Virginia Beach, Virginia
The area was initially cleared by the local Indians in the 16th century and many of their artifacts have been found on the site. The third Princess Anne County courthouse, the first brick courthouse in the county, was built on this site, complete with stocks and pillory. This third courthouse was in existence from 1735 until the construction of the Walke Mansion. The Walke Mansion 1751-1828 by William Walke, but was destroyed by fire in 1828. Walke may have run a tavern here during the American Revolution.
The current house was built in 1830 by slaves. Its exterior is Federal style three-course American bond brickwork; all of the bricks were from the ruins of the Walke Mansion. Bay additions on each end — one of brick, one of wood — were built in 1850. The land side of the house has a two-story porch constructed in Colonial Revival style in the 1950s. The house has 10 rooms with heart-of-pine flooring and several original features. It was once covered with oyster shell stucco. The rear of the home faces the western branch of the Lynnhaven River.
There are some small gardens on the property and in the back yard is a large Southern Magnolia planted on April 6, 1863 by Sally Rebecca Walke in memory of her fiance' John, her fallen Confederate officer.
A group of citizens saved the house from demolition around 1990. Investors bought it in 1994, but their deal to sell it fell through in 1995 when the Virginia Beach City Council said the house could not be a private residence due to deed restrictions. The deed to the property was eventually turned over to the City of Virginia Beach in June 1996, and the Friends of the Ferry Plantation House, Inc. began renovating the house in 1996 in partnership with the City of Virginia Beach. Court House bars (one set and shackles) are still on one window to date.
The house was listed in the Virginia Landmarks Register (Virginia Historic Landmark) in 2004 and the US National Register of Historic Places in 2005 and The Virginia State Register.
The house is reportedly haunted by 11 spirits. Reported spirits include those of people who perished in an 1810 ship wreck at the ferry landing, a former slave, Sally Rebecca Walke who mourns her fiance' a fallen soldier, and the Lady in White, who reportedly died in 1826 of a broken neck from falling down the stairs, as well as the artist Thomas Williamson, owner of the Manor House who was married to a Walke has been reported seen at the top of the stairs painting. Sounds of dragging chains have been reported, possibly from the days of the old courthouse.
1 Investigation at this location: