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Hickory Hill (Ashland, Virginia) facts for kids

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Hickory Hill
Hickory Hill (Ashland, Virginia) is located in Virginia
Hickory Hill (Ashland, Virginia)
Location in Virginia
Hickory Hill (Ashland, Virginia) is located in the United States
Hickory Hill (Ashland, Virginia)
Location in the United States
Location E of Ashland off VA 646, Ashland, Virginia
Area 640 acres (260 ha)
Built 1820 (1820)
NRHP reference No. 74002121
Quick facts for kids
Significant dates
Added to NRHP November 21, 1974

Hickory Hill is an estate in Hanover County, Virginia. The 3,300 acre former plantation is located approximately 20 miles (32 km) north of the independent city of Richmond and 5 miles (8.0 km) east of the incorporated town of Ashland. The property was listed in the National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Landmarks Register in 1974.


The Hickory Hill property was long an appendage to Shirley Plantation in Charles City County, much of it having come into possession of Robert Carter by a deed dated March 2, 1734. Carter gave the estate as a wedding gift to his daughter Anne Butler Carter (1797-1868) and her husband, William Fanning {W. F.) Wickham (1793-1880), a lawyer and planter. The dowry included all the slaves on the plantation. From September 1828 until January 29, 1864 Wickham kept a close record of the names, dates of death, and, often, kinships, of the slave population on the estate. The Wickham family continued to reside on the estate until selling the property in the early 2000s.

At its height, the estate consisted of 3,500 acres (1,400 ha) of land, and by 1860 was one of the largest plantations in Virginia, and had over 200 slaves working on it, only one of two such estates in Hanover County with that number of slaves, and one of nine in the entire state.

Hickory Hill produced wheat (its major crop), corn, oats, and a small amount of tobacco. Fruits and vegetables were also grown, but probably for consumption on the plantation. Unlike other Hanover County plantations, which sold locally, Hickory Hill sold its produce in Richmond where it brought a higher price. It had its own stop, Wickham Station, just below the manor house on the former Virginia Central Railroad.

Included on the grounds of the estate is the Hickory Hill Slave and African American Cemetery on Providence Church Road. The 4.25 acres (1.72 ha) cemetery is enclosed by a white vinyl post-and-board fence which was constructed some time after 2010. Some burials may have taken place outside of the fenced-in area. Not all burial sites have gravestones, some are mere depression in the ground. A survey found about 149 interment sites, with the strong possibility of there being more. The cemetery was in use from c.1820 to c.1938.

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