On Saturday, we asked you through social media where the above picture was in James City County, Williamsburg, or York County. We had so many great guesses but now it is time to reveal the answer.
For those who guessed the Nelson House in York County on Nelson and Main streets,
you were correct!
This building was the home of Thomas Nelson, Jr., Yorktown native and signer of the Declaration of Independence. He served in various positions, including governor from June to October 1781 and commander of the Virginia militia during the Siege of Yorktown.
During the siege, the Nelson House sustained a great deal of damage. One of the brick walls remains pockmarked from that time period. However, the above pictured cannonball was added in the early 1900s in order to illustrate to the public just how much damage the home sustained during that tumultuous time.
Just six years after the Revolutionary War, Thomas Nelson, Jr. passed away due to an asthma attack. His wife, Lucy, remained in the home for thirty more years and the family continued to own the property until 1908. Captain and Mrs. George P. Blow purchased the home in 1914, renovating it as part of a grander estate they called “York Hall.” In 1968, the National Park Service (NPS) acquired the Nelson House and it went through an extensive process to restore its Colonial Era appearance. NPS was fortunate to find that most of the home’s original aesthetic remained intact from the bricks on the outside walls to most of the wooden floors in its interior.
Just up the road from his home, the remains of Yorktown’s favorite son, Thomas Nelson, Jr., lay in his grave in the quiet cemetery of Grace Episcopal Church.
Today, the Nelson House sits on a bustling street brimming with tourists and locals. Tours are available sporadically throughout the year, dependent upon staffing and COVID-19 restrictions. If you would like to see the interior of the Nelson House, call NPS at Yorktown Battlefield, part of Colonial National Historical Park at (757) 898-2410 or visit their website.
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