In 1619, after a stormy voyage across the Atlantic, the Good Ship Margaret landed at Berkeley with 36 men aboard. In accordance with the instructions given in the charter, these settlers observed the first Thanksgiving in the New World. A monument, film and exhibits tell the story of these brave men. In 1691, the Harrisons purchased Berkeley and in 1726 the three story Georgian mansion was completed. The estate is the birthplace of Benjamin Harrison, signer of the Declaration of Independence, and William H. Harrison, ninth U.S. president. During the Civil War, Union troops occupied the plantation and the army bugle call “Taps” was first played. A monument to “Taps” stands on a hilltop overlooking the James River.
Guides tell stories of Thanksgiving, the Harrisons, the Civil War and the present owners of Berkeley. Native American, colonial and Civil War artifacts can be explored in the museum. Self-guided grounds tours include gardens, original dependencies and reconstructed slave quarters.
Tours, exhibits and children’s activities make visiting Berkeley an educational and fun experience for the entire family. A Virginia and National Historic Landmark
Plan Your Visit
12602 Harrison Landing Rd,
Charles City, VA 23030