A Brief History

Ferry’s Beginnings Plantation House

Ferry plantation first got it’s name in 1642 when the Ferry Boat Service ran the Lynnhaven waterway, as far as we have traced back there may have been as many as eleven stops along the river. The ferry operator was summoned by a signal cannon, one at each of the eleven stops. Three of these cannons have been located.

Saville Gaskin was the ferry operator in 1642 he was commissioned for a year  by Adam Thoroughgood for 800 pounds of tobacco.  Interesting, this is the precise figure of a debt of his.

Ferry Boat painting - color

 The second Princess Anne court house was built on the Plantation near the present location of Old Donation Church.   This was the courthouse that had held part of the trial of Grace Sherwood, Virginia’s only convicted witch that was tried by water and found guilty of witchcraft.  Grace was jailed for some time in a now long gone timber courthouse . The trial took place on July 10th 1706, at that time the church that was used , built in 1692 was the Brick Church.  This was outgrown and was replaced with Old Donation Episcopal that stands on that location today.   It was completed in 1736.

The third Princess Anne Courthouse was built in 1735 of brick on Ferry Plantation to replace the timber courthouse. This was built closer to the Ferry Landing. This courthouse was used until 1751, the stocks and pillory were taken from Ferry Plantation in 1751 to the new courthouse location at Newtown. The Walke family owning the property at that time built the Manor house and used the former Courthouse as a kitchen.   There have been several dig sites open for the public to see the remains of the past, and telling our family history.

Captain Charles Fleming McIntosh, CSN
Captain Charles Fleming McIntosh, CSN


In 1828 the Walke Manor house burned to the ground. It was not until two years later 1830 that George and Elizabeth (Walke ) MacIntosh built from the good bricks of the manor house the house that stands on the Plantation today. It was built for their seventeen year old son Charles Fleming MacIntosh.

At the beginning of the War between the States, he and his family were against secession.  However, as many young Virginians did, when Virginia seceded, Charles resigned his USN commission and was commissioned by the Confederate Navy to be Captain of the CSS Louisiana.

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