“Richmond's only 18th century public plantation home”
For more than 100 years, members of the illustrious Randolph family called Wilton home. Built c. 1753 for William Randolph III, Wilton was the centerpiece of a 2,000 acre tobacco plantation. It was here that the Randolph family entertained some of colonial Virginia’s most elite social and political figures. Wilton hosted George Washington shortly after Patrick Henry delivered his famous ultimatum, “Give me Liberty, or Give me Death!” during the Second Virginia Convention in 1775. In 1781, then governor Thomas Jefferson visited Lafayette who was headquartered at Wilton, while 900 of the General’s troops made camp around Wilton. Lafayette would next go on to help secure American independence at Yorktown. After passing through successive generations of the Randolph family between 1753 and 1859, Wilton was sold to Col. William C. Knight to pay off a mounting family debt. The last Randolph owner, Catherine, married Edward Carrington Mayo and moved into neighboring Richmond. Wilton went on to survive the Civil War and change owners another 4 times before going into foreclosure during the depth of the Great Depression. In 1932, The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in the Commonwealth of Virginia took action to rescue this storied Virginian home from ruin. Raising money without the assistance of outside funding, the Dames were able to purchase Wilton and protect its legacy. However, as the land on which Wilton stood had been rezoned for industralization, the Dames were forced to dismantle the house, purchase a new lot, and rebuild Wilton on the grounds where it now stands, beautifully restored.
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Wilton House Museum
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