Yorktown Victory Center indoor exhibition galleries recount the warï¿½s effect on 10 ordinary men and women who witnessed the Revolutionary War, highlight the roles of different nationalities in the Siege of Yorktown and explore the story of the Betsy and other British ships lost in the York River during the war. Exhibits also describe experiences of ordinary soldiers, Yorktownï¿½s importance as an 18th-century port and the development of a new government with the Constitution and Bill of Rights.
Outdoors, visitors can explore a re-created Continental Army encampment, where historical interpreters describe and depict daily life of American soldiers at the end of the war. A re-created 1780s farm, complete with a house, kitchen, tobacco barn, crop fields, and herb and vegetable garden, shows how many Americans lived in the decade following the Revolutionary War.
Yorktown Victory Center
260 Water Street, Route 1020,
Yorktown, VA 23690
The History of Belle Grove begins with the German immigration into the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. In 1732, Jost Hite with his partner Robert McKay and 16 families, journeyed to the northern Valley to settle on 140,000 acres obtained in two land grants. Isaac Hite Jr, grandson of Jost Hite attended William and Mary College and served in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. In 1783, his father gave him and his bride Nelly Conway Madison, sister of a future President of the United States, the 483 acres on which Belle Grove house was later built. In 1794, construction began, and was completed in 1797. The grand mansion was built with limestone quarried on the property, and faced the Valley Pike to display the owners social and financial status.
After the death of Nelly in 1802, Major Hite married Ann Tunstall Maury, with whom he had ten children in addition to the three born to the Nelly. Twelve of these children lived to adulthood. In 1815, as the family grew, an addition was made at the west end of the original house to finish-out the one-hundred-foot facade as it stands today. The grain and livestock plantation continued to grow until Major Hite controlled 7500 acres of land with 103 slave workers. Hite also owned a general store, a grist-mill, a saw-mill and a distillery. He died in 1836, and nine years after Anns death in 1851, Belle Grove was sold out of the family. By the start of the Civil War in 1861, Belle Grove no longer existed as it had during the Hite era. There was a succession of owners before the Brumback family bought what remained of the farm in 1907, and then Francis Welles Hunnewell purchased Belle Grove from the Brumbacks in 1929. Much is owed to the thoughtful preservation efforts of these 20th century owners.
Belle Grove Plantation
336 Belle Grove Road
P. O. Box 537
Middletown, Virginia 22645
Phone: (540) 869-2028