foundation focuses its attention on New Kent County. New Kent is located between Richmond and Williamsburg and stretches between the Pamunkey and Chickahominy Rivers – the namesakes of the Pamunkey and Chickahominy tribes. New Kent County was established in 1654. Remnants of its colonial, revolutionary and Civil War history remain, including St. Peter’s Church, where George and Martha Washington were married. Revolutionaries, French, British, Union and Confederate soldiers and officers have all marched and fought in New Kent.
The New Kent Courthouse burned in 1753 and again in conjunction with the arson of the county clerk’s office in 1775. As a result, very few records exist from colonial times. Subsequent records were lost during the Civil War when they were transferred for safekeeping to Richmond, where they were destroyed during General McClennan’s Peninsular Campaign.
“New Kent is one of the oldest and most charming counties in Virginia and was first mentioned in the records of the General Assembly in the year of 1654. The settlers were of English stock and the county was named for Kent in England. Land grants to the early settlers along the rivers led to large plantations and palatial manor houses, fostering a way of life long associated with our colonial era.”
– New Kent Historical Society
“At its best, preservation engages the past in a conversation with the present over a mutual concern for the future.”
– William Murtagh
The Tidewater and Big Bend Foundation is growing and keenly interested in acquiring additional historical structures and rural land through purchases and tax-deductible donations. The Foundation’s creator – John B. Poindexter – continues to make substantial contributions to the Foundation’s efforts. In addition to the Cedar Lane Plantation, Moss Side Manor and very significant cash donations, he intends to donate his largest and oldest holding in the county in the coming years.