The York River is arguably the most historically significant location for early colonial history found anywhere in America. European and Native American civilizations collided here. This was the land of Powhatan, Opechanacanough, Pocahantas, and the legendary explorations of Captain John Smith. No wonder this area’s colonial land patents (King’s grant lands) were so highly sought after by the first families of Virginia for the their Colonial plantations. The Washington’s, Lee’s, Anderson’s, Roane’s, Tucker’s, and Taliaferro’s settled its shores. History lives and breathes here. It is woven into the fabric of the estuary and its surrounding lands.
Anderson’s Neck Land Grant
Anderson’s Neck is named for Richard Anderson who obtained the property as a Land Grant on March 18th, 1662. Anderson was Captain of the County Militia, a member of the Commission of Justices, and sheriff of King and Queen County. Tobacco and cotton were the main crops grown in this area during that time. The land along the north bank of the York River was particularly favorable for growing the most coveted type of tobacco, called “sweet scented.” This led to the York River being the focus of the expanding tobacco planting in Virginia. This caused King and Queen County to become the greatest producer of tobacco in the Colony. The original corduroy roads used by horses to lead the tobacco laden bateaus along the edge of the salt marsh creeks of Anderson’s Neck can still be observed to this day at low tide. Records show that the Anderson’s owned the property up until the 1860s. According to modern day interviews with the Anderson family, the property was sold to settle Civil War debts, and the historic property was lost. The Wrights, New York Dutch entrepreneurs, became the new owners and profited from oyster cultivation operations on the York River, amassing an enormous fortune.