Virginia Stories and Tips

Carter's Grove

Carter's Grove was built in 1750 by Robert "King" Carter, (so called in part because he owned as much land as some kings). The site was willed to his grandson, Carter Burwell on the condition that, "in all times it come to be called and go by the name of Carter's Grove." The name remains, although the owners died long ago. Do they remain as well? Local folklore says yes.

Steps are sometimes heard in the halls. A phantom harp is said to play, as though plucked by an unseen hand, in an upstairs room. A phantom hand, (perhaps the hand that plucks the harp),shreds white carnations whenever they're placed in the 'Refusal Room', where proposals from both Thomas Jefferson and George Washington were turned down.

In addition to ghosts, an interesting feature of Carter's Grove are deep scars on the stair and banister. These are said to have been made by a British cavalryman during the Revolutionary War. Supposedly, he hacked the banister as he rode his horse up the steps! No wonder one of the primary requests of Revolutionaries was no quartering of soldiers! Good thing he doesn't haunt Carter's Grove.

Carter's Grove is a lovely, and usually uneventful, place to visit. Carters Grove is owned by the Colonial Williamsburg foundation and is just a short distance from the Williamsburg historic district. Tickets may be purchased at the Williamsburg Visitors Center.

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