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Kingsmill in the Colonial Era

By the mid-1620s, Richard Kingsmill had acquired 500 acres surrounding Site 44JC1140. In the 18th century, the Burwell family consolidated the old Kingsmill tract and other adjacent properties into a 1,500-acre plantation. Lewis Burwell III built a large brick plantation house on the high ground overlooking his valuable possessions: fields of tobacco and other crops, woodlands, and a ferry landing he leased to tenants. Although Site 44JC1140 was not inhabited until the 1800s, this map (drawn in 1781) shows several buildings for enslaved workers (labeled quarter). The ferry and wharf for passengers and freight and a road linking to Williamsburg were important features of local commerce and transportation until a railroad along the James-York Peninsula overtook river transportation in the 1880s.